Port Wings News Network:
Signaling the arrival in Chennai’s EXIM trade map, Adani Group, headed by Mr Gautam Adani, has taken over the Kattupalli International Container Terminal (KICT), promoted by engineering major Larsen & Toubro at Kattupalli Port in Tamil Nadu.
According to highly placed sources, a team from Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) taken over the day-to-day management of KICT under “Operations and Maintenance” concept with effect from Oct 01 from L&T team at the port.
According to a BSE filing on Oct 1, Adani Ports (Adani) announced that it has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with L&T Shipbuilding (L&T) for evaluating the operations of the Port at Kattupalli, Tamil Nadu, with effect from October 2015 for one month.
It’s worth mentioning here that Port Wings in July had published the news of possible taking over of KICT management from L&T in next few months.
According to details available, Mr G J Rao, Director at Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd is most likely to be appointed as head of KICT.
It may be noted that Mr G J Rao had held top positions in Union-Govt’s major ports like, Chennai, Tuticorin and Paradip before joining the Adani Group.
Furthermore, sources added that the existing L&T Ports staff are most likely to be retained in their same positions until the new set up comes in place in coming weeks.
Eventhough rumours were flying thick for last six months, the news of Adani’s possible taking over of Kattupalli Terminal gained ground only in July when the officials of Adani Group and L&T had jointly organized a reefer trade meet in Chennai and sought the trade’s “support.”
STAKEHOLDERS OF KATTUPALLI PORT:
Kattupalli Port is promoted by L&T Ports, a division of L&T Shipbuilding Limited, a joint venture company formed by Larsen & Toubro Limited and Government of Tamil Nadu’s trade arm Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited (TIDCO). While the L&T holds 97 % in the shipyard cum port complex project, Tamil Nadu Government (through TIDCO) holds 3 % share.
MUNDRA OF EAST COAST:
For Adani Group, which wants to strengthen its presence in the East Coast, the taking over of L&T’s container terminal, located within a few kilometers distance from its own project, a container terminal (now in construction phase) at Kamarajar Port (erstwhile Ennore Port), could help to secure calling of vessels (mainline, feeder and coastal) from the day one of its operation.
According to sources, Adani Group, with KICT in its kitty, could project both the terminals as a largest hub for containers in East Coast. Sources say that Adani Group plans to project both the terminals as “Mundra of East Coast.”
It may be noted that Adani Group recently got the Vizhinjam port project in Kerala and in 2014, Adani acquired Dhamra Port in Odisha from Tata Steel and L&T for an estimated Rs 5,500 crore.