Salim Group wants to build deep sea port in Bay of Bengal
The Salim group of Indonesia has submitted an Expression of Interest (EoI) to the Bengal government to build a deep sea port on the Bay of Bengal coast.
Thus, the first formal step towards developing what may be billed as the single most important piece of economic infrastructure in Bengal in the past few decades has been taken.
“The EoI has reached the state government a couple of weeks ago,” industry secretary Sabyasachi Sen revealed on Wednesday.
The Salims have stated their intention to build the deep sea port as delay in this crucial infrastructure can be fatal to the chemical hub, which the Salims have already pocketed in the role of anchor developer.
HT reported in the third week of March that the Bengal government had asked the Salims to submit an EoI.
On Wednesday Sen hastily added that the government is yet to take a decision on whether the project would be handed over to the Indonesian conglomerate.
After submitting the EoI, the Salims are now preparing a detailed report on the project. “However, we have no idea which consultant has been entrusted with the job. Neither do we know whether they are working with primary data or secondary,” said Sen.
The industry secretary estimates that if the group is working with secondary data, which means data obtained from other sources, it won’t take more than a month or two to come up with a detailed report.
However, if the Salims target primary data, it would require camping at probable locations and collect data for an extended period of time apart from a lot of number crunching.
The project, which would reqire draft to the tune of 14 meters, is crucial to the chemical hub since all the inputs including raw materials and output for exports would be channelised through this port.
The dependence on the port is so complete that it is not possible to market the chemical hub to potential investors without a deep sea port.
The project would call for an investment of Rs 7,000 crore. Other industrial groups like the Jindals and Videocon had also evinced interest in the project.
Almost all the big projects in Bengal would benefit, and some depend outright, on this mega infrastructure project.