Mundra Port, Welspun in fray for Vizhinjam port

Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd and a consortium of Welspun group companies on Tuesday submitted financial bids for development and operation of a Rs2,620-crore multipurpose port at Vizhinjam in Kerala. Tuesday was also the last date for submission of bids.

However, 10 other shortlisted bidders did not bid, including a consortium led by state-owned Shipping Corp of India Ltd, Welspun Infratech Ltd, Welspun Corp Ltd and Leighton Welspun Contractors (India) Pvt Ltd are among the companies in the Welspun consortium.

The bids submitted separately by Mundra Port and Welspun contain technical and financial proposals and the technical bids would be first scrutinised for responsiveness and compliance, AS Suresh Babu, managing director and chief executive of Vizhinjam International Seaport, a special purpose company set up by the Kerala government to implement the project said. He added that financial bids  would be opened on completion of the technical evaluation.

This is the state government's fourth attempt after 2003 for development of a port at Vizhinjam near the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

The International Finance Corp, a member of the World Bank group, has been hired by the state to advise on the design and implementation of the transaction. The port would have a capacity for loading 2.8 million standard containers and 1.8 MT of other types of cargo, excluding containers, annually.

The project is split into two parts with the first being the design, engineering, financing, development of superstructure such as buildings and cargo handling equipment at the port as also the operation, maintenance and management of the terminals at an estimated cost of Rs970 crore.