Adani highest bidder for West Bengal’s Tajpur deep-sea port

Adani proves that he is party agnostic, bags port order from the West Bengal government

Adani proves that he is party agnostic, bags port order from the West Bengal government
Adani proves that he is party agnostic, bags port order from the West Bengal government

Gautam Adani proves that he is an expert in dealing with all governments

Gautam Adani-led Adani Group, which is often accused by the Opposition as Prime Minister Modi’s most favored industrialist, bags Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government’s Tajpur deep-sea port contract. Incidentally, Adani got Kerala’s Vizhinjam port contract when the State was under Congress regime (actually Adani Group was the single bidder). Now whenever he visits Kerala, Gautam Adani visits the current ruling party CPI(M)’s office also.

India’s largest private port operator Adani Ports and SEZ (APSEZ) Ltd has emerged as the highest bidder for the West Bengal Government’s greenfield deep-sea port project at Tajpur in a neck-to-neck fight with JSW Group. APSEZ and Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group were the only two entities that took part in the financial bid round, though there were more port and logistics majors who had expressed initial interest in the estimated Rs.7,000 crore project in the Purba Medinipur district.

“APSEZ is the highest bidder, offering a share of 0.25 percent of gross revenue. It was marginally higher than the second bidder who offered 0.23 percent,” a senior West Bengal government official said, without wanting to be named. (why fear in naming?) The revenue share will increase to 4 percent, but that will be at a much later date of the concession period, which is 99 years, he said.

The price bid for the tender, floated by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), was opened on Wednesday in the presence of the bidders — APSEZ and JSW Infrastructure Ltd, the official said. West Bengal government expects that the first phase of the project will be completed in three-four years, and it will be operational, the official said.

Adani Group did not bid for the privatization of Kolkata Port’s Kiddherpore dock but is the highest bidder for modernization of Berth 2 of Haldia dock. In less than two decades, APSEZ has built, acquired, and developed a portfolio of ports infrastructure and services across India. Its 13 ports and terminals represent 24 percent of the country’s port capacity.

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in December last year to discuss investment possibilities in the state. In February, his son Karan also visited the state and met Banerjee. The group company Adani Wilmar recently acquired a rice mill in Burdwan. The group also has acquired gas distribution licenses in certain parts of West Bengal in partnership with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

So in nutshell, Gautam Adani is an expert in dealing with all governments, though he was accused by Opposition parties as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favorite industrialist.

[with PTI inputs]

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