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“Integrated logistics company” AP Møller-Maersk has joined the race to operate the Patenga Container Terminal in Chittagong.

Other contenders include local private sector port operators and foreign contenders Saudi Arabia-based Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) and Dubai-based DP World.

“We submitted our proposal for the development and operation of the container terminal in Patenga, aligned with the government-to-government agreement between Denmark and Bangladesh,” a spokesperson for APMM told The Loadstar.

The annual 500,000 teu-capacity terminal is expected to be in operation by June, Chittagong Port Authority chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Shahjahan said.

The 600-metre facility on 32 acres of land is being constructed by the Bangladesh Army at a cost of $240m.

As the terminal is located near the estuary of the Karnaphuli River, it will be able to accommodate vessels of up to 10.5m draught, with a carrying capacity of 4,500 teu, faster than the other terminals at Chittagong port, which can only accommodate vessels with capacity of up to 2,000 teu.

The terminal will be able to accommodate three 190m box ships alongside a 220m oil tanker. The terminal will also have  a 2,500m railway track, 128 sq metre freight station, 1,750m custom bonded area, a labour shed and fuel station.

Mr Shahjahan said several foreign operators had expressed interest in operating the terminal and “their proposals are now under scrutiny of the government’s high-ups”, he added.

Mohammed Abdullah Jahir, chief operating officer at Saif Maritime, said terminal’s potential was huge, as both berthing and sailing would be faster than at other terminals.

“Chittagong port needs more terminals to handle growing foreign trade,” he said, referring to the 13% growth in box handling at the port last year.

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