New Delhi: The Government’s plans for a stake sale in Ennore Port Ltd has been put on the backburner as the Ministry of Shipping is of the view that the proposal is “unviable” at the moment.
“We have asked the Department of Disinvestment to wait for two years, let the projects at the port take off, then it (disinvestment) would be a viable option,” a Shipping Ministry official told PTI.
Rail connectivity and container terminal projects at the Ennore Port are underway and are likely to be completed in about two years. These projects have been taken up on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
The Ennore Port was originally conceived to handle thermal coal to meet the requirement of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). The scope was expanded later, taking into account subsequent developments such as the Tamil Nadu Government plans to set up a power project.
Earlier this year, the Minister of Shipping, Mr G.K. Vasan, had said the Government was looking at divesting a part of its stake in Ennore Port Ltd.
Currently, there are 12 major and 176 minor ports in the country. The 12 existing major ports are Mumbai, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Kolkata (with Haldia), Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Paradip, New Mangalore, Marmagao, Ennore, Tuticorin and Kandla. Meanwhile, the Ministry plans to award 24 port expansion and capacity creation projects in the current financial year (2011-12) at an estimated investment of over Rs 16,900 crore, leading to additional capacity creation of 232.43 million tonnes.
Out of the 24 projects, 12 are new projects, while the rest are carry-forward projects from the last two years.