The Ports Department and the Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) are keeping their fingers crossed with the last date for placing the Requests for Qualification (RFQ) for the Vizhinjam seaport project slated for February 25.
This is the first step of the bidding process which the state government started rolling on December 5 last year.
According to VISL, several firms have shown interest in the multi-crore international multi-purpose seaport project. ‘’A lot of interest has been generated in the project. We also have a meeting in New Delhi on February 18,’’ said VISL CEO A S Suresh Babu.
February 25 is the last date for placing RFQs for both the Public-Private-Partnerships and the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) bids. The PPP tender is for selecting a private partner to develop and operate the port and the EPC bid for the actual construction of it.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had floated the global tenders - the fourth for this project - on February 5, a day after the Ministry of Environment and Forests granted environmental clearance. At the time, the government had announced that both contracts can be awarded by May this year. Two pre-bid meetings are planned in March, as per this schedule.
The bids are to be opened in April. If everything moves according to schedule, the government will be able to commission the first phase of the port by January 2018, Ports Minister K Babu had said at the time. The port is to be developed in three phases.