BHUBANESWAR: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved projects worth Rs 3,004.63 crore for development of Paradip Port.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved deepening and optimisation of inner harbour facilities including development of western dock on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis under public private partnership (PPP) mode to handle cape size vessels at Paradip Port.
The project includes development of the new western dock on BOT basis and capital dredging by the selected concessionaire at a cost of Rs 2,040 crore and Rs 352.13 crore respectively. The investment of Paradip Port will be to the tune of Rs 612.50 crore towards providing common supporting project infrastructure.
“The Cabinet decision will transform Paradip Port into a worldclass and modern port. The decision has been taken with a futuristic approach as the Prime Minister has been laying emphasis on the development of eastern states,” said Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya after the Cabinet meeting.
One of the 12 major ports under the control of the Centre, Mandaviya said the proposed project envisages facilities to handle cape size vessels with an ultimate capacity of 25 million tonne per annum (MTPA) in two phases of 12.50 MTPA each.He said the concession period will be 30 years from the date of award of concession. Paradip Port Trust (Concessioning Authority) will provide the common supporting project infrastructure works like breakwater extension and other ancillary works to facilitate handling of cape size vessels.
The Minister said this was the need of the hour to boost EXIM trade in the current global competitive environment and will provide employment to lakhs of people. “On commissioning of the project, it will cater to the requirement of coal and limestone imports besides export of granulated slag and finished steel products considering the large number of steel plants established in the hinterland of Paradip Port,” said a statement of the Ministry.
The project will also facilitate de-congestion of the port, reduce sea freight making coal imports cheaper and boost the industrial economy in the hinterland of the port leading to creation of job opportunities.
Paradip Port was commissioned in 1966 as a mono commodity port for export of iron ore. In the last 54 years, the port has transformed itself to handle a variety of EXIM cargoes which include iron ore, chrome ore, aluminium ingots, coal, POL, fertiliser raw materials, lime stone, clinker, finished steel products and containers.Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in a tweet thanked the Prime Minister for approving the project.