No Bid

July 10, 2009 (LBO) – Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) said it did not bid for a container terminal concession at Sri Lanka’s Colombo port for a second time because elements of its original bid were put in the second request for proposals.

China is also financing a new port in Sri Lanka’s south in Hambantota. “..HPH wants to clarify that we declined to submit a bid after studying the contents of the revised Request for Proposal (RFP),” the Hong Kong-based company said in response to a query.

“Elements of our previous bid were incorporated into the new RFP, placing HPH at a competitive disadvantage.”

HPH, Port of Singapore Authority, along with top Sri Lankan conglomerates, Aitken Spence, John Keells and Hayleys bid for the terminal concession the first time round in 2007.

Sri Lanka Port Authority aborted the bid process last year and called for fresh proposals.

But in 2009, with a global shipping slump, there were few takers, though several big names took away bid documents.

Officials said Aitken Spence, together with China Merchants Holdings, a which operates ports in mainland China, were the sole bidders, when tenders closed this week.

China Merchant Holdings International is listed in Hong Kong.