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Monday, Feb 28, 2005

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Five companies show interest in Vizhinjam container terminal plan

Mony K. Mathew

Thiruvananthapuram , Feb. 27

THE fresh tender floated by the Kerala Ports Department, inviting bids for the development of Vizhinjam International Container transhipment terminal, has received a good response.

So far, five companies have asked for the request for proposal (RFP) to submit techno-economic bids and more have sought information on the project, according to officials in the department.

The fresh tender was floated, following the non-receipt of bids by the last date from those who had earlier expressed interest in the project. These companies, which included Portcon International of South Africa, Beckett and Rankine of the UK, Gammon India and Larson and Toubro, had later sought a change in the project profile.

They contented that some of the clauses in the RFP were disadvantageous to them, considering factors such as the greenfield nature of the project, the long gestation and the huge cost involved.

In the fresh tender, the RFP has been modified and this will be given to the earlier bidders as well, the officials said. A pre-bid meeting is scheduled to be held in March during which the project structure will be discussed. The last date for submitting the bids has been tentatively fixed as April 20.

Meanwhile, IL&FS is expected to complete the whetting of the proposal submitted by Parissons group for the development of Beypore port near Kozhikode within the next couple of weeks, the officials said.

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