BERHAMPUR: The renovated Gopalpur Port will be inaugurated on Saturday. The port was damaged during cyclone Phailin and had remained closed since then.
Director of the port Manmohan Maharana said Commerce Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Higher Education Minister Pradeep Panigrahy and other senior BJD leaders will be attending the commissioning ceremony. A cargo vessel MV SHGRES of Sri Lanka has already anchored to enter the port.
Though renovation work was completed and the port was scheduled to be opened by November end, it was postponed.
Maharana said earlier vessels used to anchor 2 km away from the port and loading and unloading of cargo was done through barges, but now the ships can reach the berths directly.
A 275 metre berth has been reconstructed to load and unload cargo and the 1,730-metre brake wall has also been repaired.
While the vessel from Sri Lanka will export minerals produced by Indian Rare Earths Limits, two other ships will also be lined up for berthing by Saturday. While one ship will export salt produced by Jayashree Chemicals, another would import fertilisers.
Apart from the existing eight godowns with a capacity to accommodate 20,000 MTs of cargo, some additional godowns have been constructed to store 12,000 MT of cargo. The fertiliser bagging plant on the port premises has also been completed.