Gautam Adani loses his cool in Mundra meeting

Vol 22, PW 12 (04 Apr 19) People & Policy

Gautam Adani doesn't usually lose his temper.

So for the normally mild-mannered billionaire friend of Narendra Modi to start shouting at government umpire and ex-PNGRB chairman Labanyendu Mansingh reflects extreme frustration he must be feeling with the excruciatingly slow progress at the Mundra LNG terminal, which Adani (25%) shares with GSPC (50%). When contacted on March 28, Mansingh pointedly refused to comment on reports that Adani publicly rebuked him during a meeting in early February.

"No conclusion was reached at the meeting," Mansingh tells us, irritated by the question. Nor could Mansingh tell us when the 5m t/y terminal will finally be commissioned.

Witnesses tell this report Adani shouted so loudly his voice carried into the lobby. Several senior state officials, among them GSPC chairman JN Singh and joint managing director T Natarajan, were present as irate Adani held forth - furious at GSPC's refusal to compensate Adani for money spent on port development, including dredging costs of Rs1200cr ($132m), yearly fees payable to the Gujarat Maritime Board and a yearly Rs65cr ($9m) lease for land used by the LNG terminal within Adani-controlled Mundra Port.

If that wasn't enough, Adani was also angry at GSPC's insistence on transferring the long-term sub-concession agreement for use of the waterfront to the GSPC-Adani joint venture GSPC LNG Ltd. Mansingh was parachuted in by the Gujarat government to mediate between the warring Mundra partners in September (2018).

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