Adani Ports unveils ‘Mundra-like’ ambitions for Dhamra port

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on October 09, 2019

The planned expansion of Dhamra port in Odisha will be done in two phases by tweaking the master plan filed by APSEZ   -  KSL

Plans capex of ₹48,933 crore to handle 314 million tonnes of cargo

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) plans to invest as much as ₹48,933 crore to scale up its port at Dhamra in Odisha to handle 314 million tonnes (mt) of cargo.

The country’s biggest private port operator looks to make the eastern coast port as big as its flagship Mundra port in Gujarat on the western coast. Mundra Port is India’s biggest private commercial port.

The expert appraisal committee (EAC) in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has recommended environmental and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances for the expansion of Dhamra on a revised master plan filed by APSEZ, according to a document reviewed by BusinessLine.

Expansion plans

The Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL), the APSEZ unit that runs the port, currently runs two berths with a capacity to load 25 mt of cargo such as coal, iron ore and lime-stone.

DPCL had earlier secured green and CRZ nod for the second phase of expansion to handle an additional 71.3 mt of dry bulk cargo, liquid and gas cargo including LNG, POL (LPG), other break bulk (clean cargo) and 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers.

Out of this approved expansion, 12 mt of LNG component has been transferred to Dhamra LNG Terminal Private Limited.

The planned expansion of Dhamra — one of India’s deepest ports with a depth of 18 metres that allows super capsize ships to dock — will be done in two phases by tweaking the master plan.

Revised master plan

APSEZ will expand Dhamra’s capacity first to 169.5 mt with an investment of ₹17,518 crore over the next five years and then to 314 mt by investing additional ₹31,415 crore by the end of 30 years. The expansion includes container handling facilities with an initial capacity of 3.1 million TEUs which will be expanded to 4.66 million TEUs.

The revised master plan envisages construction of berths and marine structures that can handle multi-purpose and liquid/gas/cryogenic cargo with larger back-up facilities.

Dhamra port has a 62.5-km rail link with single line track, connecting the port with the Indian Railways network near Bhadrak station.

Road, rail corridor

The port has acquired 125-metre wide land corridor from Dhamra to Bhadrak for providing exclusive connectivity with the hinterland.

Under the revised master plan, APSEZ proposes to develop an additional two-lane road and a rail track in the existing corridor. In addition, for easy evacuation of cargo, a new rail, road and utilities corridor is proposed from the Northern boundary of the port.

This corridor will connect Dhamra port with existing rail-road corridor near Bansada, Bhadrak. The revised master plan lay out is outside the eco-sensitive zone of Bhitarkanika Sanctuary and National Park and Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.

DPCL was awarded the rights by the Odisha government in 2004 to develop and operate a port at Dhamra for 30 years. The port contract can be extended for two additional periods of 10 years each on mutually agreed terms and conditions.

Capacity, target

In 2014, APSEZ acquired Dhamra port for an enterprise value of ₹5,500 crore from a joint venture of Tata Steel Ltd and Larsen and Toubro Ltd.

APSEZ runs nine ports and terminals on both the coasts India’s eastern and western coasts accounting for 24 per cent of the country’s port capacity. APSEZ ports handled a combined cargo of more than 200 mt in the year to March 2019.

The expansion of Dhamra port will help APSEZ reach the target of handling 400 mt of cargo by 2025.

Published on October 09, 2019

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