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A consortium of private equity firm Eredene Capital Plc has won the bid to build and operate the £207 million ($312 million or Rs 14,336 crore) Container Terminal at Ennore Port in Tamil Nadu. Ennore Port is one of the 13 major ports in one of the world's fastest growing economies. The consortium with Eredene includes Spanish port operators Grup Marítim TCB SL, international construction group Obrascón Huarte Lain SA, and India's Lanco Infratech Ltd.

Eredene Capital is a London-based Alternative Investment Market (AIM)-listed fund which invests in Indian infrastructure. Eredene has a 22% stake in the consortium and its equity commitment to this project stands at £23 million ($34.6 million or Rs 160 crore). This   commitment will initially be funded through existing cash reserves and then through the raising of additional capital into Eredene, said the firm in a statement. The payments are expected to be spread over a 48- month period.

Work on the new Ennore Container Terminal is scheduled to take 33 months and it is expected to be operational by the end of 2013. The concession will be awarded on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis for a period of 30 years.  The terminal will have a quay length of 1,000 metres and an estimated throughput of 1.5 million TEUs annually. The terminal will provide 15-metre water depth at the berths and will be able to handle three container vessels of up to 8,000 TEUs simultaneously.

Eredene, founded in 2005, raised $110 million in early 2006 of which it has committed around $100 million across nine projects in India. Eredene till now has essentially been a ports investor with a portfolio comprising three container freight stations, an inland     container depot, a large scale warehousing and distribution operation, two logistics parks and, an IT office complex.

Eredene is expecting first close of its $300-million private fund by the end of this year, VCCircle reported earlier this month.

Besides Ennore, Eredene has also been shortlisted for two other port projects in India. One is the New Mangalore Port Container Terminal where Eredene consortium includes TCB and Mumbai Port Indira Docks Project where its consortium includes Conti 7 and Master Group.

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