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Adani Ports, Bollore Africa Logistics among six bidders for developing berths at Khidderpore Dock

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Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, Bollore Africa Logistics and International Cargo Terminals and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd are among six entities that have filed initial bids to develop the western side berths of Khidderpore Dock (KPD) at Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust for handling containers and other cargo under public private partnership (PPP) mode.

Bothra Shipping Services Pvt Ltd, IRC Natural Resources Pvt Ltd and Century Plyboards India Ltd have also applied on the tender floated by Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust (SPMPT), earlier known as Kolkata Port Trust, government sources said.

West Bengal is the only coastal state where APSEZ doesn’t have a presence. Bollore Africa Logistics, a unit of Paris Stock Exchange-listed Bollore Group, partly owns and runs a container terminal at V O Chidambaranar Port Trust (VOCPT) in Thoothukodi district of Tamil Nadu.

Kidderpore Dock (KPD) is the older of the two docks at SPMPT with 17 multi-purpose berths and one berth for passenger cum cargo vessels, split into two parts of ten and eight berths respectively.

The relatively new Netaji Subhas Dock (NSD) has one heavy lift berth, 10 berths including 4 dedicated container berths, one liquid cargo berth and four multi-purpose berths.

Currently, most of the traffic is handled at NSD (all the container traffic at Kolkata) and minimum traffic is handled at KPD.

To unlock the full potential of KPD, the port authority has initiated a project for the “Rejuvenation of KPD” to be implemented through PPP mode.

The tender is to undertake the development and operation/maintenance of the western side berths of KPD I in two phases – berths 2, 4 and 6 in Phase I and berths 8,10,12 in Phase-II for handling containers and other cargo (pulses, fertilizer/limestone) on a concession period of 30 years.

Phase 1 of the project will have a capacity to handle 1.65 lakh twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and 3 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of pulses involving an investment of Rs 95.66 crore.

The Phase 2 will add 1.65 lakh TEUs and 3.5 lakh MT of Fertiliser/Limestone handling capacity with an investment of Rs 86.15 crores.

The project will be decided on the basis of the highest aggregate royalty quoted by the bidder comprising royalty per TEU and royalty per MT of other cargo.

The successful operator will be entitled to levy a pre-determined user fee from users of the project.

The Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), the rate regulator for major ports, has approved the reference rate for the project on an application filed by SPMPT. The reference rate set by TAMP will remain valid throughout the 30-year contract with an annual escalation to account for variation in Wholesale Price Index (WPI) to the extent of 60 per cent.

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