P Manoj Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), Bollore Africa Logistics and International Cargo Terminals and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd are among six entities that have filed initial bids to develop the western side berths of Khidderpore Dock (KPD) at Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust (SPMPT) for handling containers and other cargo in public private partnership (PPP) mode.

Bothra Shipping Services Pvt Ltd, IRC Natural Resources Pvt Ltd and Century Plyboards India Ltd have also applied on the tender floated by SPMPT, earlier known as Kolkata Port Trust, government sources said.

West Bengal is the only coastal State where APSEZ doesn’t have a presence. Bollore Africa Logistics, a unit of Paris Stock Exchange-listed Bollore Group, partly owns and runs a container terminal at VO Chidambaranar Port Trust in Thoothukodi district of Tamil Nadu.

KPD is the older of the two docks at SPMPT with 17 multi-purpose berths and one berth for passenger-cum-cargo vessels, split into two parts of ten and eight berths, respectively.

The relatively new Netaji Subhas Dock (NSD) has a heavy lift berth, 10 berths including four dedicated container berths, one liquid cargo berth and four multi-purpose berths.

Currently, most of the traffic is handled at NSD (all the container traffic at Kolkata) and the minimum traffic is handled at KPD. To unlock the full potential of KPD, the port authority has initiated a project for the ‘Rejuvenation of KPD’, to be implemented in PPP mode.

The tender is to undertake the development and operation/maintenance of the western side berths of KPD I in two phases — berths 2, 4 and 6 in Phase I and berths 8,10,12 in Phase II, for handling containers and other cargo (pulses, fertilizer/limestone) on a concession period of 30 years.

Two phases

Phase 1 of the project will have a capacity to handle 1.65 lakh twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and 3 lakh tonnes of pulses involving an investment of ₹95.66 crore. Phase 2 will add 1.65 lakh TEUs and 3.5 lakh tonnes of fertiliser/limestone handling capacity with an investment of ₹86.15 crore.

The project will be decided on the basis of the highest aggregate royalty quoted by the bidder comprising royalty per TEU and royalty per tonne of other cargo. The successful operator will be entitled to levy a pre-determined user fee from users of the project.

The Tariff Authority for Major Ports has approved the reference rate for the project on an application filed by SPMPT.