Deep-sea port construction to start Dec likely

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2010/04/01/news0602.htm

Deep-sea port construction to start Dec likely

BSS, Dhaka

The construction of much-awaited deep-sea port will begin at Sonadia of Cox’s Bazar district in November-December this year.

The shipping ministry has taken the initiative to present the proposal on complete design and work area of the deep-sea port project in the next meeting of the cabinet.

Shipping Secretary Abdul Mannan Hawlader told BSS yesterday that tenders would be invited for construction of the port after approval of the cabinet.

He said the deep-sea port project will include construction of infrastructures for the port and jetty, beck water, additional channels, export-import zones, system for communications with other ports, road, railway, power supply, gas connection, transit area, township and helipad.

This will require requisition of land and rehabilitation of the affected people.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said the Sonadia deep-sea port would be a regional port. It will expand Bangladesh’s trade with China, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

During the recent visit to Beijing, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina discussed with her Chinese counterpart on the construction of deep- sea port and got assurance of assistance.

The minister said the shipping ministry has taken initiatives to construct the deep-sea port soon.

He said about Taka 13,000 crore would be required to complete the first phase of the deep-sea port project. The government will give 30 percent of the fund while the rest would come from public-private partnership.

Shipping Ministry Joint Secretary Abdul Quddus said work on the first phase of construction would begin in 2010 and end in 2017.

He said expenditures for the second phase (2026-2035) has been estimated at Taka 26,000 crore.

He said the deep-sea port would be constructed on 22,000 hectares of land at Sonadia of Kutubjom and Hoyanak union of Moheshkhali. Five international and four general cargo jetties would be constructed in the first phase.

The joint secretary said currently no ship more than nine meter deep can anchor at the Chittagong port. But 14-16 meter deep ships would be able to anchor at the deep-sea port.

AK Ahmed, coordinator of Pacific International of Japan that conducted feasibility study of the deep-sea port, said the Chittagong port now handle 10 lakh tons containers.

After completion of the first phase, the deep-sea port would be able to handle 7.41 crore containers.

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