Eight companies have submitted applications for the Rs 12,132-crore (Rs 121.32 billion) Hyderabad Metro Rail Project which will be executed on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis in public-private partnership.
The new concessionaire will be appointed by the end of April and the groundwork for the project is expected to begin in October.
According to Andhra Pradesh Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, the applications have come from L&T; Lanco and OHL of Spain; Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group; Essar in consortium with Leighton of Australia, Gayatri and VNR; GVK and Samsung; GMR; a consortium of Transstroy and OJSC of Russia, CR 189 of China and state-owned BEML; and Soma with Strabag of Austria.
This is the second time that the Andhra Pradesh government has called bids for the 71.16-km route on three corridors. Maytas Infra, a company that was earlier promoted by the family of Satyam Computer Services founder B Ramalinga Raju, had won the bid in 2008 but could not achieve financial closure by the deadline of March 2009.
The state government thus cancelled the award and called for fresh bids. The government forfeited the security of Rs 60 crore (Rs 600 million) and another Rs 11 crore (Rs 110 million) that Maytas Infra had paid.
However, the fresh bid process has been marred by several delays including the agitations in the state for separate Telangana. The last date for the submission of pre-qualification applications was extended many a time.
According to the request for qualification, the companies or the consortia to be pre-qualified to compete for the project should have a net worth of Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion), and should have carried our projects or contracts worth Rs 18,000 crore (Rs 180 billion) in the last ten years.
In case of a consortium, the technical and financial credentials of only those companies which invest a minimum of 26 per cent of the equity and five per cent of the total project cost (Rs 670 crore (RS 6.7 billion)) will be considered.
Four consultants will aid the government at various stages - Fortress (evaluation), Barsyl (technical), Deloitte (financial) and Luthra and Luthra (legal aspects) - the minister said, adding that the bidders would be shortlisted by January 28 and the financial bids will be opened on April 9.
Maytas Infra in 2008 had stunned everybody when it offered to pay money to the government for the project, instead of asking it for viability gap funding. Up to 40 per cent of the cost, or Rs 4,853 crore (Rs 48.53 billion), could be given as a viability gap funding by the central and state governments together. The central government has sanctioned Rs 2,363 crore (Rs 23.63 billion) as its share for the project.