Adani Ports & SEZ (APSEZ) will strengthen its position as the numero uno port/terminal operator in the East Coast by winning the bid for Karaikal Port in Puducherry for around ₹1,200 crore. There was no official communication from the company, but sources privy to the development confirmed the development.

APSEZ surpassed the rival bid by the Vedanta group, said sources. The Karaikal deal will add to APSEZ’s growing presence in India’s eastern coast, where it acquired Krishnapatnam and Gangavaram ports in Andhra Pradesh in the last two years. It also runs ports/terminals at Dhamra, Kattupalli, Ennore and Visakhapatnam.

Sources said the bidding for the Karaikal port was conducted under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code guidelines. The port’s lenders met last week to approve the offer made by the Adani Group. The next step is to get an approval at the National Company Law Tribunal for final approval.

Karaikal port is an all-weather deep water port developed in Build, Operate and Transfer format under Public Private Partnership. Commissioned in April 2009 and developed in an area of 600 acres, it handles diverse cargo such as coal, sugar, cement, fertilisers, project cargo, agro commodities, liquid cargo and containers.

Chennai-based Marg Ltd holds 45 per cent stake in Karaikal Port Pvt Ltd (KPPL), while four private equity funds — Ascent Capital Advisors India Pvt Ltd, Jacob Ballas Capital India Pvt Ltd, Affirma Capital India and GIP India — together hold 44 per cent stake.

In November 2021, Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Co Ltd sold the debt of ₹2,059.24 crore, along with the 11 per cent equity it held in KPPL to Omkara Assets Reconstruction Pvt Ltd for ₹1,500 crore.

Omkara Assets (Financial Creditor) initiating Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process in NCLT against KPPL (Corporate Debtor), claimed a sum of Rs 2,804 crore was due and payable by KPPL. The application was admitted, says an NCLT order issued in June 2022.

Adani’s presence in the East Coast stretches right from Dhamra in Odisha to Katupalli in Chennai with Karaikal port to be added to the list. APSEZ has a total installed capacity of 538 mtpa - million tonnes per annum to handle all types of cargoes. Of this, 335 mtpa is in the west coast and 203 mtpa in the east coast.

In the first half of the current fiscal, Adani’s West Coast ports handled 63 per cent of cargo as against 37 per cent by the East Coast ports.

Adani’s presence in the East Coast

Dhamra port - Odisha (45 mtpa capacity)

The port is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Adani Ports and SEZ. DPCL has been awarded a concession by Government of Odisha to build and operate a port north of the mouth of river Dhamra in Bhadrak district on BOOST (Build, Own, Operate, Share and Transfer) basis for a total period of 34 years including a period of 4 years for construction.

Gangavaram Port - Andhra Pradesh (64 mtpa)

An All-Weather Deep-Water Port that connects vast Hinterlands with State-of-the-Art Infrastructure Facilities and Multi-Modal Connectivity.

Krishnapatnam Port - Andhra Pradesh (64 mtpa)

The all weather port with deep draft is capable of handling Capesize and Panamax Vessels.

Kattupalli Port - Tamil Nadu (18 mtpa)

The multi-cargo port located North Chennai has a dedicated yard for Direct Port Delivery clearance, Direct Port Entry for factory stuffed/self-sealed export-laden containers and flexible carting.

Ennore Terminal - Tamil Nadu (12 mtpa)

Adani Ennore Container Terminal (AECT) container terminal offers 24x7 congestion-free approach roads for seamless cargo movement and on-dock rail siding services to various hinterlands, including Bengaluru.

Karaikal Port - Puducherry (over 10 mtpa)

The all-weather deep water port was developed in Build, Operate and Transfer format under Public Private Partnership. It was commissioned in 2009.