FE Today Logo

Patenga Container Terminal starts operation under Saudi company

NAZIMUDDIN SHYAMOL | June 11, 2024 00:00:00

CHATTOGRAM, June 10: The long-awaited Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) of Chittagong Port started its operation under the management of Saudi company 'Red Sea Gateway Terminal' (RSGT) on Monday.

MV Maersk Davao, a Singapore-flagged container vessel, first berthed at the jetty of the terminal in the afternoon, initiating regular handling activities.

The authorities concerned expect that the terminal will annually handle approximately 500,000 Twenty-ft Equivalent Units (TEUs).

CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohail, RSGT Chief Executive Officer Erwin Hayes, top officials and stakeholders were present on the occasion.

For the first time, Bangladesh went to a foreign operator for operational activities of maritime ports of the country.

CPA Secretary Omar Faruk said, "The PCT was scheduled to start operation in the beginning of April. It has been delayed to complete the formalities."

"It'll take several months more to bring the equipment for the full-scale operation of the terminal. Initially, the RSGT is now not able to operate the key gantry crane. The company will start container handling with the ship's crane."

The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) leased the Patenga Container Terminal out to foreign operators on December 6 last year to bring in competition among terminal operators and make available the international standard services for the port users.

The CPA and the RSGT signed an agreement on the day at the Prime Minister Office (PMO) to operate the PCT for next 22 years.

Following the government-to-government negotiation between Bangladesh and the KSA, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the RSGT and the shipping ministry in 2019.

Constructed at a cost of Tk 150 crore, funded by the port, the PCT features state-of-the-art facilities, including gantry cranes that significantly increase loading and unloading efficiency.

CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Md Sohail noted that it would take approximately 18 months for the terminal to become fully operational.

The PCT was built on 32 acres of land near Chattogram Drydock Limited to Boat Club, with the foundation stone laid on September 8, 2017.

[email protected]

Share if you like