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JSW Infra looks to bid for ports under govt’s privatisation plan

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MUMBAI : JSW Infrastructure, India’s second biggest port operator by volumes, is keen to explore port privatisation opportunities being opened up by the government and is also exploring the mega transshipment port project at Galathea Bay in the Great Nicobar Island, its joint Managing Director said in a recent interview.

“The way the government is opening up opportunities in India is enormous. And as the second largest port company in India with a strong balance sheet and aptitude to grow in this sector, we would look at every big opportunity in the ports sector,” Arun Maheshwari, also the CEO of the Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group company, said. “We are exploring it (Galathea) but aren’t 100% sure whether we will go ahead with it,” he added.

JSW Infrastructure is reportedly among 10 companies, including Dutch dredging contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, Container Corporation of India Ltd and Essar Ports Ltd, that have submitted expressions of interest for the project.

TK Ramachandran, Secretary, MoPSW, recently said that the project would be worth ₹65,000-85,000 crore.

JSW Infrastructure operates nine state port concessions located on the west and east coasts of India.

The company that gets almost its entire business from the bulk segment plans to expand its container and liquid portfolios, such that non-bulk cargo accounts for a third of its revenues in the coming years. “We are recent entrants into the container and liquid segments. We got into the container segment only two years back,” said Maheshwari, adding the container segment currently accounts for just 2% of its volumes. He added the company will look to partner with big shipping lines in the container segment. It may also, in future, plan to set up its own container port terminal. “That is the bigger plan,” said Maheshwari.

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