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POST TIME: 12 September, 2019 12:09:23 AM
Mongla Port to get 6 more jetties, one container terminal
Deepak Acharjee, Dhaka

Mongla Port to get 6 more jetties, one container terminal

Six more jetties and one container terminal will be built to strengthen Mongla Port, the country’s second largest sea port, by 2023. Of the six jetties, two jetties—Jetty No.1 and 2 —would be constructed under the third line of credit (LoC) of the Indian government. Two others, Jetty No. 10 and 11, would be built under government to government (G-to-G) cooperation with the Chinese government. Two more, Jetty No.3 and 4, would be built under public-private partnership (PPP) with the Saif Power Tech and Shikder Group, according to sources in the shipping ministry.

One container terminal would be constructed under the Indian LoC, the sources say. Jetty no. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are not capable of handling heavy equipment. Md Zahirul Huq, chief planning officer of the Mongla Port Authority, told The Independent that they already completed the required work to start construction of the two jetties under PPP.

“We’re waiting to receive the Chinese government’s green signal to construct the two jetties. After getting that, we’ll start negotiating with the authorities concerned. We have already formed a negotiation team, headed by an additional secretary of the shipping ministry, on the matter,” he said.

Regarding Jetty No.1 and 2, Zahiru said they already held a meeting of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) to build the proposed jetties. “We’re now amending the Development Project Proposal (DPP), which will be sent to the planning ministry to be placed before the meeting of the Executive Committee National Economic Council (ECNEC) for approval,” he added.

“After getting the ECNEC approval, we will invite tender. Only Indian companies can take part in the tender process as the jetties would be built under the Indian LoC,” he said.

Zahirul also said their target was to complete all the work by 2023 as part of building Bangladesh a middle-income country. He further said that their aim was to modernise and increase the port-handling capacity to six to eight lakh TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) annually.

The Mongla port is already a busy and profitable port with enhanced foreign ship anchoring, cargo handling and exports and imports over the last nine years. However, the capacity of container handling has not been increased as required.

After the opening of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, port activities will increase significantly if the proposed projects are completed successfully.

According to the Mongla Port Authority, the aim is to handle 1,000 ships annually by 2021 and ensure international standards by modernising the port in the light of global trade.

Following a coastal shipping agreement with India, Mongla has a direct route with the port of Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. A coastal shipping agreement has also been signed with Thailand.