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Hutchison runs into more sub-continent bidding woes

Hutchison runs into more sub-continent bidding woes

Colombo: Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH)'s is running into more woe on the sub-continent. Its bid to build and operate the new $1.2 billion container terminal at Sri Lanka's port of Colombo  is being contested by local conglomerate Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd which has reportedly filed a case against the Sri Lanka Port Authority, alleging that Hutchison is ineligible to bid because it has been subject to anti-competitive litigation involving its subsidiaries in Indonesian ports.
The bid calls for a three-berth terminal to handle around 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year.  Construction costs have been estimated at more than $500 million.
Current operator of the Queen Elizabeth Quay in Colombo port, John Keells Holdings PLC-South Asia Gateway Terminals (JKH-SAGT) has formed a partnership with Pembinan Ridzai Berhad, the owners of Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd to submit a bid.
Another consortium bid sees financial giants Hayleys Limited and holdings company Carson Cumberbatch & Company Limited linking up with French shipper CMA CGM Group's port arm Terminal Link.
Singapore's PSA International Pte. Ltd. also made a bid, partnering logistics conglomerate Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd.
The other two bids came from Hong Kong's Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) and Hanjin Shipping with its local agents Navigation Maritime.
The South Harbour project is the government's plan to revitalize the port of Colombo.  Government officials have directly linked Colombo port's performance with the country's economic growth.
18 months ago Hutchison was barred from bidding for India's port of Mumbai on 'national security' grounds.  [01/10/07]

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