S’pore firm offers to raise Mongla port use capacity

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=129531&date=2011-03-17

S’pore firm offers to raise Mongla port use capacity
$750m investment proposed

Syful Islam

A Singaporean company has proposed to invest $750 million to develop the Mongla port with a view to raising the utilisation of the port’s capacity, officials said Wednesday.

Port Evolution Management Limited (Port-Evo), an agent of Singaporean port consultancy firm, David Wignall Associates, has submitted a proposal in this regard to the Ministry of Shipping recently.

Earlier, Port-Evo and the Mongla Port Authority had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on submitting a proposal for the proposed development work.

The Ministry of Shipping on last Tuesday evaluated the report and asked Port-Evo to submit a detailed report in this connection through consultation with the Mongla Port Authority (MPA), sources added.

According to the proposal, the company will carry out necessary dredging to increase the depth of rivers adjacent to Mongla port, establish power plant to supply uninterrupted electricity for port activities, establish terminals, warehouse, cold storage, water treatment plant and an industrial zone in the area.

In return, the company wants to operate and maintain the port for 30 years, it was learnt.

Currently, only 10 per cent capacity of the Mongla port is being utilised despite the government’s efforts to raise it operation level. According to the present policy, 40 per cent of the government-imported food grains and fertilisers are to be unloaded through Mongla Port.

Last month, the Ministry of Shipping sought cooperation of ministries and departments concerned for increased use of Mongla port’s capacity by handling 40 per cent of imported fertilisers and food grains.

The Mongla port handled loading-unloading of 1.64 million tonnes of goods through 190 ships in fiscal year 2009-10 against 1.13 million tonnes of goods through 151 ships in 2008-09. During the last 10-year period, the port handled the highest 455 ships in FY 2004-05.

Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping Abdul Mannan Howlader told the FE Wednesday that they have received a proposal from Port-Evo, some provisions of which are not relevant to the port’s development.

“We have asked them to submit a revised and specific proposal concentrating on the port’s development,” he added.

Mr Howlader said that the ministry had been receiving a lot of proposals for development of the underused Mongla port.

“We are scrutinising the proposals and responding to those which are economically profitable,” he said.

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