Four international port behemoths have queued up to help funding and constructing Bay terminal near Chittagong Port, officials said.
Last week, the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) sought opinion of the shipping ministry regarding investment model of the terminal.
Earlier, it forwarded the proposals to the ministry.
CPA officials believe the construction of the terminal will significantly increase the handling capacity of the port.
The contenders are China Merchants Port Holdings Company, PSA Singapore, DP World UAE and Korean International Port Development Cooperation Program.
"I think all the four proposals are suitable for construction of the terminal," CPA chairman Zulfiqur Aziz told the FE over telephone.
"All of them are capable, famous worldwide and have experience in port construction," he mentioned.
Mr Aziz said he will now wait for the ministry's decision before formally inviting expression of interest from those companies.
Bay terminal will be built at the seaside, nearly eight to 10 miles north of the estuary.
It comprises one 1,500-metre multipurpose terminal, one 1,225-metre container terminal and another 830-metre two container terminals.
According to officials, the terminal will have 13 jetties where vessels having 12-metre draft and 280-metre length will be able to anchor.
The building cost of the terminal has been estimated at $2.1 billion.
Since the jetties will not be tide-dependent, the CPA officials said, vessels will be able to anchor round the clock.
HPC Hamburg Port Consulting GMBH in its Strategic Master Plan for Chittagong Port said Bay Terminal will be able to handle the Panamax and post-Panamax fourth-generation vessels.
Currently, the port's terminals can handle vessels at best 1,200 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).
Once built, Bay terminal will be able to handle vessels up to 5,000 TEUs, the consultant said.
Meanwhile, China Merchants showed interest to build the terminal on build-operate-transfer (BOT) system.
The company wants to arrange necessary funding for construction of the terminal its operation.
PSA Singapore is interested in lending technical support to the terminal's construction and operation for a long period.
However, it did not show interest to fund the main construction of the terminal.
Meanwhile, Korea wants to help build the terminal through Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co through low-cost loan and then operate it.
The Dubai-based DP World proposed to build it on the BOT basis or only just wanted to operate it.
It prefers to finalise the proposal through discussing with the ministry concerned.
Chittagong Port handled 2.6 million TEUs of containers in 2017.
As estimated, it will have to handle 5.0 million TEUs in 2036 and 5.6 million TEUs in 2043.
The CPA officials said the port's container-handling capacity will be saturated in 2019.
It will not be able to handle an additional load without having new terminals, they claimed.
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