CHATTOGRAM: With completion of 84 percent work, the much-awaited Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) is going to start operation from May this year.
With this, the country’s premier seaport will get a new terminal after 14 years.
The work for completion of the project is now progressing fast on the bank of the river Karnaphuli.
The work for construction of flyover, new road, land development, box culvert over canals, shore protection and retaining walls, CFS shed and relocation of structures has already been completed.
Of the rest, work of construction of container jetties witnessed 85 percent progress while dolphin jetty 83 percent, workshop 95 percent and office building 92 percent till December last year, said the sources concerned.
Bangladesh Army 34 Engineer Construction Brigade is implementing the project.
The government approved the project on June 13 in 2017. The deadline for implementation of the project at a cost of Tk 1,868 crore from the port’s own fund was set for December in 2019.
The deadline was extended till June this year in the revised DPP, said the sources.
A memorandum of understanding for implementation of the project was signed with the Bangladesh Army on November 23 in 2017 and the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) handed over the project to Army in January 2018.
They started the workof the project from February of the year. But, the work also slowed down during the corona pandemic.
Besides, the government gave approval in principle for the project “Equip, Operate and Maintenance of PCT on PPP Model” to operate the terminal in March last year.
Following the initiative, the port authority will not have to buy equipment separately. It helped reduce the project cost to a great extent.
The international firms, including Red Sea-Gateway Terminal (RSGT) of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates Dubai Port World (DP World) of the UAE, Adani Port and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) of India, PSA of Singapore and APM of Denmark, expressed their interests in operating and investing in the terminal, said sources in the CPA.
The terminal is being developed on a 26-acre of land near the Chattogram Dry-Dock and Boat Club in Patenga area.
The terminal will create scope for handling three container vessels at a time while there will also have facilities for offloading liquid cargo at a separate dolphin jetty.
It will allow vessels of 9.5-metre draft and 190-metre length to dock.
Contacted, Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) Chairman Rear Admiral M Shahjahan told the Daily Sun that work of the project is progressing fast.
“We expect to get the work completed by April and allow vessels at the terminal jetties in May this year,” hoped the chairman.
An additional quantity of 4.5 lakh TEU containers can be handled at the terminal every year, he said.
“Although, we have taken lots of measures, including setting up of lighterage jetty and port yards, and procured equipment to facilitate the port activities, the new terminal will also help cope with the economic growth of the country,” said the chairman.
“The PCT is also part of the all development plans including the Vision-2041 of the Prime Minister to upgrade the country to developed one,” Shahjahan said.
The chairman also said that the operational activities will be carried out with the existing equipment of the port until PPP-authority finalises operator for the new terminal.
Mentionable, there are three terminals – General Cargo Berth, Chattogram Container Terminal (CCC) and New-mooring Container Terminal (NCT) at the port.
Besides, there are four dolphin jetties for offloading liquid cargoes.
The country’s premier seaport also set record in container, cargo and ship handling last year overcoming the setback witnessed by the maritime ports across the globe following the spread of the corona pandemic.
The port achieved 13 percent growth through handling over 3201,548 TEUs container, 116619,158 tonnes of cargo and 4,209 vessels in the year.