ParadipThe Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) recently approved the project of Mechanisation of East Quay (EQ) Berths-1, 2 and 3 at Paradip Port in Odisha on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis, under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, for handling thermal coal exports.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs.1437.76 crore of which Rs. 1412.76 crore will be spent by the concessionaire. The remaining Rs.25 crore will be spent by the Paradip Port Trust on dredging.

The project envisages mechanization of EQ 1, 2 and 3 Berths to increase their capacity from the existing 7.85 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes. The project is scheduled to be completed within three years from the date of award of concession. After completion of the project, the total thermal coal export handling capacity at Paradip Port will reach 50 million tonnes. This will help the port to meet the growing demand of thermal coal over the next three to four years.

This mechanisation project will go a long way in improving the operational efficiency in Paradip Port and thereby reduce transaction cost for thermal power plants dependent on coal supply through Paradip Port. The project will also create additional employment opportunities, a government release said.

More capacity: In March 2015, Paradip Port Trust signed a concession agreement with Paradip International Cargo Terminal Pvt (PICT) for development of a multipurpose clean cargo terminal of 5 million tpa through the PPP mode on BOT basis. The port also issued letter of award to the consortium of JSW and South West Ports for developing a 10 million tpa capacity iron ore terminal.

These projects, and the berth mechanization project, Paradip’s total capacity will be enhanced to 177 million tpa from the existing 108.5 million tpa by 2019. A government-owned port in Odisha, Paradip handled over 69 million tonnes of cargo in FY15, surpassing the target set by the government. For FY16, the cargo handling target has been set at 78.20 million tonnes.

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