The Payra Port Authority (PPA) has re-tendered on 2 January for construction of a coal/bulk terminal for the country’s third seaport located in southern Bangladesh. The port will be developed through a public-private partnership (PPP) model and the authority invited bidders or consortiums to participate in the selection of a private partner. The international competitive bidders or consortium will design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the coal/bulk terminal and transfer to the port authority based on the terms and conditions set out in the PPP contract.
The interested bidders have until 17 February 2020 to collect and submit tender documents. They will have to pay a non–refundable pay order or bank draft valued at USD1,000 to get project-related documents and USD2.8 million as bid security. The date of pre-bid meeting will be notified to the registered bidders latter on. It will be the first terminal of the port and will have two container terminals once the funding is available.
PPA chairman commodore M Jahangir Alam told DPC some 19 bid documents were sold to Indian, US, Chinese, Korean, and some joint venture builders when the tender was floated back in February 2019. However, only two bidders submitted complete documents of which one qualified. However, some allegations were brought against the qualified one, thus the tender process was cancelled. Located in Patuakhali district, the port aims to have a depth of 16 m in the main channel.
The port authority in January 2019 signed a deal valued at EUR865 million (USD964 million) with Belgium-based company Jan De Nul for capital dredging of a 75 km long and 100–125 m wide main channel. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and its consortium banks will provide the loan to complete the dredging works. “We’re expecting to complete the financial closure of the deal by March,” said Alam.
He said the first phase of the dredging, which is to check the siltation rate in the river channel, will start by April 2020 and continue until 2021.
“After the study is over, Jan De Nul will start dredging the main channel to prepare it to ply large-sized vessels,” he said.
According to an estimation, some USD16 billion will be needed to complete all the works of Payra seaport, the country’s first deep-sea port.
British company HR Wallingford, in its techno economic feasibility study of the port, termed the port as technically feasible and economically realistic.
There is currently no deep-sea port in Bangladesh. Vessels that have more than 9.5 m depth can take berth in the country’s prime seaport Chittagong. In absence of a deep-sea port, containers to and from hub ports located in Singapore and Colombo are ferried by small vessels to and from Chittagong.