Global firms submit bids for new seaport terminal

Dhaka,  Fri,  18 August 2017
Published : 13 Aug 2017, 23:59:10
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Global firms submit bids for new seaport terminal

They will design, build, finance, operate port terminal in Ctg
FE Report


Potential global firms are submitting bids for designing, building, financing and operating a new seaport terminal in Chittagong amid a cargo boom, officials said.   

Government authorities have planned the port terminal, named Laldia, for enhancing overall port capacity and handling efficiently a mounting influx of cargoes into the country's apex seaport-Chittagong Port.

"A selected international firm will be awarded the job under 'landlord' model," Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) Chairman Rear Admiral M Khaled Iqbal told the FE Sunday

The model means the port authority would provide only necessary land while the remaining works will be done by the firm.

The CPA floated international tender on June 18 with August 20 fixed as the bid-submission deadline.

Mr Iqbal hoped engaging globally reputed firms in overall operations and maintenance of new terminals, to be built by them, would help reduce turnover period and increase handling capacity.

The premier port handles around 92 per cent of the country's total imports and exports worth around US$ 77 billion in total.

Chittagong Port is one of the oldest in the region, and it was ranked 76th busiest port in the world by Llyod's List in 2016 in a rise from 87th position in 2015.

Apace with country's consistent economic growth of over 6.0 per cent in the past several years, container traffic in the port increased by over 1.0 million TEUs to around 2.41 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2016 within the period of five years since 2012, according to CPA statistics.

The seaport handled 1.4 million TEUs in 2012, 1.5 million TEUs in 2013, 1.7 million TEUs in 2014, 2.0 million TEUs in 2015 and 2.41 million TEUs in 2017, CPA statistics reveal the crescendo.

The port's container-handling capacity is now 2.64 TEUs per year, which is set to be saturated by 2019 if the current increasing trend in container inflows continues, said Mohammad Zafar Alam, member (admin & planning) of CPA.

"Chittagong Port witnessed around 16-17 per cent growth in cargo and container handling over the past few years sans any new jetty constructed, resulting in vessel congestion at the port," he said.

To increase overall capacity of the country's apex port, the CPA is now working with a cluster of development plans, including the building of two more terminals - Potenga Terminal and Bay Terminal - apart from Laldia terminal, Mr Alam said.

He said implementation of the development plans will be started in 2019 with the building of Patenga container terminal with three container jetties and one oil-container jetty.

All the 13 existing old jetties will be rebuilt in phases to ramp up capacity of Chittagong Port, he added.

Apart from developing infrastructure, the authority has now ensured 24-hour operation of customs in Chittagong port, said the CPA chairman.

The port authority will soon keep the banks operational round the clock in port areas to facilitate its smooth functioning, Mr Iqbal added.

The government is working to develop the country's second seaport Mongla in the southwestern coastal belt as well, joint secretary of the Ministry of Shipping ASM Mamunur Rahman Khalili said.

Two new container jetties would be built in Mongla by 2018, he added.

The Mongla seaport has the capacity of handling 70,000 TEUs of containers a year, but much of it remains unutilized.

It handled only 26,952 TEUs of containers in the fiscal year 2016-17, according to statistics from the Mongla Port Authority.

Apart from the two existing seaports, efforts are there to build another seaport at Payra and a deep-sea port at Matarbari in the Bay of Bengal, said Mr Khalili.

    Azizjst@yahoo.com
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