THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The consortium led by Welspun Infratech Ltd, the lone bidder for the port operator’s post for the Vizhinjam international seaport project, has told the State Government that it can slash its request for grant only by Rs 20 crore. In February, the consortium had sought a grant of Rs 479.54 crore over a period of 16 years from the government. Welspun has also informed the state that it can further reduce its demand by another Rs 20 crore provided it also bags the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for building the port.
The Welspun offer came after two meetings with the bid negotiation committee formed by the State Government over the past weeks. After scrutiny by project consultants International Finance Corporation (IFC), the offer has been placed before the empowered committee led by the Chief Secretary. A decision is awaited, sources said.
The predicament faced by the State Government is that it is saddled with a lone bidder for the post of port operator. The consortium of Welspun Infratech Ltd, Welspun Corp and Leighton India alone was left in the fray after the Ministry of Home Affairs denied clearance to Mundra Ports and Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
If the state rejects the Welspun offer, it will have to invite bids afresh and get the necessary clearances from the Centre.
The Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL), the government company dealing with the project, will float the EPC bids once the Environmental Impact Assessment underway at Vizhinjam is completed by June 30, VISL CEO A S Suresh Babu said, when contacted.
The first phase of the project is estimated to cost Rs 4,010 crore, of which the private partner will contribute Rs 970 crore and the State Government, the remaining amount.