As the Centre has been laying emphasis on the development of eastern states, Paradip Port in Odisha will be developed into a world-class modern port which will have the capability to handle capesize vessels at a cost of Rs 3,004.63 crore.

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways aims for robust investor confidence by underpinning a strong vision and leadership from long term strategic infrastructure plan including a pipeline of investable projects that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and practically deliverable.

One of those visionary initiatives is a capital intensive project at Paradip port which will transform the port into a world-class modern port which will have the capability to handle capsize vessel. The decision has been taken with a futuristic approach as Prime Minister has been laying emphasis on the development of eastern states, the official release by the ministry said.

The project involves deepening and optimization of inner harbour facilities including the development of the western dock on the build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode at Paradip Port. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 3,004.63 crore. This includes the development of the new Western Dock on a BOT basis and capital dredging by the selected concessionaire at a cost of Rs 2,040 crore and Rs 352.13 crore respectively, and Paradip Port’s investment will be to the tune of Rs 612.50 crore towards providing Common Supporting Project Infrastructure.

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal said the success of the project is a milestone toward Paradip Port becoming a Mega Port. He said this is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of the development of Eastern States. The minister said the project will enhance the Port’s ability to handle Cape Size vessels, will contribute to the Port’s capacity addition of 25 MMTPA and will result in improvement in the Port efficiency, better cargo handling, increased trade and also lead to socio-economic growth including employment generation.

The project will facilitate the decongestion of the port, reduce sea freight in making coal imports cheaper, and boost the industrial economy in the hinterland of the port leading to the creation of job opportunities. The port, after the project, can easily handle very large ships for which an 18-metre draft is required resulting in a reduction in logistics cost and will boost EXIM trade in the current global competitive environment.

Paradip Port Authority was commissioned in 1966 as a mono commodity port for the export of iron ore. In the last 54 years, the Port has transformed itself to handle a variety of EXIM cargo which include iron ore, chrome ore, aluminium ingots, coal, POL, fertilizer raw materials, limestone, clinker, finished steel products, containers, etc. Paradip Port Authority (Concessioning Authority) shall provide the common supporting project infrastructure works like breakwater extension & other ancillary works to facilitate handling cape size vessels by the selected BOT concessionaire with an ultimate capacity of 25 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) in two phases of 12.50 MTPA each. The concession period shall be 30 years from the date of award of concession.

It shall cater to the requirement of coal and limestone imports besides export of granulated slag & finished steel products considering the large number of steel plants established in the hinterland of Paradip Port, an official release read. (ANI)