| The port area encircled in red
Bhubaneswar, May 4: Korean steelmaker Posco might finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
Even as it continued to face stiff opposition from the local people at its proposed site for the 12 million tonne steel project in Jagatsinghpur, Posco has taken a significant step in its effort to build the largest greenfield steel plant of the country.
Commerce secretary Priyabrata Patnaik said Posco’s proposal for a captive port has received the green signal from the ministry of environment and forests. “The ministry has accorded conditional environmental clearance for the port on April 27. We will get the official letter in a day or two,” he told The Telegraph today.
The proposed captive port, to be built over 114.8 acres with an expected cargo handling capacity of 30 million tonnes per annum, would be located at the Jatadhari creek in Jagatsinghpur. The company proposes to invest around $900 million for the project.
In 2005, Posco had submitted a proposal for establishing the port at the mouth of Jatadhar creek about 12 km south of Paradip.
The port, is a crucial part of the Rs 52,000-crore investment the South Korean steel firm plans to bring for the 12-million tonne plant. The port, on the mouth of the Jatadhari river that flows into the Bay of Bengal, will be 3 km long and will be used to handle Posco's inbound and outbound cargo.
Recently, the Orissa State Pollution Control Board had conducted a public hearing in Kujang block of Jagatsinghpur inviting public opinion to the rapid environmental impact assessment study of the port conducted by the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography, Consulting Engineering Services India Ltd and Danish Hydraulic Institute.
Incidentally, Paradip Port Trust (PPT), which in December last year, had warned that the captive port could lead to erosion along the coastline and threaten its own harbour, has okayed the port project.