Logistics

Malabar ports await sure-footed steps from new Govt

Mony K. Mathew Kozhikode | Updated on November 12, 2017 Published on May 26, 2011

beypore

In the case of Beypore port, the Ports Department is planning to call fresh tenders as no one responded to its invitation in the earlier round a couple of months ago.

The decades-old proposals for development of ports in the Malabar region of Kerala are awaiting sure-footed steps this time around from the new Government in office to realise them at long last.

Beypore, Azhikkal ports

The proposals for the development of Beypore and Azhikkal ports have been undergoing bouts of hiccups over the years, with the positive signals seen every now and then gradually giving way to periods of uncertainties. At last count, the Ports Department is preparing to float yet another round of global tenders to identify the private investors to develop the ports on public-private partnership (PPP) basis.

The department had floated a tender a few months ago to rope in an investor to develop Azhikkal port and Mundra port and SEZ Ltd turned out to be lone bidder for the project that originally envisaged an outlay of Rs 463 crore. But Mundra port went one up and submitted proposal for a Rs 3,000-crore project that was to be implemented in two phases. The company had reportedly offered four per cent revenue share to the State Government for a concession period of 30 years.

Mundra port

Mundra port had submitted the proposal keeping in view the Government's move to set up a coal-based mega thermal project at Cheemeni in Kasaragod district, which would require import of coal and Azhikkal port was ideally located to handle it. However, there was rethinking on the part of the Government on the coal-based project and changed the proposal in favour of a gas-based power station. This upset the calculations of Mundra port and it pulled out of the fray.

In the case of Beypore port, too, the department is planning to call fresh tenders as no one responded to its invitation in the earlier round a couple of months ago.

The development of the port has also been hanging fire for more than a decade with a few promising proposals that came in between reaching nowhere.

Modified feasibility reports

The department will now prepare modified feasibility reports for both Azhikkal and Beypore ports and submit them to the Government for approval. Subsequently, fresh requests for proposals (RFPs) will be worked out for purpose of inviting fresh tenders, according to sources in the department.

The only port in the region that is firmly poised to undergo development works is Ponnani with the Chennai-based Malabar Ports Ltd having already won the contract. The company has started preliminary works and it is expected to complete the project within the stipulated time, according to the sources.

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Published on May 26, 2011
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