Chittagong Port Credit Chittagong Port.
Credit, Chittagong Port.

Bangladesh’s newly built Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) will begin handling boxes this Monday, creating scope for the congested Chittagong port to boost output and bringing some relief to shippers.

Jeddah-based Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) will operate the $100m government-built terminal, the first foreign operator in the Bangladesh’s port sector, with the MV Maersk Davao set to be the first ship to dock.

“By awarding the PCT for operation to RSGT, the Chittagong port enters into a landlord model,” Chittagong Port Authority spokesperson Omar Faruk said.

Initially the PCT will only handle geared container vessels as the operator is yet to bring and set up gantry cranes.

The 600-metre facility 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.

Furthermore, it will also benefit from a 2,500m railway track, a 128sqm freight station, a 1,750m custom bonded area, and a labour shed and fuel station, with expectations that it will help Chittagong port add some 500,000 teu annual container handling capacity.

Dhaka-based garment exporter Abul Kalam Azad cheered as the new facility was set to start handling boxes, noting that “it is very good news for those of us who have been suffering at Chittagong port due to its capacity shortage”.

Mr Azad said he also expected the quality of services at Chittagong to increase substantially, and to see handling costs reduced with the introduction of foreign companies as service operators in the port sector.

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