Port Bids

Oct 17, 2007 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Wednesday dismissed conflicting claims by rival bidders for a new terminal contract, saying they were inaccurate as bids were still being evaluated. “No one can claim to be the highest bidder,” said Nalin Aponso, deputy chief manager for communication and PR at the SLPA. “We can only say that we’re not in a position to say who is the highest bidder until the final financial evaluation is completed.”

Four financial bids for the first container terminal in the planned new deep water container port west of the existing Colombo Port were opened the week before last.

Aponso said evaluation could take another three weeks.

The SLPA would have to see which bidder offers the highest annual guaranteed income over a 35 year period.

Aponso’s comments came in the wake of rival claims by Sri Lankan conglomerate Aitken Spence, which has bid in partnership with PSA Corp. which runs the port of Singapore, and independent bidder Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH).

HPH and PSA Corp are two of the world’s biggest port operators and Aponso said the race to win the terminal contract was between the two as other bids were too low.

Aitken Spence cl