Anil Ambani-led Reliance Energy Ltd-Hyundai consortium on Wednesday won the coveted bid to construct $1.5 billion (Rs 60 billion) Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL), scoring over his brother Mukesh Ambani.
The MTHL, the world's second longest bridge after the one linking Sweden and Denmark, will connect the island of Mumbai from Sewri to Nhava on the mainland in Navi Mumbai.
The MTHL is part of the Mumbai Makeover Project and is the first of its kind in Asia to ease the problems of traffic congestion afflicting the country's commercial capital.
The Mumbai island has an area of around 425 square km and is surrounded by water on all sides with no scope for further expansion for the approximate 14 million people living here.
The construction of the 22.5 km eight lane MTHL will start by December 2008. "The construction period for the project will be five years," said Maharashtra Public Works Minister Anil Deshmukh while awarding the contract to REL.
The bridge was the pet project of the late JRD Tata, who had chaired the committee for its implementation way back in 1981.
The two final bidders were Reliance Energy Ltd-Hyundai-Korea consortium led by Anil Ambani, and Mukesh Ambani-promoted Sea King Infrastructure Ltd (SKIL). Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) and John Laing Construction Co were also part of Mukesh Ambani-led consortium.
Earlier, six consortiums responded to the global tender floated by Maharashtra State Road Development Corp (MSRDC) and submitted pre-qualification bids.
Besides the two Ambani brothers, the four other consortiums were IFFCO-MAIDA-Japan-Italian-Thai Development Corp-SKANSA, Larsen and Toubro (L&T)-Sistema-Russia-Gammon, China Harbour Engineering Co and Dywidag-Shapoorji Pallonji Co Ltd-Affcons.
Out of these, three agencies that pre-qualified for the bids were L&T-led consortium and two by the Ambani brothers.
After the first phase of the Sewri-Nhava sea link, the second phase envisages a railway link with an outlay of $650 million (Rs 26 billion).