In order to expand its cargo handling capacity, the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is currently contemplating to build a new terminal involving a staggering investment worth Rs. 4,000cr. The new terminal, which is being set up on the outskirts of the metropolitan city at the Karanja spoil ground, will cater to the liquid cargo handling business and the port trust has already initiated the process of floating a request for qualification (RFQ) to invite companies to build the terminal.
As a matter of fact, the government is currently weighing an option to develop the 1,800 acres with the MbPT in Mumbai into a commercial and entertainment hub for the port to curtail its loss-making bulk cargo handling operations. The proposed terminal, along with the liquid cargo that MbPT handles currently, will help offset some of the revenue loss it will suffer if it trims the bulk cargo handling business.
According to the Chairman, MbPT, Ravi Parmar, the trust will contribute Rs. 700cr to the project and will also provide land for the terminal, while the remaining portion of the project cost will be funded by the company with which MbPT decides to join hands. The plan is to connect the terminal to the national pipeline grid so that the natural gas can be transported all the way up to Panipat in Haryana. Score of players in the field including Reliance Industries (RIL), Gail (India) and Swan Energy are keen to build the terminal for which the RFQ will be on the company's website for 45 days, after which bidders will be shortlisted and asked to submit financial bids and the trust is keen to award the project before the end of the current fiscal, he added.