Pointing out that India is not even among the top 20 countries in terms of maritime profile, chairman-in-charge of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) N N Kumar says the PPP model will help achieve ambitious targets for the port sector, such as a capacity only 10 other ports across the world can boast.
P VAIDYANATHAN IYER: How did JNPT decide to opt for PPP model?
Our total coastline is 7,500 km, so we are among the top five coastal countries. But if you see the maritime profile of India, we are not even among the top 20 (countries). JNPT is the biggest container port in the country and throughput is 4.2 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). Recently, the Centre drafted a new maritime agenda wherein combined port capacity of both major and non-major ports has been pegged at 32,000 metric tonnes as against 984 metric tonnes as of March 2013. JNPT is similarly working at 120 per cent capacity as against an installed capacity of 3.8 million. We thus decided to enter public-private-partnership (PPP) mode to add capacity. Our fourth container terminal project will increase capacity to 10 million TEUs.
P VAIDYANATHAN IYER: When is the procedure for the fourth container terminal expected to close?
There has been a delay from the past seven years owing to various issues. Now, the request for quotation (RFQ) has been issued. Nine parties have come forward. After that, I have to go for security clearance as well as the triple PSE for approval of the RFQ, so the process will take time. Our target is December-end or January 2014. I am hopeful that this time we will be able to allot it.
P VAIDYANATHAN IYER: What exactly is the change in the RFQ?
In the earlier RFQ, a liquid jetty, which is jointly being developed by us, BPCL and IOC, was a hindrance. The selected vendor had to create an equal matching facility, keeping the liquid jetty in mind. We have asked Central Water Power Research Station, which does the modeling for the terminals, if we could dredge 100 or 200 metres ahead to address this problem and make the project simpler. Secondly, the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) was a major issue as it didn’t allow a level playing field. Non-major ports did not have any tariffs compared to major ports in government sector. With the new guidelines on TAMP, the vendor now knows he can