Vizhinjam project: IFC to lend expertise
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has been signed on as the principal adviser to the proposed Vizhinjam International seaport, near Thiruvananthapuram. IFC will extend expertise to structure, market and implement the project and to attract serious investors through an open and competitive bidding process, according to a top IFC official.
The agreement envisages six milestones-based assignment to IFC to be completed in an 18-24-month period. The government will provide Rs80 lakh as fee to IFC, which will update the study report, support inviting tender, evaluate the bids and finally select the private partner for the mega port project. Land acquisition and preliminary work on the infrastructure facilities will be completed in 6-8 months. The new port is expected to become a national hub for container traffic.
The state government had earlier invited global tenders to build the port on a BOT (build, operate, transfer) basis, but failed to execute due to legal hurdles and withdrawal of Lanco from the bidding process. In October, the state government decided to associate with IFC to implement the project in public-private partnership.