In maiden PPP, IWAI to hand over Kolkata terminals to SAPEL tomorrow

New Delhi, Oct 29 (PTI) In its maiden public private partnership, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will hand over operation and management of its terminals in Kolkata to Summit Alliance Port East Gateway (India), a move that is expected to tap the potential of Nepal-bound containerised cargo, the government said Monday.

"IWAI will make its foray into PPP tomorrow when it hands over the operation and management of its terminals in Kolkata to Summit Alliance Port East Gateway (India) Pvt Ltd (SAPEL) on a supply, operate and maintain (SOM) model," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.

The terminals will be handed over to SAPEL for equipping, operating and managing on a revenue sharing model. The operator will have the right to collect user fees from the users as per the tariff rates notified by IWAI. The contract will be valid for a period of 30 years.

"SAPEL was awarded the contract in August, 2017 under a revenue sharing arrangement of 61.70 per cent to itself and 38.30 per cent to IWAI through a global tendering process for this work for Garden Reach Terminal in Kolkata and Gaighat and Kalughat Terminal in Patna," the statement said.

It said the proposed project will facilitate a modal shift of up to 55 per cent of the potential cargo in the catchment area to IWT mode.

Existing potential of anchor cargo is of 56,000 TEUs during the base year and expected to grow to 250,000 TEUs over next 15 years. The current handling capacity of terminal is 1.6 MT which includes bulk and break - bulk cargo. The operator is expected to increase this capacity by three times in next five years.

"The development of both Kolkata and Patna terminals is being undertaken with a view to tap the huge potential of Nepal bound containerised cargo on NW-1. While the available cargo upstream (for Nepal) at present is 44,000 TEU, the cargo potential downstream stands at 12,000 TEU," the statement said.

The Kolkata terminals will also facilitate domestic bound and EXIM cargo for North Eastern Region and Bangladesh even as it will prove advantageous for shippers plying on the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route, the statemnt said.

Earlier this month, India and Bangladesh signed milestone agreements to deepen their maritime relationship. Kolaghat (West Bengal, India) and Chilmari (Bangladesh) were declared as new Ports of Call (PoC).

Besides this, an agreement for the use of Mongla and Chattogram port (Bangladesh) for transiting goods to and from India and passenger and cruise vessels from Kolkata to Dhaka and Guwahati through the protocol route were also agreed on.

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