The port will be used to export finished products from the company’s proposed mega steel plants. Arcelor-Mittal, the largest steelmaker of the world, plans to set up a captive port at Barunei Muhan, located to the north of Mahanadi river near Paradip in Orissa.
The port will be used to import raw materials like coking coal and limestone, and export finished products of the company’s proposed integrated mega steel plants in Orissa and Jharkhand. The steel projects will have capacities of 12 million tonnes each.
The captive port is projected to have a cargo handling capacity of 35 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), to be attained in two phases. However, the company has not indicated the quantum of investment for the port.
A team of company officials led by Sanak Mishra, chief executive officer (CEO) of Arcelor-Mittal’s India greenfield projects, today made a presentation on the port project before Orissa chief secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy and other senior officials of the state government.
The proposed port will have a cargo handling capacity of 10.62 million tonnes in Stage-I of the first phase, which will be expanded to 17.3 million tonnes in Stage-II. After the completion of the second phase, the cargo handling capacity will go up to 35 million tonnes.
The port will handle cargo like coking coal, PCI coal, limestone, slabs, billets, HR coil and steel products. It will have five berths in the first phase and seven berths by the end of the second phase. While 391 vessels are expected to visit the port every year by the end of the first phase, the number will grow to 582 ships when it is fully commissioned.
In its presentation, the company stated that it would be prudent to design the first phase with Panamax-size vessels in mind, which could be upgraded to handling cape-size vessels in the second phase. The channel will have a depth of 16 metres and a length of about 6 km. This will further increase to 20 metres and 10 km by the end of the second phase.
The company proposes to construct a double-lane rail line to connect the port with the Paradeep-Haridaspur main line. Similarly, new sidings will be constructed for railway connectivity. Besides, a four-lane road will be constructed to connect the port with the National Highway No 5.
The captive port will have steel servicing centre, downstream processing and finishing line, ancillaries such as automotive industry, technical training institutes and fabrication workshops. The company has indicated that about 6,000 acres of land will be required for setting up the project and related infrastructure, sources added.
Interestingly, the port site will be about 270 km away from the site of the company’s 12 million tonne greenfield steel project in Patna tehsil of Keonjhar district.
The preliminary project report was prepared by the Department of Ocean Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.
However, the fate of this proposal remains uncertain as the state government is not in favour of captive ports coming up at the identified locations because it fears they would result in underutilisation of the port potential of the state.
Source: Business Standard 09/04/09