BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is set to dedicate the Gopalpur Port to the nation on Thursday.
Strategically located between two major ports, Paradip in the north and Visakhapatnam in the south, Gopalpur will create strategic shift in cargo movement pattern on the east coast of the country.
The port will not only put Ganjam on the international maritime map but also be catalytic in spearheading the economic and inclusive development of the region. The port that commenced operation in March 2013 was shut down for over two years after it was severely hit by two tropical cyclones Phailin and Hudhud.
It then resumed operation in December 2015.
Expansion work of the port enhancing the capacity to 20 million tonne was undertaken with an investment of `2,000 crore after its management was taken over by diversified business conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji Group in 2017.
A port official said apart from generating revenue for the State, Gopalpur Port will create industrial hubs in the vicinity and provide direct and indirect employment opportunity for about 6500 people.
“The enhanced infrastructure will provide optimal productivity and prompt turnaround for large vessels and varied cargo. Shapoorji Pallonji Group has a vision to develop Gopalpur into a 55 million tonne port by 2025,” the official informed.
The fair-weather deep draft port has the ability to simultaneously handle multiple vessels and diverse cargo. It has rail evacuation infrastructure and is connected to the National Highway-16 through NH-516.
The new berths have been designed to handle bulk commodities including iron ore, coal, cement, steel and limestone.
The work for development of the port was originally awarded to Gopalpur Ports Limited, a consortium promoted by Odisha Stevedores Ltd, Sara International and Hong Kong-based Noble Group, in 2008. Later, both Sara and Noble Group withdrew from the consortium.