The Odisha government has initiated the process to lease out additional land to Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL) for expansion of port operation in Bhadrak district after it was granted environmental clearance recently.
It has asked the port to provide details of its expansion plan as part of its land allotment process.
“It is understood that DPCL has signed MoU with IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Ltd) for an LNG terminal with an investment of Rs 5,000 crore. You are, therefore, requested kindly to furnish a copy of such MoU,” the state Commerce and Transport department said in a letter addressed to DPCL.
The application for additional 800 acre land near the port site has been pending since 2012, as the state government had asked DPCL to obtain environmental clearance for the additional land. Besides, the application was not considered for more than a year as the state government was awaiting formulation of rules for allotment of land for port development.
RITES, the engineering and consultancy arm of Indian Railways, in its report submitted to the Odisha government last year had suggested allotment of 50 acres of land for every million tonne of cargo handling capacity proposed by the developer.
In its expansion proposal, the DPCL has chalked out a Rs 7,000-crore expansion plan to ramp up its berth strength to 13 from the present two and increase cargo handling capacity four-fold from 25 million tonne per annum (MTPA) to 100 MTPA in five years.
DPCL said it is hopeful that the land application proposal will be cleared soon.
“Application of Dhamra port for additional land has always been under consideration of the government. Since the government has to follow stipulated process for land allotment, it took some time. We are confident that the land will be allotted to us soon,” said Santosh Kumar Mohapatra, chief executive officer (CEO) of the port.
The additional land allotment to the port is key to stake sale deal of DPCL, as Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, which has agreed to buy the port from original promoters Tata Steel and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), wanted larger land size in the deal, sources said.
The port presently operates two berths with a combined capacity of 25 MTPA. Realising that iron ore traffic is unlikely to be its growth driver given the current clampdowns on exports, Dhamra port aims to add berths during the second phase of expansion, which can handle diversified cargo. The expansion will focus on handling of container cargo, liquid cargo, LNG (liquefied natural gas) and crude oil, said Mohapatra.