Saif Powertec invests Tk 1,600cr to build jetty at Mongla port
Peoples Time Desk
Saif Powertec, a logistics and container supply chain management provider, is building a multipurpose jetty at the Mongla port with an estimated investment of around Tk 1,600 crore to handle both container and cargo ships, said officials yesterday.
The jetty will be able to handle two ships at a time after the completion of its construction by June next year, said Tarafder Md Ruhul Amin, managing director of Saif Powertec.
The terminal, which is 380 metres in length, is being built on 25 hectares just beside the jetty of the Mongla port, the country's second-biggest seaport after the Chattogram port.
"Mongla port has huge potential," Amin said, adding that nearly 90 per cent of containers are Dhaka-bound.
The distance between Dhaka and Mongla will reduce significantly after the opening of the Padma bridge.
"The cost and time for shipping containers will come down to a large extent if we can divert a portion of containers from Chattogram port. Risk factors will also decline," said the official of Saif Powertec.
The company handles export and import containers at the Chattogram Container Terminal and the New Mooring Container Terminal at the Chattogram port.
The logistics provider is also building the first multi-modal container depot on the land of the Bangladesh Railway (BR) at Halishahar in the port city. The depot will be able to handle 300,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers.
Recently, Saif Logistics Alliance expressed interest to build another multimodal container terminal on the railway's land near Ghorashal railway station in Narsingdi.
Out of 32 lakh TEUs of containers handled at the Chattogram port in the last fiscal year, around 15 lakh TEUs were inbound, according to Amin.
These goods were transported to other parts of the country from the port through trucks which is risky and costly. Heavily loaded trucks also cause damages to the roads, he said.
He said Saif wanted to build the terminal in Ghorashal as an extended facility as the space of the multimodal terminal being built in Chattogram was not enough.
Belal Uddin, managing director of BR's concern Container Company of Bangladesh Ltd, said, "We will have to evaluate economic potential. Besides, we need to examine legal provision whether another terminal could be built under the same contract."
At the Mongla port, the company is constructing the facility under the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement. Once completed, the jetty would be able to handle nearly one crore tonnes of break-bulk cargoes and 350,000 TEUs of containers at its peak capacity.
Until now, 45 per cent of the construction work of the jetty at the Mongla port has been completed and around 50 per cent of the investment has been made, Amin said.
The Mongla Port Authority (MPA)allowed Saif to construct the jetty on the build, operate and transfer basis in 2019 and the construction started the following year.
Under the jetty project, Saif Port Holdings Ltd will do the engineering, procurement and construction of the facility. It will make the investment and operate the port for 30 years.
The project was scheduled for completion in June this year, but it was delayed because of the pandemic, rainfall and problems in the design of the jetty, Amin said.
Currently, the MPA has five jetties and the construction of two more jetties under the PPP will enhance the capacity of the port.
"As we don't have gantry crane at our jetties, we use mobile harbour crane," said Commodore Md Abdul Wadud Tarafder, member for harbour and marine of MPA.
"There will be gantry cranes at the new jetties. This will increase the handling capacity of the port. Turnaround time will also reduce."