The move by Dragados Spl, subsidiary of the Spanish construction giant ACS, to dilute its stakes in Indira Container Terminal Pvt Ltd will in no way disrupt the construction of Bombay Port’s star project, Mumbai Offshore Container Terminal. The $ 272.9 million offshore container terminal is being developed by a consortium of Gammon India, Gammon Infrastructure Ltd. and Dragados SPL on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis for a period of 30 years.
The Spanish operator recently indicated its intention to sell shares in India’s Indira Container Terminal, Chile’s Iquique Terminal Internacional, Brazil’s Santa Catarina and Sadoport in Setubal, Portugal.
According to trade circles Dragados does not see much prospects in developing the Indira Container Terminal because of the falling container traffic at Bombay port. Being more of a bulk port the container throughput which had registered 5701 TEUs in October last year dropped to 4332 this October. Presently, nearly all container vessels call at the neighbouring container port of JNPT and most of the containers that are being handled at Bombay port are transhipped from JNPT.
However, an official of Gammon Infrastructure Ltd informed that Gammon Infrastructure plans to hike their stake in Indira Terminal to 74% by February, 2010 from the present 50% and Dragados would continue to partner the project. He refused to divulge further details or throw much light on the financial aspects on the matter.
“At present Gammon India and Dragados have 50 : 50 share in the Indira Container Terminal and the Indian law does not permit foreign stake holder to have more than 49% share,” explained Ms S. G. Tahiliani, Manager (SOM) of Bombay Port. “Hence, Gammon India is enhancing their shareholding. The The construction of the Offshore Container Terminal will go ahead as per plans and the first phase consisting of two berths will be completed by October 2011 as per the revised schedule.”
Once the third berth is in place following the completion of the second phase, the container terminal will have a total quay length of 1050 meters with a handling capacity of 1.2 million TEUs annually. It will be capable of accommodating vessels of 6,000 TEUs.
Indira Container Terminal had won the global bid to develop and operate the offshore terminal in 2007. While the consortium is developing the terminal, the port will provide supporting infrastructure such as dredging and navigational aids and the laying of tracks for a rail container depot.