Three major projects, with an investment of Rs 1,800 crore, are being taken up in Visakhapatnam port and the finalisation of bids is being undertaken this week. The bids for extension of container terminal, involving an investment of Rs 633 crore, were opened on Wednesday. The bids for mechanisation and upgradation of existing facilities at iron ore handling complex (OHC) and West Quay North (WQ-7 and 8 berths) are to be opened on Thursday. The OHC and WQ North projects will involve an investment of Rs 845 crore and Rs 393 crore respectively according to the revised estimates. The cargo mix for WQ North berths will be for handling bulk cargoes like bauxite, gypsum, blast furnace slag, manganese and other categories of ore.
“The finalisation will be based on revenue sharing offered to us subject to approval by the committee of experts set up by Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) and the board of trustees,” a senior official said. The OHC project has to get the nod from the Union Cabinet. These projects, as part of Ministry of Shipping’s decision, will be taken up under Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer basis. Sources said OHC mechanisation was initially planned by VPT on its own to increase handling of iron ore by taking loan from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). This was dropped due to some technical problems. However, part of the originally proposed loan may be taken from the JBIC to fund dredging. VPT will be spending Rs 13,940 crore on the several ongoing projects to take the capacity to 149 million tonnes by 2019-20.
-Hindu Business Line