Environmental clearance delays PPP projects at V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust

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Environmental clearance delays PPP projects at V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust

According to sources, environmental clearance have been delayed for two expansion public private partnership (PPP) projects at V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust (VOC Port), formerly known as Tuticorin Port Trust, in Tamil Nadu, India.

To be more specific, the two projects obtained environmental clearance, but it was conditional. After that, Hyderabad-based Transstroy India, the concessionaire, declined from taking over the projects and requested an unconditional clearance. The matter is currently being revised by the Attorney General of India, who is the Indian government's chief legal advisor, and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.

The projects affected are the North Cargo Berth-3 and North Cargo Berth-4. The two projects has a total capacity of 9.15 million tonnes per year.

  • North Cargo Berth-3. The project involves the development of a new berth to handle coal and rock phosphate. The total project investment is estimated at Rs.4.2 billion (US$63.2 million).
  • North Cargo Berth-4. The project involves the development of a new berth to handle coal and copper concentrate. The total project investment is estimated at Rs.3.55 billion (US$53.4 million).

VOC Port Trust is one of the 12 major ports in India. It was declared to be a major port on 11 July 1974. It is second-largest port in Tamil Nadu and fourth-largest container terminal in India.

VOC Port Trust has at the moment at least six PPP projects under different stages of development, of them only the container terminal operated by a joint venture of PSA International and Sical Logistics, awarded in 1998, is in operation.

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