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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

GPL to float IPO to raise Rs 1200cr

Gopalpur Port, GPL said it would float an IPO to garner around Rs 1200 crore from the markets for developing the port on Built Operate Owned Share and Transfer, BOOST basis in Orissa's Ganjam district, reports The Economic Times.

"Out of a total outlay of Rs 1800 crore for the project, we would go for IPO to raise Rs 1,200 crore from the market this year and the remaining money would be our equity," chairman of GPL D P Singh told media.

GPL is a Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV formed by a consortium of three companies- Sara International, Orissa Stevedores and Hong Kong-based Noble, to develop the Gopalpur Port.

Singh said the consortium had signed an agreement with the Navin Pattnaik government on September 16, 2006, on developing the port, which mandated them to develop it within 12 months. "However, we have more than matched the deadline and are slated to begin the first phase of the port operations on January 15, for which we have already spent Rs 150 crores," he said.

He said the SPV is in talks with IFCL and banks to raise money through hedge funds. The consortia were also in talks with the Corporation Bank and the Punjab National Bank for the purpose, Singh pointed out. The consortia were also exploring the possibility of ensuring a Special Economic Zone status for the project, for which they have acquired 629 acres of land.

"We are seriously thinking of ensuring a SEZ status for the project so that it could be developed in a big way and would shortly approach the Orissa government for this purpose," the SPV Chairman said. Singh said the consortia have received project proposals for setting up coal-fired power plants with an envisaged capacity of around 3,000 Megawatts.

Without naming the utilities he said, GPL has assured them of constructing a dedicated jetty for them to enable unhindered import of thermal-grade coal for their plants. "We are due to construct six jetties in the port and would construct one for the power utilities, as they wish us to do so," he said.

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