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Vizhinjam to become reality

Posted on 18 Aug 2015

Kerala’s dream project, Vizhinjam International Multipurpose Deepwater Seaport, is set to become a reality with the signing of the concession agreement between the State and Adani Vizhinjam Ports Ltd. (AVLP) of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. (APSEZ), the private multi-port operator selected to build the superstructure and operate the seaport.

The Durbar Hall of the Secretariat will be the venue for signing the agreement between CEO of AVPL Santosh Kumar Mahoptra and Principal Secretary of Ports James Varghese at 5 p.m. on Monday.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Minister for Ports K. Babu, other Ministers, Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson, Group Chairman of APSEZ Gautam Adani, top officials, and leaders of industry, chamber of commerce, and travel trade will be present to witness the historic moment. Mr. Adani is being accompanied by an eight-member delegation.

The work on the Mission 676 project of the United Democratic Front (UDF) government headed by Mr. Chandy will commence on November 1, the Formation Day of the State, at Vizhinjam as other formalities had to be completed.

AVPL, the special purpose vehicle set up to execute the project, has already announced that the work will be completed within two years although a four-year deadline has been fixed for the Phase I, estimated to cost Rs. 7,525 crore.

The PPP share of the project is Rs.4,089 crore and the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) from the Centre is Rs.818 crore.

It was the June 10 Cabinet that decided to accept the sole bid submitted by Ahmedabad-based APSEZ that was recommended by the board of Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited and the five-member empowered committee headed by Chief Secretary.

The port operator has sought Rs. 1,635 crore as grant for the project. Official sources said APSEZ was yet to give Rs.120 crore as Performance Security. The contract is for building port superstructure and operating the port for 40 years, including the four years of construction. When completed, it would have the capacity to berth 18,000 TEU mother ships.

The pact is being inked after overcoming several hurdles during the last 24 years, including the threat of a stir by Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram demanding better rehabilitation package for the fisherfolk of Vizhinjam and adjacent areas and amidst boycott call of the function by Opposition Left Democratic Front( LDF).

In 1991, it was the late CMP leader and former Ports Minister M.V. Raghavan who took the initiative to develop Vizhinjam into a seaport


Source : The Hindu