JNPT to raise Rs 26 billion loan for funding a road widening project at the port

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) is planning to raise a dollar-denominated loan of Rs 26 billion from either DBS Bank Limited or the State Bank of India (SBI) for funding a road widening project at the port. The doubling of the highway from the existing four lanes to eight lanes is estimated to cost around Rs 32 billion. The project will be executed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and will be funded entirely by JNPT. DBS Bank, in its proposal, offered to partially fund the project, while SBI would extend the full amount sought. However, there was a marginal difference in the interest rates offered by the two banks. The port trust asked SBI to match the rates quoted by DBS, for which SBI has given its approval. The port has not disclosed the rates offered by the two lenders. The request for proposal for extending commercial borrowings was issued by SBI Capital Market Limited (SBICAP) in October 2015. Meanwhile, JNPT is also planning to seek approval from the government to collect vessel-related charges in dollars during the loan repayment period in order to hedge against fluctuations in exchange rates.