The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SCI cannot be dumped at any price, says Goyal

Mumbai, Nov. 22 (PTI): Union shipping minister Vedprakash Goyal today said Shipping Corporation of India “cannot be dumped at any price” even as the government cleared the sale of 20 per cent stake held by SCI in Greenfield Shipping Company, an LNG joint venture with two foreign partners.

“SCI is a good and profit-making organisation and it cannot be dumped at any price,” Goyal told newspersons here at the sidelines of a seminar ‘Water For The Future’, jointly organised by CII and the Netherlands government.

Reacting to Great Eastern Shipping Company’s decision not to take up 51 per cent in SCI for the time being due leaving only Essar Shipping and Sterlite in the fray, the minister said, “If nobody comes, we are still in place. The organisation is not yet wound up and we will take steps to further improve its efficiency.”

On November 15, Goyal had said the government, which holds around 80 per cent equity in SCI, should sell its stake at the right time and the right price.

Referring to sale of stake in Greenfield to JV partners Mitsui O S K Lines and Oman government, who had made a joint proposal to buy the equity, he said, “The SCI board had unanimously approved the proposal to sell its stake and the Centre has cleared the same as there was no better alternative seen.”

Mitsui and Oman government, who hold 40 per cent each in the JV, would acquire the stake for $ 11 million, the amount invested so far by the Indian entity. The rechristened 1,37,000 cubic metre LNG Lakshmi was to initially transport LNG from Oman to Dabhol for the Enron-promoted power project.

Following problems faced by the project, Atlantic Commercial Inc, an Enron affiliate, sold its 20 per cent stake to the Oman government, which also bought the same quantum from Mitsui.

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