Bhubaneswar: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Paradip Port Trust and GAIL (India) Ltd. for setting up of a LNG Terminal in Paradip Port Trust at a function yesterday. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Shipping Shri G.K. Vasan said that as a part of capacity augmentation programme of Paradip Port, it is proposed to construct an offshore breakwater to improve navigability of cape size vessels in the approach and entrance channel besides simultaneous construction of LNG regasification terminal. GAIL having the authorization of laying Jagdishpur – Halida and Surat – Paradip LNG pipeline has planned to set up the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) in Paradip Port. GAIL envisages setting up the project with a send-out capacity of 4 MMPTA in Phase I with a storage capacity of 170,000 cubic meters. This will entail a total investment of Rs. 3108 crore out of which Paradip Port would invest Rs. 650 crores in breakwater & dredging and balance Rs. 2458 crores will be invested by GAIL. Considering long term potential of the market along the east coast, it is likely that Phase II of the project will also have an additional capacity of 4 MMTPA, which will take the overall terminal capacity to more than 8 MMTPA.
The minister said the completion of this project will put Odisha on World LNG Map heralding a new era in the Industrial development and employment generation in the State and the country. He pointed out that the Paradip Port was blessed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, when he laid the foundation stone of Paradip Port on the 3rd January, 1962. Paradip Port is strategically located between Kolkata and Visakhapatnam Ports so as to serve a vast hinterland spreading over the States of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. This is the first major port on the East Coast commissioned after Independence. The Port enjoys excellent rail and road connectivity.
Shri Vasan said that he was happy to note that the traffic handled by the Port up to the month of September during the current financial year is the second highest in terms of cargo handled and also in terms of percentage growth of cargo amongst all Major Ports. The Port has handled 34.12 million tonnes of cargo during the first six months of this financial year compared to 25.63 million tonnes during the last financial year, with a growth of 33.13% over the cargo handled during the corresponding period of the previous year. The Port is equipped with fourteen berths along with three Single Point Mooring of IOC and one Ro Jetty having a capacity of 106 million tonnes to handle diversified commodities, which is highest amongst all Major Ports. The Port has embarked upon an ambitious plan to enhance its capacity to 252 MMTPA by taking up several capacity addition projects, strengthening the rail-road connectivity, and mechanizing / modernizing the existing facilities. Thus, the Port is set to play the role of key facilitator in the industrial growth of State of Odisha as the premier maritime gateway for import of project materials & input materials and export of finished products.
The minister said that trade plays a vital role in the prosperity of any nation and it mostly depends on the quick and economic mode of transportation of cargo. He said in India, approximately 95 per cent of our overseas trade by volume and 75 per cent by value is moved by sea. Hence sea ports play an important role in our economy.
Considering the economic, social and environmental impact of the activities of the ports on the society and the environment, the minister said that it was felt that the ports should become vehicles that serve the interests of the society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities. The Ministry of Shipping has accordingly issued guidelines to all major ports to allocate a specified percentage of their surpluses for fulfilling their responsibility towards the social environment in which they operate, Shri Vasan added.
He said the Paradip Port has been taking up activities beneficial to the society which includes a recent donation of a significant amount to Chief Minister’s Relief Fund following the devastating cyclone “Phailin”. The Port opened seven cyclone shelters at different locations, evacuated around 2000 people from low lying areas, kept them in the cyclone shelters, provided them basic facilities like dry foods, water, electricity, medicine and sanitation in coordination with the State Govt during the period of this cyclone.
The minister said though the Paradip Port has come up with a very good performance in the past 50 years, they should gear up to sustain the same level of performance in an environment of ever growing competition. On this occasion he urged the management, staff and workers of Paradip Port and all stakeho