Dhamra Port is a deep draft port on the east coast of India.
The map below shows the location of the Dhamra Port on the east coast of India at Dhamra, Bhadrak district, Odisha. Situated between Haldia and Paradip, the port lies between the mainland and Kanika Sands Island at the mouth of the Dhamra River, and in close proximity to the mineral belt of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
In 2004, the Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between Larsen & Toubro and Tata Steel, received clearance from the Odisha government to develop and operate Dhamra Port for 30 years, with two optional extensions of 10 years each. The first phase of construction began in March 2007, and the port commenced commercial operations in May 2011. It has a draft of 18 meters and capacity to receive super capesize vessels. The port was constructed despite pleas to India's Supreme Court from environmentalists who maintained that the port posed severe threats to local wildlife, especially the protected Olive Ridley turtle.
In 2014, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), a division of the Adani Group, purchased Dhamra Port for Rs 55 billion (approximately US$900 million). Adani immediately announced plans to aggressively expand Dhamra port as an east coast counterpart to the company's flagship Mundra Port on India's west coast. By 2020, Adani said it expected to increase the number of berths from two to 14 and to quadruple cargo handling capacity from 25 to 100 million tonnes per annum. By 2030, Adani plans to have 35 berths and a cargo handling capacity of 300 million tonnes per annum.
The port handles coal, iron ore, and other minerals. Its two berths are capable of handling 12 million tonnes of imported dry bulk cargo and 13 million tonnes of cargo for exports. The port's deep draft allows it to accommodate extremely large vessels, such as the 207,000 dead weight tonnage vessel carrying 194,000 tons of coal from Richards Bay Coal Terminal (South Africa) that docked at Dhamra in early 2014, reportedly setting a new record as the largest ship ever accommodated at an Indian port. In fiscal year 2012-13, Dhamra Port handled 11.07 million tons of cargo. In 2013-14, traffic increased to 14.31 million tons (10.23 million imports, 4.08 million exports), a 29.3% increase.
As early as 2012, Indian billionaire and Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani was publicly expressing interest in purchasing Dhamra Port as a means of expanding his global coal operations to India's east coast. In June 2014, Adani completed its acquisition of the port from Tata Steel and Larsen & Toubro. and immediately announced ambitious plans for the port's second phase expansion. India's Economic Times quoted company officials as saying that phase two expansion would be initiated within 90 days and completed within 30 months, bringing cargo capacity at the port to 100 million tons and - together with Adani's Mundra Port - helping Adani Ports realize its "pan-India strategy" of becoming a 200 million ton ports company by 2020.
In August 2014 it was reported that Adani had already constructed two fully mechanized berths of 350 meters each for handling imports of coking coal, steam/thermal coal, limestone and export of iron ore. It had also built a 62km rail link from Dhamra to Bhadrak, the nearest town. In the second phase of expansion, which Adani said it would begin soon, the port would set up four more dry bulk berths. Dharma Port has environmental clearance for the development of 12 additional berths, and said it will be equipped to handle more than 100 million tonnes of cargo by 2020.
In early 2016, after acquiring 740 acres of land from the Odisha government, Adani officially launched its phase two expansion of the Dhamra Port. The company said it was still on track to achieve a fourfold increase in capacity (from 25 to 100 million tonnes per annum) by 2020.
In November 2016, Adani announced plans for a significant further expansion of Dhamra Port. Adani's long-range plans now call for the reclaiming of an additional 2000 acres of land, with cargo handling capacity growing to 300 million tonnes by 2030. If the plan is approved, Dhamra Port would grow from the 14 berths originally approved to a new total of 35 berths.
In May 2017 officials announced that Dhamra port had achieved profitability after only 6 years in operation, thanks to rapidly increasing cargo volumes, especially of commodities such as coal and iron ore. The port handled 21 million tonnes of cargo in 2016-17, up 47% from the previous fiscal year.
In April 2018, Adani announced that it had inaugurated Phase II of the Dhamra Port expansion, bringing annual capacity up to 100 metric tonnes. However, news articles from 2019 still state that the Dhamra Port has 25 million tonnes of capacity, and a 2020 interview with Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani also lists a current capacity of 25 mtpa. It seems that the Phase II Expansion remains under construction.
