Indonesian firm wants to build port in West Bengal

February 26th, 2009 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 26 (IANS) The Indonesia-based Salim group, part of a consortium that is constructing a chemical hub at Nayachar island near Haldia in West Bengal, is also interested in building a deep river port near the site, a senior state official said here Thursday.
“They (Salim group) want to build a deep port, they will give us a detailed proposal, which we will examine and then seek the central government’s clearance,” Principal Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen told reporters.

“The port will facilitate movement of bigger-sized vessels,” Sen said after emerging from a meeting between Salim chief executive Benny Santoso and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

He said a port was needed to bring crude oil for the Nayachar chemical hub. “We have to be in an advantageous position so that we can compete with other ports in the country.”

However, the main agenda of the meeting was the chemical hub project. “They told us how they want to go ahead with the project,” Sen said, without elaborating further.

The central government Feb 23 approved the proposed Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) project at Nayachar.

The chemical hub project is a joint venture, in which the state government holds 49 percent stake, with the controlling 51 percent lying with a consortium comprising Indian developer Unitech, and two Indonesian firms - the Salim group and Universal Success.

The geo-physical study and layout of the master plan will be done by Salim group.

Sen said a consultant had been appointed for preparing the environment impact assessment report, but did not specify who. The project is yet to get environment clearance.

“We have to see how fast we can start work. We want the construction work for the refinery should start within two to two-and-a-half years,” he said.

Asked what plans the government had for fishermen who will be displaced on account of the project, Sen said: “It is our prime objective to rehabilitate them.”

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