Chattogram port to operate 24/7 with multi-terminal facility, serving other nations: Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury

Staff Reporter

Published: May 16, 2024, 07:12 PM

Chattogram port to operate 24/7 with multi-terminal facility, serving other nations: Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury


Currently, foreign port operators are investing in Chattogram Port. This fuels the vision and possibility that Chattogram Port might someday manage operations in another country, revealed Shipping Minister Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Chattogram Port and Abu Dhabi Ports Group for several projects including the construction of off-dock and multipurpose terminals at The Westin Dhaka on Thursday, the Minister stated, "Chattogram Port‍‍`s off-dock and multipurpose terminal construction projects have initiated, marking a new chapter in maritime infrastructure development."

Among the attendees were Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping, Md. Mustafizur Rahman, Chattogram Port Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohayel, Bangladeshi Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Abdullah Ali Abdullah Kassif Al Maudadi, and Ahmed Al Mutaiya, Regional Chief Executive Officer of the International Office of Abu Dhabi Ports Group.

The MoU was signed by Chattogram Port Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohayel and Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Saif Al Mazroui.

Abu Dhabi Ports Group will invest in the construction of off-dock and multipurpose terminals at Chattogram Port, alongside infrastructure development. This was stated in the memorandum.

"The journey in the maritime sector has been revitalized and invigorated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina‍‍`s leadership, following in the footsteps of Bangabandhu," said the Minister.

"Chattogram Port has attained international port capabilities in the last 15 years. Mongla Port is undergoing upgrades and will soon match Chattogram‍‍`s capacity. Ships of 200 meters length are now docking at Payra Port, a new experience," he added enthusiastically.

He further noted, "Previously, we relied on Colombo and Singapore ports for goods transportation. Now, deep-sea ports are being built in Matarbari, reducing dependency. Matarbari Port will transform into a regional ‍‍`hub.‍‍`"

Regarding the Red Sea Gateway Terminal agreement for operating the container terminal at Chattogram Port, the Minister informed, "Once the off-dock terminal is completed, ships will be able to come 24/7. There will be no waiting for the tide. Chattogram Port will rise to new heights. Road and rail connectivity will be established with the off-dock terminal, making goods transportation effortless."

The Minister emphasized, "Investment opportunities and facilities of all kinds will be provided for investment in any port of the country. The off-dock terminal will herald a new era in Bangladesh‍‍`s maritime transportation. We want to start construction of the multipurpose terminal soon."

In a bid to enhance Chattogram Port‍‍`s capacity, an initiative was taken to construct the ‍‍`off-dock terminal‍‍` on the southern side of Chattogram city near the Bay of Bengal. The initiative began after hiring a consultancy firm in 2017 to develop a master plan based on their research.

On November 14, 2023, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the final master plan. According to the plan, three terminals including two container terminals of 1,225 meters and one multipurpose terminal of 1,500 meters will be constructed, totaling a length of 4.95 kilometers.

The plan also includes keeping 11 jetties operational. Moreover, due to the necessary navigability in the Mohana of Karnaphuli River, it will be possible to berth ships of 12 meters draft and 300 meters length. Additionally, a six-kilometer long breakwater or wave barrier will be built to protect from weather and sea swells. The distance from the off-dock terminal to the outer anchorage will be one kilometer.

The multipurpose terminal will be jointly constructed by Chattogram Port and Abu Dhabi Ports Group. One container terminal of 1,225 meters will be established by Singapore-based PSA and the other by DP World of Dubai, according to the sources of the Ministry of Shipping.

The World Bank is organizing the financing for dredging a six-kilometer breakwater and access channel. 66.85 acres of private land has already been acquired for the off-dock terminal project, and 500.69 acres of government khas land have been approved by the government. The project is expected to commence operations in 2026, with a target of handling 5 million containers annually.

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