Adani arm's port projects flounder on security issue

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018


The Adani Group-promoted Mundra Port SEZ (MPSEZ) has not been able to bid for at least four major port projects because of the Centre withholding security clearance.

In the last few months, the Rs 2,000-crore subsidiary of Adani Enterprises has been denied this mandatory nod for two projects at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), one each in Visakhapatnam and Kandla. The company has moved the Bombay High Court.


All firms that financially bid for developing berths in Centrally-administered major ports have to get security clearance from the Ministries of External Affairs, Defence and Home Affairs. Earlier, Chinese firms have been denied security clearance to develop ports.

But there is no such procedural requirement for non-major ports, which are under the State governments. MPSEZ is operating and developing ports at Mundra, Dahej and Hazira, all administered by the Gujarat Government.

“The security clearance for MPSEZ was withheld for projects like development of EQ-1A, Visakhapatnam port; development of standalone container handling facility with 330 metre quay length at JN Port; and the fourth container terminal in JN Port,” official sources told Business Line.


Earlier, MPSEZ had received security approvals from the Centre to develop terminals at major ports. It had won bids to develop a mechanised coal handling berth in Mormugao Port, Goa; and a coal import terminal at the Visakhapatnam port.

“The management of the Adani Group learnt that the MPSEZ has not been given security clearance in respect of the JNPT container terminal and Mumbai Port Trust general cargo terminal…The matter has been duly challenged by MPSEZ in the Bombay High Court,” a company spokesperson told Business Line. The company claimed that it is “not aware of any other developments in respect of tenders for other ports and would not like to react to hearsay…”

JNPT has since assured the Bombay High Court that it will not open the bids till July 2011 and the next date of hearing is on June 7.

“MPSEZ manages the biggest private port in India at Mundra, in the sensitive Kutch region, close to the Pakistan border for more than a decade. It should be noted that MPSEZ is an Indian company listed on the stock exchanges and all the directors are Indian citizens,” the company stated.

Recently, MPSEZ won the bid to manage Abbot Point Coal Terminal in Australia for close to Rs 9,000 crore — the largest acquisition by any Indian company in this sector abroad.


Published on May 26, 2011

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