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Gujarat govt terminates Sterling Port’s contract for berth facilities at Dahej port

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2019
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Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani has terminated the permission granted to the Sandesaras-promoted Sterling Port for developing all-weather berthing facilities at Dahej port in South Gujarat.

 

The state government has also asked the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) to recover dues from Sterling Port which owes Rs 80 crore to GMB. Sterling Port and its investors were granted six months time to realise the contract but nothing moved. A committee was formed, which decided to appoint Andhra Bank as the licensor.

The committee recommended termination of the contract signed by the state government, the GMB and Sterling Port and invocation of the guarantee provided by the company. The committee recommended that the state government reclaim 84.95 ha land allotted to Sterling Port for the project. In December 2008, the Sterling Group was selected for Dahej Port development.

The letter of intent (LoI) for the same was awarded to the company in January 2009. Later, in June 2010, GMB allocated 84.95 ha of land on lease to the company and granted permission for land development. GMB granted the permission to develop the port in March 2011.

Sterling Biotech and its consortium members jointly floated a company, Sterling Port, to construct the port. Moreover, a concession agreement with GMB was signed in June 2014 for the project. As per the agreement, the company was supposed to make an investment to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore for development of the project. It was decided to submit Rs five crore or 1.5 percent of the total project cost as performance guarantee with GMB.

However, there was no progress on the project after signing of the letter of intent and the concession agreement. Also, the company failed to deposit Rs 37.5 crore bank guarantee with GMB and also to pay the lease rent for the land.

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