The central government has given the nod for a new dock facility in East Midnapore district of West Bengal that would handle around 23.4 million tonnes (MT) of cargo annually.
The new facility at Salukkhali, called Haldia Dock II, will be just 15 km away from the existing Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) and will be implemented through the public-private-partnership (PPP) route.
Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is hopeful that the new dock would be ready by 2016-17.
"The centre's Public Private Partnership Approval Committee (PPPAC) has recently okayed the proposed new dock facility in East Midnapore. We expect that we can issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the project by April next year," HDC manager (Railways) Asish Kumar Bose told IANS.
"It will take 36 months for the construction of the dock following the issuance of the LoI. We expect that the new facility would be commissioned by 2016-17."
The project, which will have two parts- Haldia Dock II North and Haldia Dock II South- is estimated to cost around Rs.1,707.50 crore.
According to Bose, the facility would come up on 163 acres, allotted to KoPT by the state government.
Each part of Haldia Dock II will have two jetties, one mechanised of 6.59 MT capacity and the other multipurpose of 5.11 MT capacity.
Earlier, 15 companies had responded to the request For qualifications (RFQs) sought by KoPT.
"We will now seek request for proposals (RFPs) from the firms which are interested in investing in the PPP project," the official said.
He said more than 90 percent of the cargo for the new dock facility was expected to be rail-borne and for that a rail corridor would be set up.
"For the rail connectivity another 17 acres are required. The port will acquire the land through the state government," Bose added.