THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An important day awaits Thiruvananthapuram and the state on Friday as the government takes a big step forward in finalising a private partner for the multi-crore Vizhinjam seaport project. It is on Friday that the financial bids submitted for the project, which play a decisive role in the selection of the private partner, are to be opened.
The price bids will be opened at a brief function at the offices of the Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL), the government port company in charge of the multi-crore project, in the city. “The bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders. So far, three of the five short-listed companies have purchased the Request For Proposal (RFP) documents,’’ VISL CEO A S Suresh Babu said. The financial proposals submitted by the firms will go to the Empowered Committee headed by the Chief Secretary after the legal and transaction advisors for the project verify the documents. Subsequently, the bids will be placed before the State Government for a final decision on the selection of private partner.
According to VISL officials, the whole process is expected to be completed within two weeks.
The private partner will be entrusted with the job of constructing the port and operating it for the concession period of 40 years. The State Government had shortlisted five firms/consortiums for the project: Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd; a consortium of Hyundai and Concast Infratech Ltd; the ESSAR Ports; a consortium of Srei Infrastructure and OHL and, lastly, Adani Ports. Of them, three - Essar Ports, Srei Infrastructure and OHL and Adani Ports - have purchased the RFP documents.
The opening of the bids, though a brief event, will be a keenly watched one.