Chattogram Bureau: After the completion of Bay-Terminal and Matarbari Port of Maheshkhali, the current capacity of Chittagong Port will increase by three to four times, Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority Rear Admiral M. Shah Jahan He said that a mother vessel with a capacity of 80 thousand tons of coal with a length of 230 meters and a depth of 13 meters arrived for the first time in the history of Bangladesh at the jetty built for the coal-based thermal power plant in the Matarbari channel.
Once the Matarbari Terminal is operational, deep draft vessels i.e. commercial vessels with a depth of 16 meters or more will be able to ply. It will serve as a milestone in the country’s economic progress.
He was the martyr of the port yesterday on the occasion of port day. Fazlur Rahman Munshi said these things during an exchange with journalists at the auditorium. Yesterday was Chittagong port’s 136th anniversary, port day. Board members, directors, secretaries, department heads and senior officers of the port were present in the exchange meeting.
He also said that if any company is interested in launching direct shipping services from Chittagong port on American routes like Europe, it will be considered on priority basis. On February 7, 2022, MV Tsonga Cheetah embarked from Chittagong to Italy’s Ravenna port with 952 containers of export goods. It was a landmark decision. As there is no transshipment delay, the export products are going to various final destinations in Europe at a cost of 10-12 thousand dollars within 12-15 days. This saves time by 15-16 days, saving about $8,000 per container.
The port chairman said that 50 software modules are being developed to automate various departments with the aim of transforming Chittagong port into an international standard port. Through which it will be possible to turn the port into a paperless institution. Initiatives have been taken to build state-of-art chemical sheds to facilitate safe import and export of hazardous, radioactive, chemical products. The port limit has been increased from 7 nautical miles to 62 nautical miles. It has increased the port limit by eight times. Procurement of 2 modern scanners to scan export containers is underway, which will be in place by June 2023.
Plans have been taken to construct Lighterage Jetty at Hamidchar. By improving the skills of port pilots, ships of 210 meters long and 10.5 meters can be loaded in the future. There is a plan to construct a 200-meter passenger terminal on the banks of the Karnaphuli river estuary to facilitate the berthing of pilgrims and tourist ships. A survey is underway in this regard.
Mentioning the average position of ships in the port as a very important indicator, he said that at present in Chittagong Port, container ships are flocking to the jetty within one to two days of their arrival at outer anchorage, in some cases on-arrival berthing is being provided. No vessel has to wait to dock at the jetty. The ship leaves the port by loading-unloading the goods in quick time. It saves both time and money. Which has a positive effect on the overall economy.
He said the construction of Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) with 584 meter long jetty has been completed. With an estimated cost of Tk 1,229 crore 58 lakhs from the port’s own financing, the terminal will be able to accommodate 2 container ships of 200 meters long and 10 meters draft and oil tankers at the 220 meters long Dolphin Jetty. IFC has been appointed as the transaction advisor by the PPP following the government’s decision to operate the terminal by an international private operator. Further action will be taken after they report the transaction structure. He also said that if a foreign company is given the responsibility of managing the terminal, foreign investment will come directly to the country.
He said that the container capacity has increased to 55,000 TEUs due to the construction of 580,000 square meter yard in a decade to increase the capacity of the port. At the same time 310 different types of equipment including ship to shore gantry cranes have been procured. There are 18 gantry cranes in the port. We have achieved all indicators of ease of doing business quickly. Chittagong port is capable of transit transshipment. A few trial runs of transshipment in India have already been successful. Transshipment will start with some other countries. We have completed the capital dredging of Karnaphuli. It increased the navigability of the river. Lighterage shipping speeded up. Port berthing is done digitally. There is no doubt about it.
More than 120 ships have been berthed at the jetty built for coal based thermal power plant in Matarbari channel. Ships with a draft of more than 16 meters can be accommodated in this port. More cargo on bigger ships will actually reduce fares, increase revenue. International transshipment hub will be Matarbari. In addition to our three seaports, neighboring countries can use this port.
Chittagong Port Chairman said, Chittagong Port Authority is consistently at the top as the most profitable institution among the state organizations during the Seventh Five Year Plan. A transaction advisor has been appointed at the bay-terminal. Land acquisition work has progressed considerably. The port is going to get the vacant land at a nominal or nominal price. The capacity of the port will increase if the bay-terminal is opened. In 2022, 31 lakh 42 thousand 20 feet long containers were handled in Chittagong port. General cargo movement was 11 crore 96 lakh tonnes. 4 thousand 361 ships handled.
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