The government will construct a multipurpose terminal with Indian Line of Credit (LoC) aiming to start commercial operation of Payra port by 2022, officials said Monday.
The Indian government from its recently confirmed US$ 4.5 billion LoC-III will provide around US$ 750 million for building the multipurpose terminal, said Commodore Jahangir Alam, chairman of the Payra Port Authority (PPA).
"This will be the single largest investment for the under-construction Payra port. After completion of its construction in 2022, the port's operation including loading and unloading of goods for foreign trade will start," he told the FE.
"We have plans to invest more than $5.0 billion in next eight years until 2025 where several works including multipurpose terminal, deep-sea terminal, transhipment terminal, bulk and coal terminal, capital dredging will be conducted," Mr Alam said.
The PPA chairman said the Payra port will be the country's prime port, once it will be developed as it could accommodate higher draught ships unlike the country's two existing seaports --Chittagong and Mongla.
The multipurpose terminal for the country's third seaport will be 1200 metres in length.
A shipping ministry official said: "The feasibility study on the multipurpose terminal will be completed within three months. Then we will seek approval for the project for building the multipurpose terminal from the Planning Commission immediately."
He added: "Soon after getting approval for the project proposal, we will go for inviting tender from the Indian companies to build it."
PPA officials said after capital dredging in the Payra river channel, ocean-going 16 metres-depth and 300 metres-long vessels could anchor at the country's 3rd seaport.
An ERD official said they had already confirmed financing from the Indian LoC-III to build the multipurpose terminal.
"Now the fund is ready. When the PPA will start its construction, then India will disburse the funds," he added.
According to the PPA chairman, they have already started building of a small (650m) terminal with financial support from the government mainly for unloading of imported construction materials to be used for developing the port.
Besides, they are going to start construction of a separate terminal for handing imported coals to be used for the proposed thermal power plants at Payra, he said.
"We will invite tender by this month from private companies for building the coal terminal on public-private partnership (PPP) basis in a bid to make it operational by 2020," the PPA chairman said.
They will also construct deep-sea terminal, transhipment terminal, core port infrastructure, and riparian liabilities (protection of cost) through a mid-term to long-term plan up to 2025, he added.
According to the PPA, a German-based company HPC, Hamburg Port Consulting Gmbh has said the container traffic through sea ports in Bangladesh would nearly be doubled to 5.235 million TEUs by 2025 from the current 2.5 million TEUs a year.
So, the Chittagong and Mongla ports will not be enough for the country to handle all the containers due to boosting of international trade through Bangladesh.