South Korean steel giant Pohang Steel Company on Tuesday asserted that it will develop a captive port near state-owned Paradip port for handling its cargo, contrary to the wishes of the central government.
"You need to realise that ours is a 12 million tonne mega steel plant to be built at a whopping Rs 52,000 crore (Rs 520 billion). So we do need a dedicated port facility and there is nothing wrong about it," Posco India's chief representative Sang Moo Doh told PTI.
The assertion comes within days of the shipping ministry asking the Orissa government to discourage the world's fourth largest steel maker from developing a separate port at Jatadhari, 12 km from Paradip, saying it would cause enormous soil erosion in upstream Paradip and render it useless besides upsetting the eco-system.
However, Posco seems to be in no mood to oblige, as Doh pointed out that "in course of our study we found that the capacity of Paradip Port is already over-stretched and it is not in a condition to handle our cargo dedicatedly. So, there should be no doubt that we definitely need a separate facility."
He said his company's top brass had detailed discussions with senior Orissa government officials and had impressed upon them the need for a separate port. After prolonged parleys, finally, the state government relented and allowed it to build a separate port at Jatadhari.
He pointed out that besides being located away from the proposed site, the facilities at the southern tip of the Paradip Port were being utilised in a big way by the Indian Oil Corporation."Then how do you expect us to use the same facilities, which have lost their relevance," he asked.