AHMEDBAD : Decks have been cleared for Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) to formally acquire Kattupalli Port near Chennai from L&T Shipbuilding Ltd (LTSB) after a Government agency cleared the bifurcation of the environment and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances granted to the shipyard-cum-port complex.
On October 13, the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), functioning under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, approved an application filed by LTSB to amend the green clearance — issued earlier to LTSB — and to split it between LTSB and Marine Infrastructure Developer Pvt Ltd (MIDPL), a separate company formed by LTSB to vest the port business at Kattupalli, an official briefed on the EAC decision said.
This was the last of the statutory and regulatory clearances required to formalise the deal which was first announced in November 2015. Pending approvals, APSEZ has started running the de-merged Kattupalli Port as an “official operator”.
Formalities for the acquisition of Kattupalli Port, is in the final stages. APSEZ has paid Rs. 1,450 crore till March 2017 for the acquisition which will be completed soon, according to the company. The firm achieved over 500 per cent growth as the official operator of Kattupalli, with container volumes rising from 7,900 TEUs a month in November 2015 (when the deal was announced) to over 35,000 TEUs per month in FY17.
APSEZ plans to transform Kattupalli into a multi-commodity port with a capacity to handle 24.65 million tonnes (mt) of cargo including 1.8 million TEUs, 149,899 automobiles, 0.44 mt of project cargo, 1.82 mt of break bulk/general cargo and 0.57 mt of edible oil, base oil, lube oil and non-hazardous liquid cargo.