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Mormugao Port Trust scraps contract awarded to Vedanta

Tuesday, 14 Jul 2020
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The state-owned Mormugao Port Trust has scrapped a contract awarded to a unit of miner Vedanta in 2016 for redeveloping and running three cargo berths due to delay in getting environmental clearance (EC) and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance for the project.

A strong public opposition to Mormugao Port Trust’s plan to shift the petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) cargo handled at berth number 8 that was to be handed over to Goa Sea Port as part of the contract to Vasco Bay, also led to the collapse of the project.

On 22 September 2016, Goa Sesa Port, a unit of Sterlite Ports, signed a concession agreement with the Mormugao Port Trust for redevelopment and operation of berth numbers 8, 9 and 9A (comprising five barge berths) on a 30-year contract after it emerged successful bidder in a public auction.

The redeveloped berths were planned to accommodate capesize ships for handling iron ore, coal, limestone, bauxite and other general cargo with a capacity of 19.22 million tpa.

The appraisal process for environment and CRZ clearances was initiated in February 2016 which was then dragged for a very long time.

The environment and CRZ clearances for the project were finally accorded in February 202. But by that time the port trust had decided to scrap the Goa Sesa deal on viability concerns.

The cancellation of the contract did not entail any financial loss to either parties because the port trust did not fulfil its obligation on securing environment clearance while Goa Sesa did not achieve financial closure for the project.

The port trust is now re-modelling the project with only berth number 9 and three barge berths, which will be redeveloped by a private firm as general cargo berths. It will continue to run berth number 8 (POL Berth) which has become attractive to the port as Goa’s fuel supplies are fully shipped through this facility.

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