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[box_info] Odisha plans to build a new riverine port near Paradeep – Odisha [/box_info]

The Odisha government has drawn up a plan to set up the first of its kind riverine port in the state on the public private partnership (PPP) mode.paradip-port1

Though the exact location of the port is yet to be finalised, it is likely to come up at the Mahanadi river mouth near Paradeep close to the operational facilities of Essar Steel Odisha Ltd and Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (Iffco). The riverine port has been envisioned as a common user port for different industries. In the first phase, around Rs 500 crore will be invested on the proposed port.

“We will appoint a consultant for conducting a techno-economic feasibility study for the riverine port. The port project will be taken up through the bidding route and tenders are expected to be invited within six months. Both private players and major port trusts can participate in the bidding process”, said a top official source.

“The port’s cargo handling capacity and its draft can be known after the feasibility study”, the official added.

The riverine port in the state is modeled on a similar port built on the Tapti river mouth in Gujarat.

Recently, Paradeep Port Trust (PPT) had evinced interest in setting up a satellite port, identifying Bahuda Muhan near Gopalpur in south Odisha as a suitable location. PPT was open to developing the port through the joint venture (JV) route with the state government. PPT was looking to ramp up capacity to 250 million tonne by 2020 from 106 million tonne presently.

The state government had identified 14 locations for development of non-major port projects. Of these locations, a deep sea port planned at Barunei Muhan in Kendrapara district has been shelved owing to threat to mass nesting site of Olive Ridley turtles.

Only two non-major ports at Dhamra and Gopalpur have commenced operations. Dhamra port, an equal JV between L&T and the Tatas has already seen grounding of investment of Rs 3,600 crore in the first phase of its commercial operations that began in May 2011. The port is awaiting environment clearance and land allotment to start its second phase operations.

The port promoters had lined up Rs 10,000 crore for its second expansion plan that would upgrade capacity to 100 million tonne, from 25 million tonne currently.

Other locations identified for development of port projects include Jatadhari Muhan, Bichitrapur, Palur and Kirtania to name a few. (SRC :- Business Standard )