Various Projects to Boost Chittagong Port Capacity

Chittagong Port Authority taken various projects to boost capacity of Chittagong Port

Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has undertaken various projects to enhance capacity of the country’s premier seaport, keeping pace with its growth.

The CPA plans to keep the port free from pollution following ‘Greenport Concept’. In this regard, initiatives have been taken to maintain navigability and normal flow of the Karnaphuli River in the port channel and save the river from pollution.

Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority Rear Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed talked about the projects and initiatives taken up for enhancing capacity of the port and maintaining it in an environment-friendly way.

The CPA has a fund amounting to Tk 60 billion to implement the projects within the next few years, Ahmed said.

It has become imperative to enhance capacity of the port that marked a growth rate ranging from 10 percent to 15 percent over the last 22 years with increasing activities of export and import.

“We have adopted an initiative to put New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) in full operation and complete capital dredging of the Karnaphuli river at the earliest. We would be developing a bulk cargo container in the proposed site for Karanphuli Container Terminal and another container terminal at Laldia soon,” he added.

The CPA has also started process for developing a Bay Terminal on 1000 acres of land along the coast in the city’s Halishahar Ananda Bazar area. The Bay Terminal would have two Dolphin jetties – one for handling coal to be imported for recently approved power generation through coal-fired plants and the other for handling cement clinkers in an environment-friendly way.

The CPA chairman said when it goes into full operation, the NCT would have capacity of handling 1.5 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) container annually.

The CPA has preparations for putting NCT in full operation by December 2015. But, instead of appointing operator on SOT (supply, operate and transfer) basis, the CPA would procure equipments at around Tk 12 billlion and install those by its own.

Because if an operator is appointed on an SOT basis, the CPA would not have control over fixing tariff and relaxing Cut-Off time at NCT. Besides, CPA would not have control over determining berthing of ships that would affect operation at other terminals and jetties of the port, the CPA chairman pointed out.

“The CPA would welcome inclusion of those, who might raise question about transparency in equipment procurement process, in the purchase committee. The procurement also can be made through ‘Government-to-Government’ method instead of existing tendering process,” Nizamuddin said.

“We would also agree on appointing operator for installing equipment and operating NCT. But it has to work under the control and management of the CPA like the operator of CCT does,” he said.

Foreign firm also can be appointed under joint venture with local firm since appointment of 100 percent foreign might go against the interest of the port as well as the country, said the Chittagong Port Authority chairman.

“Besides, we would start capital dredging of the Karnaphuli river afresh soon. We would complete the dredging by January next and expect to have it inaugurated by the Prime Minister by February next,” he said.

The Malaysian Maritime and Dredging Corporation that signed an agreement with the CPA on April 28, 2011 for implementing the capital dredging project involving Tk 2.29 billion left the project, leaving its work incomplete.

The Malaysian firm constructed 98 percent of the 400-meter jetty and some 90 percent of the 2.6-Kilometer embankment from Sadarghat lighterage jetty towards upstream.

But, only some 40 percent of the dredging work was done before the Malaysian contractor fled without completing the project work despite getting the completion period extended for several times, he said.

The CPA chairman said following a proposal of the CPA the shipping ministry formed a 14-member committee to put forward recommendations for maintaining navigability of the Karnaphuli and saving the river from pollution.

The committee comprising the CPA chairman as convener held its first meeting Sunday, he told daily sun.

The committees would comprise representatives from Chittagong City Corporation, Chittagong Development Authority, Department of Environment, district administration, environmental organisations and others concerned, he said.

Earlier, presiding over the first meeting of the Shipping Ministry-formed committee, CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed declared to maintain navigation and flow of the Karnaphuli and free it from the encroachers.

National economy largely depends on the Karnaphuli on which the country’s premier port stands and the river should be kept alive at any cost, he said at the meeting held at the conference room of Bandar Bhaban.

He sought cooperation from all to keep the river free from encroachers and pollution to benefit the port as well as import-export activities of the country.

The Karnaphuli is getting polluted and filled up with polythene, chemical, toxic water coming through different canals and waste of industrial units. Release and dumping of pollutants are decreasing the depth of the river, hampering dredging activities and damaging quality of the water and the environment as well, observed the Chittagong Port Authority chairman.

Stern action will be taken against those polluting the river, he said.

“To keep the water flow continuing, joint monitoring will be carried out through dredging planning. The port will provide funds for keeping the river free from pollution and encroachers,” said the CPA chairman.