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Ennore port to raise Rs 1000 cr through tax-free bonds
February, 29th 2012

Ennore Port Ltd, countrys first corporate port, is planning to raise around Rs 1,000 crore through tax-free bonds to support its expansion and infrastructure development.

S Velumani, chairman and managing director, Ennore Port, said, we had approached the shipping ministry to raise the money through tax-free bonds and it, in turn, had asked the finance ministrys nod and the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

On the initial public offering plan, he said, for now we will stick to tax-free bonds. IPO will be considered after the mega container terminal goes on stream, which will give better valuation for the port. Thus, it would looking at going public by 2014.
The port had earlier planned to dilute 10 per cent to raise Rs 400-500 crore, but this was delayed citing poor market condition. The proposed fund would support various infrastructure projects to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore, said Velumani. Earlier the shipping ministry officials said this in turn would bring in Rs 6,500 crore. The port has lined up 14 projects worth Rs 6,466 crore. These include three dredging projects, seven terminals and four connectivity rail and road projects.

He said though major portion of the investment would come from private players, it had to invest in creating infrastructure like dredging and connectivity. The port in its master plan in 2008 had proposed marine liquid terminal I, coal terminal for non-TNEB coal, iron ore terminal, container terminal-Phase-1, LNG terminal, car export terminal, deepening the port to handle cape size vessels (150,000 DWT).

Again in 2010, it was decided to have additional coal berths, second and third container terminals, and a second marine liquid terminal. With this, it is envisaged that the port will be able to handle an annual traffic of 126 million tonnes and 200,000 cars.

Located 30 km from Chennai port, it was set up under the Companies Act keeping it outside the scope of the Tariff Authority for Major Ports, the tariff regulator for 11 of the 12 ports owned by the government. It was set up primarily to handle cargo such as iron ore and coal, when it started operations nine years ago.

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