The government has primarily decided to appoint a foreign terminal operator for the operation of Patenga Container Terminal of Chittagong Port Authority, which is now under construction.
The Supply, Operate and Transfer (SOT) model will be followed for the operation of the terminal.
Under the SOT model, the terminal operator will have to bring all the necessary equipment to operate the terminal.
The Ministry of Shipping decided on the matter at a meeting on Monday.
However, in the development project proposal, it was mentioned that the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) will procure the necessary equipment for the operation of the terminal.
The CPA is constructing the Patenga Container Terminal with its own funds at a cost of Tk2,075 crore, and it has made 60 percent progress so far.
When contacted, Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, secretary of the shipping ministry, told The Business Standard, "We have primarily decided that the firm which will be appointed to operate the terminal will bring all necessary equipment for terminal operation. We will drop the option of buying equipment from the project proposal."
In July, the shipping ministry had primarily selected two foreign companies to operate the terminal.
At that time, Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury told The Business Standard that Red Sea Gateway Terminal of Saudi Arabia and Dubai based-DP World expressed interest in operating the terminal.
However, Indian Adani Ports and Logistics has also expressed interest in it, said sources at the Chittagong port.
The ministry will sign two separate deals with the companies if it enters into an agreement with them as per government-to-government policy under the Public Private Partnership system.
Mizanur Rahman Sarker, project director of Patenga Container Terminal told The Business Standard, "The operator will run the terminal under the SOT model. It means, after the end of the project, the operator will transfer the terminal with all equipment to the port authority."
According to Chittagong port sources, the CPA has taken up a project to build the terminal to increase the capacity of berthing and cargo and container handling.
The then shipping minister Shajahan Khan inaugurated the construction of the terminal on 8 September, 2017.
The 600-metre-long container terminal is being constructed on 26 acres of land located between Chattogram Dry Dock and the Boat Club in Patenga.
The project cost was initially Tk1,868 crore, which later increased by Tk207 crore to Tk2,075 crore.
Once the new terminal is completed, it will be able to handle about 4.50 lakh TEUs of containers annually.
The CPA expects the construction of the terminal to be completed by December 2021.