Paradip Port Trust, India’s biggest state-owned cargo handler by volumes, has sought initial bids from private firms to build a 25-million tonne (mt) capacity dry bulk cargo terminal estimated to cost ₹2,392.13 crore.

Tata Steel, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and Essar Ports are expected to bid for the terminal that will handle all dry bulk, break-bulk cargo, both imports and exports.

Potential bidders have time until February 18 to file their documents.

The private operator winning the deal will develop, operate and maintain the terminal for 30 years. The task of deepening the Western Dock basin and the navigation channel up to the berths, including the turning circle for handling of Cape size vessels will vest with the terminal operator, according to the bid documents.

The terminal will be built in two phases of 12.5 mt capacity each.

The construction period for the Phase 1 will be 36 months from the date of award of concession. The construction work for the Phase 2 will begin from the date the Phase 1 starts commercial operations; Phase 2 will be completed in 24 months.

Paradip Port Trust will set the minimum royalty per metric tonne while inviting price bids.

The project will be awarded to the bidder quoting the highest royalty per metric tonne above the reserve royalty.

The private operator will have to handle a minimum guaranteed cargo (MGC) of 8.75 mt and 17.5 mt for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project, respectively.

It will have to pay the contractually-mandated royalty amount for the MGC along with damages, if it fails to achieve the MGC in a year.

“It’s a very important project because we need capacity addition; we have deferred the outer harbour project because that hasn’t got much traction,” a Paradip Port Trust official said.

Paradip Port Trust has four private terminals ― a 10-mt capacity coal import terminal; a 10-mt capacity iron ore export terminal; a 5-mt capacity multi-purpose berth to handle clean cargo including containers, and a 30-mt capacity mechanised facility.

Between April and December 2020, the port, located in Odisha, handled 82.441 mt of cargo.

In FY20, the port handled 112.69 mt of cargo.

The planned terminal will cater to the requirement of coal and limestone imports besides export of granulated slag and finished steel products for the steel plants operating in the hinterland of Paradip Port.

The demand for import of coking coal and fluxes and export of finished steel products have been emanating out of steel mills, necessitating capacity creation, the official said.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News