February -25-The Indian arm of a major global private equity operation has made a significant investment in one of India's first private sector ports.


3i India Infrastructure Fund, part of the global private equity firm 3i Group, has invested around USD161 million for a minority stake in Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd (KPCL).
KPCL has been awarded a 30-year concession, extendable to 50 years, to develop, operate and maintain Krishnapatnam port, a natural deep water all-weather port with 12 km of quays in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The facility is the first of the Indian state-owned minor ports to be privatised.
While predominately a dry bulk operation, managers are anticipating a two million tonne throughput of general and project cargo for the port.
Anil Ahuja, head of Asia at 3i, said: "Krishnapatnam Port provides us with an opportunity to invest in a high quality port being developed on the east coast of India. The port is strategically located and is being developed by a highly experienced management team."
The port is connected to the National Highway 5 through a dedicated 25 km road and a single railway line connecting the Chennai-Howrah broad gauge line near Venkatachalam.