Bangladesh signed on Wednesday agreements with two Japanese consultancy firms for developing Matarbari port at Moheshkhali sub-district in Cox's Bazar.
As per the deals, the government will pay Tk 7.0 billion to the companies for their consulting work on the fast-track project.
To rope them in the building scheme, two separate agreements were signed between the Bangladesh government and the Japanese firms at a city hotel.
Planning minister MA Mannan and state minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury were virtually present as the chief guest and the special guest respectively during the signing ceremony.
According to contracts, the Japanese Nippon Koei Joint Company and Japan Oriental Consultant Global Company will provide support for building the port.
Chattogram Port Authority's project director for Matarbari port development Jafar Alam and Nippon Koei Joint Company representative Naoki Kudo signed the agreement on technical matters of the port. Matarbari port roads and highways development project director Md Sadequl Islam and Oriental Consultant Global Company representative Shunji Yoshihara signed another agreement.
Nippon Koei will determine the cost of the project design, prepare all tender documents and supervise the expenditure related to the infrastructure of the port. It will also help procure building equipment and coordinate up to the commissioning of the port.
The government will provide Tk 2.34 billion to Nippon Koei for doing the job.
On the other hand, Oriental Consultant will give suggestions to the government for building streets and link roads to the port. The government will provide the firm Tk 4.66 billion as consultancy fees.
During the event, minister Mr Mannan said the country would strengthen its presence on the Bay of Bengal through building Matarbari port.
The port will help accelerate economic growth, he added.
Junior minister Mr Chowdhury said the port will help optimum utilisation of blue economy of the bay.
Construction work on 18.5-metre depth of the port is expected to end by 2026.
The port will link road, railway and waterway, thus cutting almost 15-per cent transport cost. The port development cost is estimated at Tk 17.77 billion. Of the funds, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide loan worth over Tk 12.89 billion.
The rest Tk 22.13 billion will be borne by the Chattogram Port Authority and Tk 26.71 billion by the government.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved the Matarbari Port development project on March 10 this year.
CPA chairman Rear Admiral SM Abul Kalam Azad, roads and highways chief engineer Kazi Shahriar Hossain, JICA chief representative Yuho Hayakawa and Japanese ambassador Hiroyuki Yamaya, among others, were present.