Expanded Gopalpur Port on driver role for east coast

Currently, berth length has been expanded from 225 metre to 800 metre while depth has been increased from 12.5 metre to 15 metre to accommodate big vessels.

Published: 01st March 2019 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2019 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

GOPALPUR: With the commissioning of two berths on Thursday and more in the pipeline, Gopalpur Port has assumed a new driver role along eastern coast of India. The new additions push the overall port capacity of Odisha to over 300 million tonne per annum.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated the two berths and said Gopalpur Port will bring in a strategic shift in cargo movement and play a crucial role in economic development of Odisha.“With a cargo handling capacity of 20 million tonne per annum, the port will boost maritime trade and commerce. The port will provide significant economic benefits to the southern districts of the State and generate employment for over 8,800 people,” Naveen said at the formal inauguration ceremony.

Under the management control of Shapoorji Pallonji Group since 2017, the expansion carried out with an investment of `2000 crore has met increasing cargo traffic moved by major industries.Managing Director of Shapoorji Pallonji Port Amit Saboo said the capacity of Gopalpur Port has been enhanced from 2.5 million tonne to 20 million tonne in this phase which is significant.Strategically positioned between Paradip and Vizag ports, Gopalpur Port has advantage for imports as well as coastal transportation of cargo on the eastern seaboard.

“We have a vision of expanding its overall capacity to 55 million tonne by 2025. Shapoorji Pallonji Groups’ port business will now operate on both sides of the Indian coasts providing strategic logistical advantages to its customers,” he added. The next phase of proposed capacity expansion would be taken up with an additional investment of around `3,000 crore.

Currently, berth length has been expanded from 225 metre to 800 metre while depth has been increased from 12.5 metre to 15 metre to accommodate big vessels. While the depth is a natural positive for the port, it has employed services of International Seaport Dredging Ltd for dredging work as part of the expansion.

After the damage caused by tropical cyclones in the past years, the breakwaters have been reinforced and expanded to guard against extreme weather events. A stock yard of 66,000 sq metre has been developed and three harbour mobile cranes installed for handling gearless vessels and enhancing loading and unloading capacity.

With the existing infrastructure, railway, power supply, internal roads and boundary wall are being developed as the region looks to be developed as a township.“The current expansion will contribute significantly towards economic development of Odisha in general and Ganjam district in particular,” said CEO of Gopalpur Ports Captain Sandeep Agarwal.

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