Essar Bulk Terminal Paradip (EBTPL) has signed an agreement with the Paradip Port Trust to invest Rs500 crore ($112.5m) to enhance the port’s cargo handling capability.

Under the agreement, EBTPL, a part of Essar Shipping Ports and Logistics, will develop the port’s central quay-III berth to handle 16 million tons a year of dry bulk cargo.

The ten-year license agreement, with an option of a five year-extension, takes the total port project investments at Paradip to over Rs1,000 crore ($225m).

The project is expected to be completed by April 2011 and will increase the port’s cargo handling capacity to 30 million tons a year.