Paradip port plans to raise capacity

Bhubaneswar: Unfazed by fall in traffic to 54.25 mt in 2011-12 from 56.03 mt in previous year, Paradip Port Trust has drawn up ambitious plans to raise its capacity to 251 mt by 2020 and to set up a satellite port in state.

"The port handled a traffic of 54.25 mt as against the previous year`s traffic of 56.03 mt and target of 63 mt," PPT Chairman G J Rao told reporters here.

There was a shortfall of 1.78 mt of cargo handled during 2011-12 due to slump of iron ore export of 7.30 mt and coking coal import of 0.69 mt during the year, he said. All other cargo,however,exhibited upward surge.

Stating that the port`s performance parameters improved during the year, he said the average waiting time, turn-around time and average berthday output improved by 53 per cent, 4 per cent and 12 per cent respecively over the corresponding figures of previous year.

Paradip port, which raised its capacity to 80 mt per annum by adding four mt through mechanisation and deepening of navigation channels among other measures, has taken up a host of projects to increase the capacity to 251 mt per annum by 2020, the PPT chairman said.

On future plans, Rao said PPT plans to set up a new port at Bahuda Muhan near Gopalpur in a joint venture with Odisha government to handle thermal coal cargo and cater to power generation units in southern region.

Desribing the site identified for the purpose as ideal for port construction, he said the proposed satellite port would be a `green port` with fully mechanised operations and negligible impact on environment.

Giving a detailed account of the expansion works, the PPT chairman said the capital dredging works being undertaken to increase draught of entrance channel, approach channel and berthface to facilitate handling of 1,25,000 DWT size vessels is on the verge of completion.

The installation of two Single Point Moorings (SPM) to handle Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) is under way by state run Indian Oil Corporation which would add 22 mt capacity at the port,he said.

Expansion activities also gained pace following environment clearance and Stage I forest clearance for one iron ore berth and a coal berth of 10 MTPA capacity each to be taken up on BOT basis through PPP mode, Rao said.

The Stage II Forest Clearance is expected to be received by the end of April this year to pave the way for commencement of construction activities by BOT operators.

Similarly, Stage I Forest clearance for construction of one Oil Jetty and Multipurpose Berth of 15 million tonnes total capacity is under process, he said adding preliminary actions had already been taken for construction of Western Dock of 75 mt and LNG and POL terminals offshore of 20 mt. The port has also taken up several developmental projects relating to roads, railway, electrification, water supply and residential colonies.