Adani Ports set for West Bengal entry with a cargo terminal at Haldia Dock

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on October 04, 2021

APSEZ emerged the highest bidder for the 30-year concession by quoting a royalty of ₹75 per tonne

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) is set to win the rights to mechanise and run a dry bulk cargo handling berth at Haldia Dock Complex of Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust (erstwhile Kolkata Port Trust).

APSEZ emerged the highest bidder for the 30-year concession by quoting a royalty of ₹75 per tonne when price bids were opened last week. A consortium of Sarat Chatterjee & Co and Ripley & Co came second with a quotation of ₹65 per tonne as royalty.

Port contracts at major port trusts are decided on the basis of royalty per tonne of cargo handled. The bidder quoting the highest royalty per tonne wins the contract.

The contract at Haldia Dock Complex will help APSEZ to enter West Bengal, one of the two coastal States (the other being Karnataka) where it does not have a presence. It will add to the string of 13 ports and terminals owned and run by APSEZ with a capacity to handle 562 million tonnes (mt) of cargo.

Vinit Kumar, Chairman, SPM Port Trust said that APSEZ has emerged the highest bidder for the project. “The bid is under finalisation; it will go to the tender committee,” Kumar told BusinessLine.

The Berth No 2 will be mechanised with an investment of ₹298.26 crore to handle 3.744 million tonnes (mt) of dry bulk cargo.

The Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), the rate regulator for the major ports, has approved a cargo handling rate of ₹335.90 per tonne at the facility.

APSEZ’s highest quote of ₹75 per tonne translates into a revenue share of 22.33 per cent with the port authority on each tonne of cargo handled at the berth.

The berth can accommodate Panamax vessels of up to 85,000 dead weight tonnes (DWT) and an average parcel size of 28,000 tonnes.

The proposed mechanised berth is designed to primarily handle all types of import coal.

Also read: APSEZ completes ₹6,200-crore Gangavaram Port acquisition

However, considering the uncertainties with respect to coal imports and to ensure optimum utilisation of the facility and provide flexibility to the terminal operator, the SPM Port Trust has allowed the successful operator to handle coke, limestone, iron ore pellets and other suitable dry bulk cargo also at the facility.

This is in line with the current thinking in the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways to bid out dry bulk cargo berths at major ports for handling multiple commodities instead of single commodity as per practice followed until recently. This led to the collapse of some projects due to uncertainties associated with the single commodity in the wake of policy changes and market dynamics.

About 80 per cent cargo to be handled at the proposed berth would be coking coal/non-coking coal, 10 per cent limestone and other flux and the balance 10 per cent would be other dry bulk cargo.

Published on October 04, 2021

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