The government is going to build one of the biggest multipurpose terminals of the country at the Payra Seaport with the financial support of India, officials said on Friday.
They also said the Payra Port Authority (PPA) has taken up a project at a cost of Tk 51.50 billion, where Tk 44.02 billion will come from the Indian Line of Credit (LoC).
The berthing length of the multipurpose terminal will be 1,200 metres, they added.
According to the PPA officials, the terminal will be mainly used for handling general cargo, sand and aggregate, and grains.
The terminal's three berths with a length of 550 metres will be used for handling general cargo, two berths with a length of 400 metres for handling sand and aggregate, and one berth with a length of 250 metres for handling grains.
"We have already sent the Tk 51.50-billion cost project proposal to the Planning Commission for getting approval. Construction of the multipurpose terminal is expected to be completed by 2022," said an official.
He also said of the total cost, Tk 44.02 billion will come from the US$ 4.50 billion Indian LoC-III.
The official claimed that Payra, the third seaport of Bangladesh, will be the largest one by 2028 in terms of handling cargoes. It will annually operate about 3.0 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers then.
During that time, the Chittagong Port will handle 2.23 million TEUs, and the Mongla Port will handle 46,000 TEUs, he noted.
According to the project proposal, the PPA will complete construction of a 1,200 metre X 22 metre jetty with necessary facilities, 10-kilometre (km) slop protection work, installation of 10-km 33-kv electricity line, setting up 10-km optical-fibre cables, building a water treatment plant, fixing a 2.4-km gantry crane, and some other works.
Another official said they have a target to make the Payra Port operational by 2023.
"In addition to the proposed terminal, we also have a plan to construct another 650-metre length multipurpose terminal-1 at the northern part of the seaport in near future."
"Indian government has already expressed interest to use the Payra Port for its northern states. Besides, three big coal-fired power plants and two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals will also be set up in Payra area. They will also use the port to handle their coal and LNG."
"So, the port will be a busy hub in near future," he added.
Currently, Chittagong is the largest seaport of Bangladesh, which is handling some 80 per cent of the country's foreign trade.
The government is also trying to make Mongla, the second largest port, vibrant by upgrading its capacity.
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