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Gopalpur port granted environmental clearance

Staff Reporter

Clearance has come with three major conditions


After its completion in 2013 it will have the capacity to handle 10 million tonne of cargo per year

OSL had 51 per cent stake in the company and its partner SIL has 49 per cent share


BERHAMPUR: The proposed all weather Gopalpur port in Ganjam district was granted environmental clearance by the Central ministry for Environment and Forests.

The ministry brought out a notification regarding it on Wednesday, informed executive director of Gopalpur Ports Limited (GPL) P.K. Panigrahy. “We have received environmental clearance for the establishment of an all weather direct berthing port having the capacity to receive ships with one lakh tonne cargo holding capacity”, he said.

The environmental clearance has come with three major conditions. They include regular monitoring of the environment of the port and its adjoining region by experts, formation of a high level committee to study the changes in benthic flora and fauna in the sea near the port and controlled and monitored dredging through state of the art technology to minimise negative impact on local marine environment. Mr Panigrahy said they would adhere to all these conditions of the Union ministry for Environment and Forests.

“We have already approached the environmental science department of Berhampur University to study the environmental changes in the port and its adjoining areas. The university has accepted our proposal,” Mr Panigrahy added.

The GPL authorities were eagerly waiting for this environmental clearance to expedite their construction work. As per GPL authorities they were confident about completing the construction work and start the operation of the port in next 24 months. It means the all weather Gopalpur port would be operational in 2013. This all weather port would be established at a cost of Rs. 1,250 crore. But by 2022 the GPL intends to invest around Rs. 3,500 crore in this project.

After its completion in 2013 it would have the capacity to handle 10 million tonne of cargo per year. The GPL plans to increase cargo handling capacity of the port to more than 54 million tonnes by 2022, Mr Panigrahy said.

On October 14, 2006 the GPL had entered into an MOU with the Orissa government to take over the Gopalpur port to develop it into a major all weather port on Build-Operate-Own-Share-Transfer (BOOST) basis. Initially the GPL was consortium of Orissa Stevedores Limited (OSL), Noble Group Ltd. of Hong Kong and Sara International Ltd (SIL). In 2010 Hong Kong based Noble Group Ltd. (NGL) voluntarily withdrew from the project. Now OSL had 51 per cent stake in the company and its partner SIL has 49 per cent share.

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