Govt to appoint consultant for Bay Terminal works
The government will appoint a German joint venture as the consultant for the construction of a breakwater and channel dredging work at the proposed Bay Terminal, a long-awaited project of Chattogram port.
The cabinet committee on public purchase yesterday approved the Chattogram Port Authority's (CPA's) proposal to appoint a joint venture of Sellhorn, WSP, KS and Aqua, Germany, as the consultant for the channel dredging and breakwater construction works of the Bay Terminal Construction Project at Tk 51.30 crore.
Once the terminal is operational, it will enable Chattogram port to operate round-the-clock vessel movement as the site is on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Currently, vessel movement to and from the port through the Karnaphuli channel depends on high tides.
Moreover, vessels with a draft of up to 12 metres can be berthed at the proposed terminal while the port can currently allow only vessels with a draft as high as 9.5 metres to moor.
The terminal is being constructed on around 2,500 acres of land. It will have a length of 6.15 kilometres, stretching from the backside of the Chattogram Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) to Rasmonighat on the Halishahar coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Talks on the Bay Terminal project began in 2011 as the prospect of building a mega container terminal emerged after an 11km long natural island surfaced from the seabed near the Halishahar coast, creating a natural channel for vessel movement.
CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Shahjahan told The Daily Star yesterday that there are two parts of construction to build the terminal: one is jetty-related and the other is breakwater construction and channel dredging.
The natural island would be raised to form a breakwater to protect the port channel from strong waves while dredging is required for enhancing its depth.
"The German consultancy firm will conduct a feasibility study and detail drawings and designs on that part of the construction, and later, it will also monitor the construction work," Shahjahan said.
In August 2016, the CPA appointed a joint venture comprised of two German firms -- Sellhorn Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH and HPC Hamburg Port Consulting GmbH -- and a Bangladeshi firm, KS Consultants Limited, to conduct a feasibility study on the Bay Terminal project.
The joint venture submitted the report and a master plan in 2017, describing the project as economically and technically viable. Although the business community has long been demanding that the authorities begin the project as a part of the much-needed expansion of the country's premier seaport, it got delayed.
It was initially decided that one single firm would build the whole terminal under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. To speed up implementation, the government later decided to divide the project into three parts.
As per the new decision, the CPA will construct a multipurpose terminal while two container terminals will be set up under the PPP model.
Five international port giants, including PSA Singapore, China Merchants Sports Holding Company Ltd, Dubai Ports (DP) World of the UAE, and International Port Development Co-operation of Korea, have expressed interest in funding and constructing the mega project.
Top officials of DP World that met with State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury at his office in Dhaka on August 23 expressed interest in the Chittagong Sea Port, its bay-terminal operations and integrated logistics support.
Other approved projects
The cabinet committee meeting also approved the appointment of a Chinese company for maintenance and toll collection of the "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel" built under the Karnaphuli river in Chattogram.
The same China Communications Construction Company Ltd, which is building the underwater tunnel, was appointed to provide the service for five years at a cost of Tk 983.82 crore.
The deadline for the project is December this year.
The committee also approved the purchase of physical works of three underpasses on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway and U-loop at Paduar Bazar intersection from a joint venture of National Development Engineers Ltd and Hasan Techno Builders Ltd for Tk 289.75 crore.