Ennore Ports to more than double capacity

Seeking to more than double its capacity to 65 million tonnes over the next few years, Ennore Port has decided to award the last of the four expansion projects, envisaging an investment of Rs 151-crore to build a multi-cargo berth, to the lone bidder by the end of the month.

With this, the state-run port will be meeting its FY14 target of awarding 35 mt capacity addition, by the end of the month, a top official said.

The new projects include an LNG terminal and one coal and container berth each.

The port has a capacity to do 30 mt at present and will be adding 35 mt more in the next few years, port chairman and managing director M A Bhaskarachar said.

"We expect to award the multi-cargo berth project by the end of February. Security clearance of the bidder is the only pending permission, after which we can award the contract," he told PTI.

Bhaskarachar said though six entities had evinced interest in the 3 mt per annum capacity project, only one has bid finally.

The other projects awarded this fiscal include the 16-mt container terminal to Adani Ports, a 5-mt LNG terminal, a 9-mt coal berth and an upgrading existing terminal by adding 2 mt more in capacity, he said.

The port, located off Chennai, had hit the market with a tax-free bond issue to raise up to Rs 500 crore including a greenshoe option.

Bhaskarachar said the port, which could only mop up Rs 95 crore as against the target of Rs 1,000 crore last year, is confident of achieving the target this year due to a better coupon rate and higher rating. The port is offering a coupon of up to 9 per cent per annum for the retail investors.

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