India-based Paradip Port Trust has sought early bids from private companies to construct a 25mt capacity dry bulk cargo terminal at an estimated cost of $326m.

The terminal will handle all dry bulk, break-bulk cargo, along with imports and exports.

Companies expected to participate in the bidding process are Tata Steel, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and Essar Ports.

Potential bidders will be required to submit all the required documents by 18 February.

The winning company will be responsible for the development, operation, and maintenance of the terminal for 30 years.

According to the documents, the terminal operator will undertake the task of extending the Western Dock basin and the navigation channel up to the berths, including the turning circle for the handling of Cape size ships.

The terminal construction will take place in two phases of 12.5mt capacity each.

The construction period for Phase 1 will commence from the date the concession has been awarded while continuing for 36 months. Phase 2 will start from the date Phase 1 begins commercial operations. The construction work for Phase 2 will be completed in two years.

While inviting price bids, the trust will fix the minimum royalty per metric tonne. The bidder who quotes the highest royalty per metric tonne above the reserved royalty will secure the project.

For Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project, the winning operator will also manage a minimum guaranteed cargo (MGC) of 8.75 mt and 17.5 mt respectively.

Furthermore, on failing to fulfil the annual MGC, the operator will also be required to pay the contractually mandated royalty amount for the MGC, in addition to the damages.

A Paradip Port Trust official said: “It’s a very important project because we need capacity addition. We have deferred the outer harbour project because that hasn’t got much traction.”

Currently, Paradip Port Trust has four private terminals, a coal import terminal with a 10mt capacity, a 10mt capacity iron ore export terminal, a 30mt capacity mechanised facility, and a 5mt capacity multi-purpose berth.