a year ago

PCT cannot start operation for want of operator

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The Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) could not kick off its operational activities one month after implementation of the project as the authority concerned has not yet selected an operator.

Started five years ago, construction work of the Tk 18.68 billion (Tk 1,868 crore) PCT project was completed on July 15, 2022, and the container terminal was scheduled to go into operation by July 20. But the multi-billion taka terminal is yet to start the operational activities and has been waiting for the last one month for an operator to do so as the shipping ministry has not selected one to run the newly-built terminal in the last 29 days, sources said.

Once going into operation, the PCT can host at a time three container carrying ships with each 190 metres in length and having 9.5 metres draft. Besides, an oil tanker with 290 metres in length can also simultaneously take berth at the Dolphin Jetty of the PCT.

Talking with The Financial Express, CPA Chairman Rear Admiral M Shahjahan said construction of the PCT has already been completed and it is ready to open. He said it will handle bulk carriers on the first day of going onto operation and geared container vessels thereafter on priority basis. PCT's strategic location near the Karnaphuli estuary would significantly accelerate goods discharging and loading activities, he also said.

The 32-acre terminal also boasts having a specialised dolphin oil jetty for unloading fuel oil with roads and railway tracks backyard, plus other modern facilities, he noted,

mentioning the engineering corps of the Bangladesh Army was selected to execute the project.

"We held a meeting with officials of the World Bank regarding the PCT. We will get support from World Bank for its operation. I hope that the operation of PCT can be started next month," he added.

Echoing him, CPA Secretary Omar Faruk said, PCT's construction has already been completed and its operation will be kicked off soon. Sources said, the new terminal may not be fully operational until the appointment of a private operator.

Meanwhile, a total of five terminal operators have shown interest to operate the terminal. They are: A.P. Moller - Maersk (Maersk), Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT), Dubai Port World (DP World), Adani Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd and PSA International. If the government fails to appoint private operator for the PCT, the CPA will operate the terminal, they said.

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