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Inter-ministerial panel approves Paradip Port expansion

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2020
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An inter-ministerial panel has approved a proposal of the Union Ministry of Shipping for deepening and optimisation of inner harbour facilities of the Paradip Port Trust.

The total project cost is estimated at Rs 3,025 crore and will be executed in the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. As part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline prepared by the Ministry of Finance for the next five years, the Centre is working to approve all projects where financing can be tied up quickly and which are ready to be executed.

The Paradip Port Trust will invite bids from private players for execution of the project, which will enable construction of western dock captive berths to handle capesize vessels. The project will also facilitate import of coking coal for the steel sector and other industries. A panel chaired by the Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, after consultations with the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Shipping and NITI Aayog, recently gave in-principle approval to this project.

The project will be taken up on a common user basis after clearing of financial and technical bids. Prospective bidders will need to have minimum net worth of 50 percent of the project cost to qualify for bidding. The Centre has kept performance guarantee at 20 percent of the total project cost, along with penalties for non-achievement of the specified milestones that are to be defined for every six months post signing of the concession agreement.

The project located in Odisha, the deepwater Paradip Port handles various cargo like crude oil, iron ore, thermal coal, coking coal, limestone, manganese and fertilisers, among others. The port handled total traffic of 109.27 million tonne in 2018-19, as against 102.01 million tonne in 2017-18.

The proposed deepening and optimisation of the inner harbour facilities will add annual handling capacity of another 25 million tonne to the port’s overall capacity. Post-completion of the inner harbour facilities, the Paradip Port Trust plans to take up construction of outer harbour project at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore.

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