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The Economic Times Newspaper - March 23rd, 2002

TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2002 2:12:11 AM ]

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has signed a build, own, operate,
share and transfer an agreement with a Mumbai based company for
developing a port at Rewas for around Rs 1,500 crore. The Maharashtra
Maritime Board signed an agreement with Mumbai-based Amma Lines, a
port-cum-terminal builder, to develop Rewas port.

Rewas was among the seven minor ports for which the state government
invited private investments in May 1996. Though Vadhwan Port attracted
an international port developer -— P&O Ports, a string of controversies
forced the project to be shelved. The minor ports, once developed, are
expected to decongest the major port at Nhava Sheva, and wean away the
dwindling cargo from Mumbai. According to ALL officials, the agreement
will have a concession period of 50 years and the port will be built in two
phases. The first phase will see five berths -- two bulk berths, two
container berths and one petrochemicals berth, and will be built in five
years. The second phase will see an LNG terminal at Rewas.

The port has already been approached by major shipping lines such as
Maersk and Evergreen. “We are in talks with international shipping
companies to lease out berths. The port will levy various port and
anchorage charges and pilotage fees, while lines will manage their berths
and stevedores,” says Hemanth Meka Rao, business development
manager. Wapcos India has studied the feasibility of the Rewas port. “The
country is presently handling only 300m tonnes, with the existing ports
working over-capacity. With the tonnage conservatively estimated to grow
to 1,300 mt by 2020, we need more ports to accommodate the quadrupling
traffic”, says Mr Rao.

The new BOOST agreement improves on the previous BOOT agreement,
giving the government a share in the development, said Vijay Papa Rao,
managing director of ALL. Primarily a port/terminal developer for the last
two decades, Amma Lines claims to have built several ports and jetties
around the country, such as the Ennore Port with Hindustan Construction.
They have also built several jetties for Elephanta Island, Vikram Ispat,
Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, Bombay Port Trust, BSES amongst
several others. “We have done extensive studies on Rewas and found the
depth to be ideal for bringing in new generation container vessels. With a
19 metre channel depth, and berth depth of 21 metres, the port will be able
to bring in the largest mother ships to its waters,” says Rao.
Managing Director, Dr. Paparao and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Vilasrao
Deshmukh share a laugh as Business Development Manager, Hemanth Meka Rao looks
on.

MD Dr. Paparao along with Captain Fernandes of ERS (Safmarine
group), Minister of State for Ports & Fisheries Shrimati Meenakshi
Patil, Minster of State for Home Shri Kripashankar Singh and Captain
Bhosle of Maers
MD Dr. Paparao accepting the B.O.O.S.T Concession Agreement for the Rewas-Aware Port from Chief Executive Officer,
Maharashtra Maritime Board, Mr. N. Ramarao