BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is all set to to lay foundation stone for the much-awaited Subarnarekha port on Wednesday, a good 12 years after MoU for the project was signed.
The port was delayed due to objections from Ministry of Defence (MoD) though Subarnarekha Port Private Limited (SPPL) had obtained environmental clearance. Estimated to be built at a cost of around `5,000 crore, the port is expected to usher in development along the east coast of Balasore.
After a meeting with Tata Steel Managing Director TV Narendran and Transport Department officials on Tuesday, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said land and infrastructure related issues will be sorted out.
“The MoD cleared the project last year. Of 961.18 acre of land required for construction of the port, the State Government has already handed over 692.68 acre to the port developers. The rest will be handed over soon,” Padhi said and added that work will start after nearly 27 acre is transferred for access road.
The Subarnarekha mouth near Choumukh will be developed into a deep-draft all weather commercial port on Build, Own, Operate, Share and Transfer (BOOST) model. Chennai-based Creative Port Development Private Limited (CPDPL) had signed the MoU with State Government in 2006. Initially planned at Kirtania, the port was later shifted to Choumukh.
As per the original concession agreement, the port will have an initial capacity of 10 million tonne per annum (mtpa), which would be scaled up to 40 mtpa in 10 years. The port work is expected to pick up pace as Tata Steel has signed an agreement with CPDPL to acquire 51 per cent equity in the port project from original promoters.
Narendran said the port will be developed in next five years to become an important facility for Odisha, parts of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.
“Strategically, the Subarnarekha port would prove to be the best port for Jamshedpur steel mill. The Angul plant can be linked with Paradip port and Kalinganagar plant with Dhamra port,” he added.