THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Government might be saddled with just one bidder for the post of port operator for the Vizhinjam seaport project, but fresh enquiries have started coming in from abroad with the government readying to float global tenders for constructing the port.
Over the past two months, teams representing the governments of Britain, Japan, Germany and Canada had met the officials of the Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) evincing interest in investing in the multi-crore project.
On Tuesday, VISL officials staged a presentation on the project for the British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis who visited its offices at Vazhuthacaud. “Britain has many strengths in this area. They can participate in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) bids which will be floated soon,” VISL CEO A S Suresh Babu said.
“The Deputy High Commissioner has also promised that he will inform British companies of the investment opportunities in this project,” Suresh Babu said.
The German Deputy Consul General had met VISL officials and also visited the project site at Mulloor, Vizhinjam, nearly two months ago. He was followed by a Canadian team led by a minister and a Japanese team.
The approximately Rs 1,600-crore EPC contract involves the construction of breakwater, reclamation, quay wall and dredging.
The State Government is yet to decide on the question of port operator with negotiations with the lone bidder, the Welspun group, to bring down the grant amount hitting a wall. Welspun was left the only bidder after the Home Ministry denied clearance to Mundra Ports and SEZ.
The EPC bids for building the port will be floated once the Environment Impact Assessment which is underway is completed by June-end.