Paradip, July 21: The Paradip Port Trust’s three-year wait to build a deep draught all-weather coal berth is finally over. The Union ministry of environment and forests has recently approved the port trust’s plan to construct the facility at an estimated cost of Rs 479 crore.
The PPT is already in possession of the clearance granted by the environment and Coastal Regulation Zone. Now, the green nod has cleared decks to start work for the all-weather coal berth.
As desired by the Centre, land for compensatory afforestation has been identified. Along with the deep draught coal berth project, the afforestation scheme was also being launched, said a PPT official.
“The work on the coal berth project will start soon,” said port trust chairman S. Ananth Kumar Bose.
“Several port infrastructure development projects are lined up to start. The deepening of entrance and approach channel to handle large panamax-size vessels, development of deep draught iron ore berth of 10 million tonnes per annum, multi-purpose berth to handle clean cargo, including containers, are some of the pending projects of the port. Apart from the harbour development projects, the rest have got stuck as final clearance from the Centre is awaited,” said Bose.
“The all-weather deep coal berth project had been awarded to Essar Paradip terminal on build operate and transfer basis on a 30-year concession. The PPT signed the concession agreement with Essar on November 2009. As the Centre issued the forest clearance last week, the project work is expected to commence soon. It is scheduled to be over by June 2014,” said R.D. Mahapatra, executive engineer (design) of the PPT.
According to the agreement, the PPT would provide all supporting facilities such as dredging of channel and berth, railway connectivity and back-up area. The completion of the project would lead to the mechanisation of coal imports. The mechanised berth would be 370 metres long, which would provide advanced port facilities. The concessionaire would hand over a revenue share of 31 per cent to the port during concession period of 30 years, said Mahapatra.