Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurates the operational activities of the third seaport at Payra in Patuakhali today.
Through video conferencing, she would open the seaport at 11:00am from the Gono Bhaban, said Captain Saidur Rahman, acting chairman of Payra Port Authority (PPA).
In presence of Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, the PPA will receive its first ocean vessel MV Fortune Bird coming from China with 53,300 tonnes of crushed black stones for the Padma bridge project, PPA sources said.
Major (retd) Rafiqul Islam, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on shipping ministry, Navy chief Rear Admiral Mohammad Nizamuddin Ahmed, local lawmaker Mahbubur Rahman, NBR Chairman Nojibur Rahman, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, Local Government Division Secretary Abdul Malek, Senior Secretary to Finance Division Mahbub Ahmed and Senior Secretary of Commerce Ministry Hedayet Ullah Al Mamun would be present at the Payra port on the occasion.
PPA acting chairman Saidur Rahman would deliver the welcome speech.
The Payra port started its experimental operations on August 1 by unloading stones for the Padma bridge project from the first ocean vessel MV Fortune Bird coming from China.
The stones were imported by Jalal Uddin Traders of Sylhet, PPA sources said.
Around 60 percent of the imported stones would be sent to the Padma bridge site by a lighter ship, and the rest would be sold to other construction firms, said Jalal Uddin, proprietor of Jalal Uddin Traders.
Gulf Orient Seaways Ltd is the first shipping agent of the vessel.
The Payra seaport is on the west bank of Ramnabad channel in Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali.
The prime minister opened the work of the seaport on November 19, 2013. Parliament enacted the Payra Port Authority Act soon after.
Rezaul Kabir, secretary of the PPA, said the port would be fully ready by 2018.
Some offices, like the customs office, had primarily been set up so that the port could commence operations at least on a limited scale, he said.
“We already surveyed various naval routes and most routes were found to be 7 to 15 metres deep,” the PPA acting chairman said.
At least 205-metre-long ships could be anchored directly, while only 186-metre-long ships could be anchored at Chittagong port, PPA officials said.