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Adani Group to kick off Dhamra port expansion soon

After buying out the Dhamra port from L&T and the Tatas in a deal valued at Rs 5500 crore, Gautam Adani controlled Adani Group is all set to start work on the port’s second phase expansion that will ramp up its capacity to 100 million tonne per annum.

The expanded capacity will be four times the port’s current capacity of 25 million tonne a year.

“We are going to start work soon on the Dhamra port’s expansion. Orders have been placed for the same. Our vision is to build the Dhamra port on the scale of the Mundra port”, Adani said after his meeting with chief minister Naveen Patnaik. The Adani Group chief also called on state chief secretary G C Pati.

In May this year, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), part of the Adani Group, had acquired Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL) for Rs 5,500 crore.

Prior to the acquisition, DPCL was run as a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Steel and L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd. In one of the biggest port sector deals in recent years, APSEZ has gained a foothold in the eastern sector through acquisition of the Dhamra port that handled 14.3 million tonne cargo in 2013-14.

Santosh K Mohapatra, chief executive officer (CEO), DPCL said, “We will begin work on expanding the port capacity soon. DPCL had requested the government to provide around 700 acres land to facilitate second phase expansion. The government has approved the land allotment proposal.”

A state government official said there are no hurdles to handing over land to DPCL but the port authorities have to submit the land schedule.

“We had asked DPCL to submit the land schedule and are awaiting the same. Once we get the schedule, we will initiate the process of land alienation and its transfer to the port”, said the official.

The Dhamra port, a deep draught port off the coast of northern Odisha, is equipped with two fully mechanised berths with a combined cargo handling capacity of 25 million tonne per annum (mtpa). The two berths are capable of handling 12 million tonne of imported dry bulk cargo and 13 million tonne of dry bulk cargo for exports. The port commenced commercial operations in May 2011.

The port has obtained environment clearance for the proposed expansion estimated to cost Rs 10,000 crore.

The expansion would ramp up its berth strength to 13 from two presently and upgrade cargo handling capacity four-fold from 25 mtpa to 100 mtpa in five years.

The second phase capacity ramp up would also pave the way for a five mtpa LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal to be set up within the port premises by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL). The terminal to be set up at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore needed 150 acres of land. Both IOCL and DPCL had signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) for the project.

Dhamra port handled 14.31 million tonne cargo in 2013-14, 29.3% higher than 11.07 million tonne in 2012-13. This included 10.23 million tonne of import cargo and the balance 4.08 million tonne of exports. A total of 192 vessels, including 46 Capesize vessels called at the port in last fiscal.

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