Singapore (Platts)--25 Apr 2017 307 am EDT/707 GMT
India is fast-tracking its plans to complete two new terminals at Iran's Chabahar port with the tendering process already underway, India's transport minister said Monday.
Under a memorandum signed by India and Iran last May, India is equipping and will operate two berths at Chabahar, investing $85.21 million upfront and $22.95 million annually under a 10-year lease.
Located in the Shahid Beheshti part of the port, one berth will be 640 meters length for container vessels and the other will be 600 meters for multipurpose vessels.
"The agreement for Chabahar port is finalized and a global port company formed. We are going for the tender process and work is moving very fast," India's Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said on the sidelines of an event in Singapore.
"Machinery related work has been done, construction is taking place, cranes have been deployed and we will try to make the terminals functional [as soon as possible]," he said.
Chabahar port, on Iran's southeastern coast in Sistan-Baluchistan province, is easily accessed by ports on India's west coast and gives India direct access to Iran without transiting Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The route will expedite movement of fertilizers and petrochemical intermediates from the Chabahar Free-trade Industrial Zone to India.
Last month, India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) invited qualifying bids for management, operations, and maintenance on container and multipurpose terminals at Chabahar.
The bids have already been opened and the pre-qualifiers will be announced by the end of this month. Once the pre-qualifiers are shortlisted, final bids will be invited.
The selected bidder will be responsible for management, operation and maintenance of the project for 10 years.
India set up IPGL in 2015 to make strategic investments in overseas ports. It is owned 60% by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and 40% by Kandla Port Trust.
--Sameer C. Mohindru, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Surabhi Sahu, email@example.com
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, firstname.lastname@example.org