Chattogram’s Patenga Container Terminal Set for Launch Tomorrow

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Chattogram’s Patenga Container Terminal Set for Launch Tomorrow

The much-anticipated Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) at Chattogram port is set to begin formal operations on Tuesday, marking a significant milestone in the country’s port management with the introduction of the landlord model.

For the first time, a foreign firm, Saudi-based Red Sea Gateway Terminal International (RSGTI), will manage operations, starting with the handling of the container vessel “Maersk Davao.”

The landlord port model involves the port authority owning basic infrastructure and leasing it to private operators while retaining regulatory control. This model is now being established at Chattogram, enhancing the port’s capabilities with a new terminal featuring four jetties – the first addition in 15 years.

Originally slated to commence in April, operations were delayed due to pending permissions from various agencies. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has now granted interim permission, conditional on compliance with customs regulations and facilitating import-export trade to reduce congestion and costs.

CPA Secretary Omar Faruk stated that the NBR has set eight conditions for the terminal’s operation. Initially, the “Maersk Davao” will berth at Chittagong Container Terminal for partial offloading before moving to the PCT. The Saudi firm will then formally start operations on Tuesday, focusing initially on geared vessels with specialized equipment for efficient loading and unloading.

The NBR conditions include ensuring logistics and connectivity between the PCT and ASYCUDA World, conducting customs activities, and physical examinations of all off-dock and EPZ-bound containers until scanners are installed.

The terminal’s launch is expected to boost Chattogram port’s handling capacity by 17% annually, significantly enhancing Bangladesh’s export and import operations. The involvement of a foreign firm underscores growing investor confidence in the nation’s economic future.

The PCT, developed over 26 acres near Chattogram Dry Dock and Chattogram Boat Club, can handle three container ships simultaneously and offers facilities for offloading liquid cargo at a separate dolphin jetty. Completed in June 2022, the project involved a 22-year operational agreement with RSGTI, signed under a government-to-government framework by the Private Public Partnership Authority.

During the initial phase, geared vessels will be accommodated while sophisticated equipment is delivered and installed over the next two and a half years. Eventually, the terminal will handle gearless vessels, significantly increasing its capacity. The project, implemented by Bangladesh Army’s 34 Engineering Construction Brigade, was completed at a cost of Tk1,147 crore, with a revised project scope.

Yasir Monon
Yasir Monon
Online Editor, Business Mirror

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