Aiming to enhance efficiency and productivity of the country’s premier maritime port, Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has been working to construct three more terminals.
CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Zulfiqur Aziz made the announcement while addressing a views-exchange meeting with members of the press on Wednesday.
As part of celebrating its 132nd founding anniversary, CPA organized the meeting at Shaheed Fazlur Rahman Munsi Auditorium in Chittagong.
“Now we are working to construct a 1,500-metre long multipurpose terminal and two container terminals with 1,225 and 800 metre lengths, respectively. The construction of the three terminals will be completed by 2025,” hoped the CPA chairman.
The CPA chairman claimed that the ships’ stay time at the port had reduced substantially.
“Currently, container vessels are getting schedule berthing within one or two days arriving at the outer anchorage of the port. The turnaround time for vessels at Chittagong port was 7-8 days in 2017. But the container handling activities have gained momentum at the port due to the installation of key gantry cranes. As a result, container vessels now have to spend less time at the jetties,” he explained.
The turnaround time, a port-efficiency index, begins from the time a vessel arrives at a port till it sails out after discharging imported goods and loading exports.
“In 2017, 10-12 container vessels had to stay at the outer anchorage of the port every day. In 2018, the number of ships has declined to 2-3. Meantime, the number of vessels berthing at the port has increased. 3370 ships berthed at the port in 2017 while the number increased to 3747 in 2018,” said the CPA chairman, adding that the importers now do not have to wait for the entire week to receive their consignments.
Record in container handling
The CPA chairman said that they have secured a record in container handling.
Zulfiqur added: “The port handled 26,67,000 TEUs in 2017. The throughput soared to 29,03,000 TEUs in 2018. Chittagong port has already achieved around 9% growth in container handling and 13% growth in cargo handling. We have managed to cope with the ever-increasing growth in the container handling due to the renovation and the construction of the yards. Currently, the maritime port has the capacity of accommodating 50,000 containers in its yards.”
“As part of the short-term and long-term plans, the project for constructing four terminals has already been finalized. The terminals are Bay Terminal, Patenga Container Terminal, Laldia Multipurpose Terminal, and the Karnaphuli Container Terminal,” said the CPA chairman.
“Now a vessel with a length of 190 metres and draft of 9.5 metres can berth at Chittagong port during high tide. With the construction of Bay Terminal, vessels with more draft and length could berth at the jetties of Chittagong port,” he hoped.
Equipment crisis to go away at Chittagong port
The CPA chairman has said that the productivity in container handling has increased by 30% due to the procurement of some equipment.
“We have procured more than 60 equipment for the port at a cost of Tk1,000 crore in 2018 including six Ship-to-Shore Gantry Crane used for container handling. Four more gantry cranes will be added to the fleet in the current year. We have procured Rail Mounted Gantry Crane at a cost of Tk22 crore for the first time in 2018. Besides, Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes (RTG), forked lift and straddle carriers were procured in the previous year,” said the CPA chairman.