India - port projects given the go ahead

The government has approved three port projects to be built using PPP despite ongoing procurement issues in the sector.

Procurement for the three projects, worth around Rs 7,700 Crore (US$166m), is expected take just six months with contract award scheduled for March next year. One of the projects, for a fourth container terminal at the Jawaharlal Nehru port in Navi Mumbai, will become the largest facility of its kind in the country.

The remaining projects will be for additional port facilities at the Jawaharlal Nehru port and extra facilities for a port in Visakhapatnam.

A shipping ministry official told local media that the government is "confident that all legal issues will be sorted out and all three projects approved … will be awarded by March 2010".

The government is currently debating new regulatory proposals to improve competition in the sector, including preventing firms from bidding on more than one project at a particular port.