Consultants of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) presented five technical papers in a workshop on its preparatory survey on Matarbari deep seaport development on Monday.
JICA survey team leader Takashi Shimada, in his paper on project outline of Matarbari port development, opined that an integrated port planning, involving Mongla Port, Payra Port, Chittagong Port and Matarbari Port, is necessary to meet the country's future demand.
Later, with the development of Matarbari deep seaport, a development plan for the entire Moheshkhali area must be considered, he added.
Besides him, Masaaki Goshima delivered a paper on port facility plan, Hiroshi Otani on construction plan, Takahiro Suzuki on navigation safety and security, and Mr Sato on operation and management of the deep seaport.
Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) Commodore Zulfiqur Aziz, in his speech, said development of a modern deep seaport is very much essential to facilitate anchorage of modern containerized vessels, major bulk cargo vessels and oil tankers.
It is also needed to ease pressure on Chittagong Port, meet the country's growing export-import, and support cargo traffic from Matarbari industrial zone, he also said.
Madarbari deep seaport will be constructed in line with the model of Japan's Kashima Port and Nigata (East) Port. So, the port will not be developed adjacent to the sea, but by constructing a channel up to the sea.
Breakwater will be constructed, so that the channel does not form sediment. Initially two terminals will be built, each with the length of 320-350 meters and draft of 16 meters, where container vessels with 8,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent unit) will be able to anchor, he added.
The CPA chairman further said there is no alternative to the development of a deep seaport to meet the challenges of the increasing activities in Chittagong Port, its cargo demand forecast and access road development plan.
As per the existing growth trend, it is assumed that container handling in the port will reach 5.7-6.5 million TEUs and the number of vessels calling will be 8,200 a year by 2041, which necessitates construction of a deep seaport.
Study conducted by JICA shows that the vessels carrying maximum 2,500 TEUs of containers can anchor at Chittagong Port. On the other hand, Colombo Port allows vessels with 19,200 TEUs, Jawaharlal Nehru Port allows 13,100 TEUs, and Chennai Port allows vessels with 6,800 TEUs.
The JICA study suggests that Bangladesh currently allows vessels with a maximum draft of 9.5 meters. But it needs to construct a port of higher draft to meet the growing demand of a thriving economy. Matarbari area of Cox's Bazar, having 16-meter draft, is suitable for a deep seaport.
CPA member (admin and planning) Md Zafar Alam, director of Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association Shahed Sarwar and Assistant Harbour Master (VTMIS) of CPA Captain Md Ataul H Siddiqui, among others, took part in the programme.
A number of representatives from different trade-bodies, Chittagong Port stakeholders, businessmen and industrialists also attended it.
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