DP World’s investment bid in Bangladesh advancing

Straddle carriers in New Mooring Terminal, Port of Chittagong. Credit: Wikipedia/Moheen Reeyad
Straddle carriers in New Mooring Terminal, Port of Chittagong. Credit: Wikipedia/Moheen Reeyad

Dubai-based terminal operator DP World’s bid to foray in Bangladesh’s port and logistics sectors is making progress.

The public private partnership (PPP) Authority of Bangladesh has asked DP World to submit specific project proposals relating to its investment plans within a month.

Recently, DP World had submitted a concept paper to the PPP Authority where it expressed interest in investing USD1 billion in Bangladesh’s logistics corridor.

In the proposal, the company said it wants to invest USD700 million to equip, operate, and maintain Patenga Container Terminal; to modernise, operate, and maintain Chittagong port’s New Mooring Container Terminal and Chittagong Container Terminal; and to the construction of Bay Terminal.

Additionally, it plans to invest USD100 million in Kamalapur inland container depot (ICD) and construction of a new ICD near Dhirasram railway station, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka.

The company also plans to invest USD100 million to form a railway joint venture company and for rolling stocks, and another USD100 million in port/ICD-linked economic zones.

Furthermore, DP World wants to transfer and co-create a digital technology platform, which will bring efficiencies by integrating all logistics stakeholders into one platform and increase export-import trade.

DP World said its investment in Bangladesh’s hard logistics infrastructure will increase exports, attract six-fold growth in foreign direct investments in a five-year period, add 10% more manufacturing sector’s share to GDP, and allow for rapid job creation and diversification of their export basket.

PPP Authority director general Abul Bashar said DP World’s investment proposal is under scrutiny by the government.

He said the ministry of shipping, Chittagong Port Authority, railway, roads, and highways division, and the ICT division have been asked to forward any specific projects where DP World can invest to the PPP office.

“At the same time, we’ve asked DP World to submit specific project proposal to us,” Bashar said.

He also said the government may not involve DP World in Bay Terminal construction because its feasibility study was conducted by another company.

According to shipping ministry officials, the government wants to award the construction and operation task of Bay Terminal to PSA International, one of the world’s largest port operators based in Singapore.

“We will deal with DP World on its proposed project except the Bay Terminal,” Bashar said.

DP World and Bangladesh’s shipping ministry signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2019. In December 2019, DP World and the Dubai Chamber jointly organised a meeting in Dubai where the participants decided to forward a concept note to Bangladesh on proposed investment.