Kerala to decide on Welspun bid for Vizhinjam Port this week

PTI Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018


The Kerala cabinet will decide, by middle of the week, on awarding the port operator contract for the upcoming Vizhinjam Port to the Welspun-led consortium, a top government official has said.

The move assumes importance as the Union Home Ministry last week denied security clearance to the sole other bidder, Adani Ports, formerly Mundra Ports.

“The cabinet will be meeting by the middle of the week to take a call on whether or not to select the Welspun-led consortium as the Vizhinjam Port operator,” Kerala Ports and PWD secretary Mr Manoj Joshi told PTI over phone from the state capital on Sunday.

The remaining sole bidder is the Mumbai-based Welpsun group, which had bid for the project through a consortium that includes Welspun Infratech, Welspun Corporation and the Australia-based Leighton Engineering Holdings, which got the Foreign Ministry nod early December.

Whether the government will be able to go ahead with inviting the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract, in the light of the latest development, Mr Joshi answered in the affirmative.

“We hope to float global EPC tender as early as March and also get the EIA (being conducted by an L&T-Ramboll consortium and Asian Consulting Engineers) nod from the Union Environment Ministry by June,” Mr Joshi said.

In a fresh setback to the Rs 7,800-crore Vizhinjam International Seaport project, being developed by Kerala, the Union Home Ministry last week denied sanction to the Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone to continue with the bidding process, but without citing any specific reason.

The ambitious port project was first proposed way back in 2003. This is despite the fact that the Adanis had last month got the go-ahead from both the Defence as well as Foreign ministries.

When contacted, Adani Ports & SEZ director Mr Rajeev Sinha told PTI, “We also read from media that the Home Ministry has denied us security clearance. But we are yet to hear from the ministry.”

Published on January 08, 2012

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