The Chittagong Port Authority yesterday struck a deal with a Chinese firm to buy six gantry cranes for Tk 344.92 crore for the New Mooring Container Terminal to improve container handling.
The cranes are being bought 10 years after the terminal was set up.
It would still take some more time to get the delivery of the cranes as Chinese company ZPMC would supply the cranes in one year and a half.
The deal was signed at the shipping ministry in Dhaka yesterday. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan and CPA Chairman M Khaled Iqbal were present.
ZPMC was the lowest bidder among the three international firms which
took part in the open tender on January 22.
The one kilometre-long terminal was set up in 2007 but it did not become fully operational until 2015 because of long delay over appointing operators. Now a joint venture firm is operating four out of the terminal's five jetties.
But there had been indecision for long over the purchase of the equipment needed for the terminal.
Last year, the CPA decided to buy 51 pieces of machinery, including 10 gantry cranes, at about Tk 1,200 crore.
The port received the delivery of 12 pieces of machinery in the last few months while the tender evaluation for another 12 is underway, said CPA Secretary Omar Faruq.
Because of a lack of modern cranes, containers are being handled at the four jetties in the old way using cranes onboard the vessels.
Modern ports worldwide use gantry cranes to handle containers.