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Gopalpur port to resume operations by 2014 end

Gopalpur port, whose operations was severely hit by the Phailin cyclonic storm, is gearing up to resume normal operations by the end of 2014.

The port’s operations came to a standstill after the storm hit the state’s southern coast on October 12 last year.

“The start of repair work on the port was delayed due to the survey by different insurance companies on the damage caused by the cyclone”, said director (operations) of Gopalpur Ports Ltd (GPL), M M Moharana.

The port had incurred around Rs 250 crore loss due to Phailin. The repair work, however, was in full swing and is likely to end by the end of 2014.

“We hope the repair work on the port, with the enhanced capacity of handling of the cargo, will be ready by the end of December”, he said.

Earlier, the port promoters had assured the state government to operate the port in November.

GPL had proposed to enhance the port’s cargo handling capacity from 3.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) to five mtpa and enable the port to handle large vessels.

“We are aiming to bring big ships loaded with fertilizers so that more people will be engaged in port operations”, Moharana said.

Around Rs 200 crore would be invested on the port’s repair work and its capacity upgrade.

“Though several nationalized banks have agreed in principle to finance GPL for the purpose, they are yet to sanction the credit”, Moharana said.

The seasonal port was made an all-weather port in May last year.

The last vessel had anchored at the port on October 7, 2013.

GPL has constructed a multi-purpose berth with a capacity of 3.50 mtpa of cargo handling. The port is being jointly promoted by Odisha Stevedores Limited (OSL) and Sara International Ltd.

GPL has already spent Rs 850 crore on the project to make it an all-weather port, he said. The port aims to receive large vessels with 1.25 DWT (dead weight tonnage) capacity by 2016.

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