Dhamra is one of the most ancient ports on the eastern coast of India, its history dating back to 15th Century A.D. Earlier it was used for cargo transportation between North Orissa and Kolkata. After independence, Dhamra continued to be recognized as a minor port of Orissa. The existing port was identified by the Government of Orissa for development into a modern deep port based on a pre-feasibility study done by RITES. A Concession Agreement was signed between the Government of Orissa and International Seaports Pte. Limited (ISPL) in April, 1998 to expand and develop the minor port of Dhamra on BOOST ( build, own, operate, share and transfer) basis. By the deed of assignment (dated May 5, 1999) ISPL has assigned and subrogated all its rights and obligations to DPCL under the Concession Agreement for the implementation of the project.
The comprehensive deal stands for a period of 34 years including 4 years of construction – which can be extended for two additional periods of 10 years each.
Strategically located between Haldia and Paradip, north of the river Dhamra at a place called Doshinga, the port will be one of the largest Deep Water Ports in India once constructed. It will have a draught of 18 meters which will accommodate fully laden super-cape size vessels up to 1, 80,000 Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) with fully mechanized facilities for loading and unloading. The 13 berths accorded in the Master Plan will have a handling capacity of more than 83 million MT annually of dry bulk, liquid bulk, break bulk and containerized cargo.
With 25% of the construction already underway, the first phase of the project includes development of 2 fully mechanized berths of 350 meters each. To cater to the requirements of a number of steel plants planned to come up in near future, DPCL will make arrangements for import of coking coal, steam/thermal coal, limestone and export of finished steel.
The Dhamra port project includes four integral components:
- Port Construction
- Dredging of an access channel
- Construction of a dedicated 62 kms rail line link between Dhamra & Bhadrak on the Howrah-Chennai main line
- A Jetty of 700 meters
The estimated capacity of Phase I is 25 million MT per annum. Phase I has achieved financial closure of the project in February 2007 after entering into a loan agreement with the consortium of lenders led by IDBI. The port will be ready for commercial operation by April 2010.