Dhamra Port's ownership right now under status quo: L&T
Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro's Chairman A M Naik today ruled out any immediate stake sale in Dhamra Port Company and said the ownership "is right now under status quo". Dhamra port was built in Bhadrak district in Odisha in a 50:50 joint venture between L&T and Tata Steel. "No, it (port ownership) is right now under 'status quo'. We and the Tatas are running it," Naik told reporters after meeting Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here. When asked whether L&T is selling its stake in Dhamra Port to the Adani Group, Naik said: "Ask Adani. There has been no interaction with the Adani Group, not at least at my level." Naik also asserted that Dhamra Port is not a non-core asset for the company. "I don't say it is non-core. It is a question of who can do better. Non-core means there are many port developers who can expand the port very fast compared to us."
Dhamra port operates two berths with capacity to handle 25 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), could handle only 15 mtpa. The less handling of cargo was due to state government putting restriction on the export of iron ore from Odisha.
This has probably discouraged L&T which was in search of a suitable company to sale its equity. About his discussion with the state government, Naik said he took up different projects like L&T's proposed alumina project, power project and others. Naik, however, skirted a question on whether the company would provide raw material to Vedanta's refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district from its bauxite mines. L&T already have prospecting license over a bauxite reserve in the state. However, the company was trying to get mining lease (ML) in order to make it operational. This apart, Naik said L & T has proposal to set up a power plant in the state. "If our proposals are implemented, we will invest about Rs 20,000 crore in the state," he said.