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The private port in southern Odisha Gopalpur plans major investment

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which has acquired a controlling stake in Gopalpur Port off the coast of Southern Odisha, has pledged an investment of Rs 2,000 crore to step up the port's cargo volumes.

The port's cargo handling capacity is envisaged to be raised to 20 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in the first phase, said a source close to the development.

Two new berths would be added in this expansion. The berths are being designed to handle bulk commodities — iron ore, coal, cement, steel and limestone.

The proposed investments to be financed through the Group's internal accruals and some project financing is also meant to put up a new breakwater facility at the port site and increase the scale of mechanisation.

The source said that “Our long-term vision is to reach a cargo throughput of 40 million tons per annum over a period of five years. We would be keen to handle container business and also set up the infrastructure for imports of LNG and LPG. Ports on the Eastern Coast have a very good potential to handle LNG and the estimated potential could be 20-25 million tonnes each year.”

A consortium called Gopalpur Ports Limited (GPL) is developing Gopalpur into an all-weather port. Before Shapoorji Pallonji's offer to buy the majority stake in the SPV (special purpose vehicle), Gopalpur Port was promoted by Delhi-based metals trading company Sara International and Orissa Stevedores Limited (OSL).

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group's stake in GPL would be at least 51 percent; it can even go the extent of 60 percent. The Gopalpur Port has at present one multi-purpose berth with a capacity to handle 3.5 mtpa of bulk cargo.

 

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