Mumbai, Aug 25: India's biggest container port JNPT today said it will raise Rs 1,500 crore through a tax free bond issue this fiscal for undertaking dredging works. The money will fund the first phase of a Rs 5,500 crore dredging project to increase the draft of the Mumbai harbour's channel, a top official said.
“We can issue infra bonds of up to Rs 5,000 crore and we will be raising Rs 1,500 crore before March,” Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust's Chairman L Radhakrishnan told reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI conference here.
It will raise Rs 500 crore through 10 year bonds and the remaining Rs 1,000 crore through 15 year maturity bonds, he added.
JNPT is undertaking a two-phased project of dredging which will increase the draft of the channel to 17 metres from the present 11 metres.
The first phase will be completely funded through the bond issue while the JNPT is contemplating multiple options to fund the second phase of Rs 4,000 crore.
It has received five bids for the first phase, Radhakrishnan said, adding work is expected to start by November and the JNPT is aiming to complete it in two years.
The JNPT also plans to develop a Rs 4,000 crore special economic zone spread over 750 acres near the port situated on the east of downtown Mumbai, he said.
This is the first phase of the SEZ project, to be spread over 3000 acres once fully complete, and the JNPT is looking for multiple options to finance the investment, Radhakrishnan said.
It can be funded either through a bond issue, internal accruals or by adopting the public private partnership route, he said.
As part of the first phase of the project, which got commerce ministry nod last week, JNPT plans to house multiple products and will be specifically looking at creating infrastructure for processing industries for doing last minute value addition before the products are shipped, he said.
JNPT has hired IL&FS as a consultant for the project, Radhakrishnan said, adding it is targeting to finish the first phase in three years. PTI