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Dhamra port expansion to start in two years

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 29: Notwithstanding speculation about offloading of shares by its two promoters, the Dhamra Port Company Limited today informed the Odisha government that it would start expansion of its second phase within the next two years.

The Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL) told the government about its expansion decision at a meeting held at the secretariat today. The meeting was presided by Odisha chief secretary Bijay Patnaik.

The DPCL is a joint venture between Tata Steel and Larsen and Toubro.

The chief executive officer of the DPCL, Santosh Kumar Mohapatra, said: “Our environment clearance for the expansion of the second phase is in an advanced stage. Once we start expansion for the second phase, we will complete it in five years.”

At present, the Dhamra port has two berths, which it aims to raise to 13. After the second phase expansion, the port will be able to handle container cargo, liquid cargo, liquefied natural gas and crude oil. The expansion of the port will involve an investment of about Rs 10,000 crore.

“This will add 75 million tonnes more to the existing capacity of the port, which stands now at 25 million tonnes,” Mohapatra said.

On being asked whether Adani group was planning to buy shares from the two shareholders of the DPCL, Mohapatra said: “ I have no idea. This is a decision which is taken at the promoters’ level.”

The meeting also deliberated on the issue of the Odisha government’s reservations over handing over of land to the DPCL for its expansion project.

“We hope the Odisha government will hand over the required land for expansion.”However, in a letter to the DPCL in November last year, Odisha commerce and transport secretary G. Mathi Vathanan said: “Allotment of additional land to the DPCL for the development of its second phase does not appear tenable at this stage.”