Adani’s Dhamra port and Olive Ridley turtles – growing together
The capacity expansion at Dhamra will hasten the Group’s earlier vision to build 200-mt of port capacity by 2020 and put it on course to reach the 500-mt new plan
MUMBAI, APRIL 7
Gautam Adani, owner of the Ahmedabad-based energy, logistics and resources conglomerate Adani Group, is priming up Dhamra port in Orissa’s Bhadrak district to handle 315 million tonnes (mt) of cargo a year and convert it into India’s biggest port by capacity as part of a new vision to build 500 mt of port capacity by 2025.
On Saturday, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) opened the second phase of Dhamra port, which it acquired from Larsen & Toubro Ltd and Tata Steel Ltd in 2014, raising the capacity four-fold to over 100 mt from the existing 25 mt.
The capacity expansion at Dhamra, located between Haldia and Paradip ports, will hasten the Group’s earlier vision to build 200-mt of port capacity by 2020 and put it on course to reach the 500-mt new plan.
Rise in Olive Ridley turtles
Dhamra’s expansion coincided with the rise in the number of Olive Ridley turtles that swim to the shores near the port every year to nest and lay eggs, demonstrating that a modern port can co-exist without destroying the habitat of a species whose population is rapidly depleting due to fewer nesting sites around the globe.
So, what turned the tide for both Dhamra and the endangered turtles?
APSEZ, India’s biggest private port operator with ten ports/terminals, used new technology to drive up the number of turtles, making drastic changes to the port such as reducing the intensity of lights and changing their angle to prevent baby turtles from getting disoriented, installed deflectors on dredgers to ensure turtles don’t get stuck in pipes, changing the ship’s passage to avoid obstructing turtle nesting route and round-the-clock monitoring to detect turtles in advance.
Safe nesting of Olive Ridley turtles
Dhamra Port Co Ltd also partnered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature to guarantee safe nesting of Olive Ridley turtles. In March this year, the turtle nesting figures was estimated at an all-time high of 6,84,000.
“It just goes to show that instead of conflict, we can co-exist,” said an environment expert.
After buying Dhamra, APSEZ re-worked the port’s master plan that now seeks to construct 35 berths with a capacity to handle a mammoth 315 mt of cargo compared with 13 berths and 100 mt as per the initial plan.
“This will transform Dhamra port to not just the largest port and port-based industrial cluster in India but also an anchor port and gateway for Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and the entire geopolitical region, including the ASEAN region, thereby stimulating the growth of trade and industry of Odisha and India,” Gautam Adani said at the opening of the expanded port on Saturday.
« Mundra port is our jewel in the crown and now we wish to make Dhamra the most shining diamond in this crown, » APSEZ CEO Karan Adani said.
APSEZ turned around the operations of Dhamra and made the port profitable within the first 12 months of taking over and subsequently built two new berths to add 20 mt capacity.
“Our expertise in operations has been proved in our ability to increase cargo handling at Dhamra by more than 50 per cent in less than three years,” Gautam Adani said.
APSEZ has constructed a barge berth complex at Dhamra to help movement of coal through National Waterway 1 and 5.
« Given Dhamra’s strategic location, this will be a game changer in transportation of coal across the Brahamani river from the Talcher region to Dhamra and also to thermal power plants at Farakka and Kahalgaon. It will facilitate coastal movement of coal along the entire Indian shore line. This will be the best showcase for the Government’s plan on national waterways and Sagarmala for decongesting rail and road traffic,” he added.
APSEZ has also started work on constructing a 5-mt LNG terminal and a 2.5-mt LPG terminal at Dhamra with an investment of Rs 7,500 crore.
Copyright © 2018, The Hindu Business Line.