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L&T, IPCL among 8 interested in chemical terminal at JN port

N.K. Kurup

The proposed terminal will have a capacity to handle nine million tonnes cargo - three million tonnes LNG and six million tonnes chemicals — per annum. It will comprise one LNG berth, 2 offshore berths and tank farms, and other facilities in an area of 50 hectares to be reclaimed.

MUMBAI, Oct. 7

LARSEN and Toubro, IPCL, United Storage and Tanks International, Indian Molasses Company and TotalFinaElf are among the eight parties who have shown interest in setting up a new chemical terminal to be built at the JN port.

The proposed integrated terminal, estimated to cost around Rs 3,000 crore, would handle all types of chemical cargoes and liquefied natural gas (LNG), said a JNPT official.

"Eight parties have purchased RFQ (request for qualification) documents which will have to be submitted by October 30. How many of them are serious bidders will be known only after they submit the completed documents,'' said the official.

The proposed terminal will have a capacity to handle nine million tonnes cargo - three million tonnes LNG and six million tonnes chemicals — per annum. The terminal will comprise one LNG berth, 2 offshore berths and tank farms and other facilities in an area of 50 hectares to be reclaimed.

This will be the first phase of the project. The second phase will constitute four more berths and tank-farm facilities in yet another 50 hectares of reclaimed land. The tender is currently floated for the first phase.

The port trust plans to start work on the project by June 2003. According to a major user at the JN port, the project was planned as per the cargo handling projection many years ago. This had changed drastically with the commissioning of other projects, he said. A detailed study on the cargo potential should, therefore, be made before finalising the port capacity, he said.

Meanwhile, the port is also planning to convert to a container terminal its bulk terminal which has been out of operation for sometime now. The cost of re-development of the terminal is estimated at Rs 900 crore and with the conversion, the container handling capacity of the port is expected to go up by 1.2 million TEUs. The port's plan to implement the project on BOT basis has been opposed by its unions.

The JN Port shares the main harbour channel with Mumbai port and, currently, the draught availability is up to 12 metres. The draught limitation restricts the port from handling large-size vessels . The port trust had submitted a proposal to deepen the channel at a cost of about Rs 700 crore and Government clearance was awaited , the official said.

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