The site for the 1,200-megawatt ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant in Matarbari of Coxs Bazar's Matarbari Upazila. COURTESY
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on March 10, 2020 approved the 'Matarbari Port Development Project' with Tk 17,777.16 crore in a bid to enhance the cargo handling capacity of the country.
Talking to BSS, Shipping Secretary Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury said the main objective of the project is to enhance the cargo handling capacity of Bangladesh through constructing the Matarbari Port including link road and thus fulfill the demand of international trade as well as facilitating speedy port services with the neighboring countries.
"The existing yearly container handling capacity of the Chattogram Port is 3.1 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) container. The growing demand will exceed the existing handling capacity within next year. We have to increase the handling capacity by more 4 billion TEUs within 2033. Mongla and Payra port will not able to meet the growing demand. So, Matarbari and Bay Terminal are likely to be the solution. The Matarbari Port is likely to add 2 to 3 percent GDP in the country's economy," he added.
He said the Matarbari Sea Port will be the country's fourth port after Chattogram, Mongla and Payra and it will be built as a huge port in view of the growing pressure of economic activities.
"This is another 'dream' project for the country and it will further strengthen our journey towards the ocean as well as boost our trade and commerce," he added.
For constructing the Matarbari Port, he informed, the government has already appointed consultant and the consultant has already completed geotechnical survey or soil test. Moreover, he said, design and drawing of the project are in progress.
Of the total project cost of Tk 17,777.16 crore for the Matarbari project, Tk 2,671.15 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh, Tk 2,213.24 crore from the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) while the rest Tk 12,892.76 crore from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The CPA under the Ministry of Shipping and the Roads and Highways Division are implementing the 'Matarbari Port Development project' by December 2026.
Joint Secretary (Planning) of the Shipping Ministry Rafique Ahmed Siddique said, "This port will minimize the pressure on the Chattogram Port alongside meeting the growing demand of the country's import and export activities. Goods transportation to and from the potential industrial estates at Matarbari and Moheshkhali will also be facilitated once this port is established."