Consultation Now Under Way to Develop Plans for Largest Deep Water Port in Bangladesh Multi-Million Euro Facility Intended to Cut Out Transshipment and Feeder Vessel Traffic.

Royal HaskoningDHV, in partnership with the Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology, has been selected as master plan consultant for the Payra Deep Sea Port Development Project in Bangladesh.

The first phase of the green field port development comprises capital dredging works, which will be carried out by Belgium’s Jan de Nul under a PPP framework agreement, and the creation of two new port terminals with the presumption that container freight will account for much of the throughput.

Also Read: Bangladesh’s Growth: Opportunities for India, China collaboration outside BRI.

Payra Port will be the country’s third and largest seaport and is being designed to add much needed port capacity to Bangladesh to allow larger vessels to call at the facility.

Bangladesh imported approximately US$52.84 billion of goods in 2017 and the new deep sea port will enable the country to accommodate large draught vessels directly rather than requiring transshipment from Singapore or Colombo, a development which would deliver major savings in transit times and costs for both import and export.

As master planning consultant, Royal HaskoningDHV will integrate the latest Smart Port thinking to drive efficiency and high performance. Smart ports embrace technology at every stage, from the design and maintenance of structures and assets, to ensuring smooth performance, energy efficiency and minimal downtime.

Eric Smit, Business Development Director Maritime at Royal HaskoningDHV, said of the multi-million euro contract:

“We are honoured to be working on the development of this national priority project, together with the Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology. It’s rare to see greenfield port developments of this scale, and the new port will help the country achieve its growth ambitions and create greater economic growth, more jobs and new opportunities.”

The Port, which is scheduled to be operational by 2022, will also have strong rail, road and waterway links to the capital, Dhaka. As a global hub for the garment industry, Dhaka has become a primary destination for imports and the origin point for most exports from Bangladesh. Chairman of Payra Sea Port Commodore M Jahangir Alam said;

“This Port will be as essential link in the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor and as such will have a great impact on the economic development of Bangladesh”

Some port facilities have been operative on the site since 2016 with much of the investment coming from overseas, with Chinese state owned contractors responsible for the bulk of the work to develop the facilities. The total cost of the port itself has been estimated at between $11 and $15 billion.

The China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has a $600 million contract to develop the port itself whilst China State Engineering and Construction Company (CSCEC) is to initiate housing, healthcare and education facilities around the port.

Although India has not supported the Chinese initiative of Belt and Road it has apparently partially funded the project.