In 2019, further details on the expansion were announced. Adani would invest a total of approximately Rs 489.33 billion (US$6.89 billion) to expand Dhamra Port's capacity to 314 mtpa. The expansion would happen in two phases. Dhamra Port Phase II expansion will cost Rs 175.18 billion (US$2.46 billion) over the next five years, aiming to increase capacity by 144.5 mtpa to 169.5. Dhamra Port Phase III expansion will cost Rs 314.15 billion (US$4.42 billion), which will be paid by the end of 30 years, aiming to boost the port’s capacity by a further 144.5 mtpa to 314. At this time, APSEZ had already obtained environmental and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) approval from the expert appraisal committee (EAC) in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Connection to Other Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
The Dhamra port expansion is part of Adani's larger plans to establish a fully vertically integrated coal-fired power process. Adani plans to extract coal from the Carmichael Coal Project in Australia, ship the coal from its North Queensland Export Terminal to India via the Dhamra Port, and then transport the coal via rail to the Adani Godda power station for electricity generation. The construction of the railroad between Dhamra Port and the Godda power station is expected to displace over 700 families.
In August 2017, five coal laborers were killed and another two were injured when a coal pile collapsed at Dhamra Port. As news spread of the incident, a major protest erupted. Protesters burnt the port's main gate, three offices, an oil tanker and vehicles at the site.
- Operator: Dhamra Port Company Limited
- Parent: Adani Group
- Location: Dhamra, Bhadrak district, Odisha, India
- Existing Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): 25 (all cargo combined - 12 m import and 13 m export)
- Additional Proposed Capacity (mtpa): 289
- Status: Phase 1: Operating (25 mtpa); Phase 2: Construction (144.5 mtpa); Phase 3: Announced (144.5 mtpa)
- Type: Imports (coal and limestone), Exports (iron ore and steel)
- Coal source: Australia
- Cost of Expansion: US$6.89 billion (Phase II: US$2.46 billion; Phase III: US$4.42 billion)
- Financing for expansion:
Articles and resources
- "Welcome to Dhamra Port" Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL) website, accessed February 2015.
- "Gautam Adani strikes: Announces Dhamra port acquisition; biggest port deal" The Economic Times, May 16, 2014.
- "Adani completes acquisition of Dhamra Port in Odisha" The Economic Times, June 23, 2014.
- "Adani Group to kick off Dhamra port expansion soon" The Business Standard, August 18, 2014.
- "Finally, Dhamra port commissioned" The Indian Express, December 19, 2011.
- "SC notice to environment ministry, Orissa on Tata-L&T port project" The Economic Times, October 11, 2009.
- Dhamra port: Adani's big catch on the East Coast, The Hindu Business Line, May 18, 2014
- "Dhamra Port to reclaim 2,000 acres of land to fuel expansion" Economic Times, November 18, 2016.
- "Adani Group to ramp up Dhamra Port capacity to 300 million tonnes" Business Standard, November 28, 2016.
- "Dhamra Port berths biggest parcel size vessel" The Economic Times, March 27, 2014.
- "India's Adani to press ahead with Australia coal plans" Reuters, September 25, 2012.
- "Adani talks Dhamra with CM," The Telegraph, Aug 19, 2014
- "Dhamra port kicks off work on expansion" Business Standard, April 27, 2016.
- "Aiming fourfold expansion of Dhamra capacity by 2020: Adani Ports" Money Control, August 23, 2016.
- "Adani owned Dhamra port breaks even after six years, posts Rs 180 cr profit" Business Standard, May 6, 2017.
- Adani Ports Expands Dhamra Port, Adani Ports, Apr. 7, 2018
- Adani Ports to invest $6.9bn in Dhamra port in Odisha, Ship Technology, Oct. 11, 2019
- APSEZ to enhance Dhamra port cargo handling capacity, Orissa Post, Oct. 13, 2019
- Gautam Adani meets Naveen Patnaik, talks about Dhamra Port expansion, Times of India, Feb. 9, 2020
- Abir Dasgupta, In Odisha, Adivasis Face Displacement for Addani Godda Coal Supply, NewsClick, Sep. 14, 2020
- Five coal labourers killed, two injured in accident at Odisha's Dhamra port, First Post, Aug. 15, 2017