Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Gateway Terminal Company Limited wants to construct and invest in the Bay Terminal to be established under the Chattogram Port Authority in North Halishohor.
The company's Global Investment Director Hassan al Tahat will present the investment proposal at the 13th Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting in Dhaka on Wednesday, said Dr Md Abul Hassan, economic counsellor at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Riyadh.
Economic Relations Division Secretary Monowar Ahmed and Deputy State Minister for Labour Affairs of Saudi Arabia Mahir Abdulrahman Al Gassim will lead the two-day JEC meeting.
Representatives of Saudi companies Aramco, Al Baeani, ACWA Power, Honey and Health, Engineering Dimension Company, Aljomalih Energy and Water Company will attend the meeting.
The construction of the terminal in Ananda Bazar includes construction of a breakwater for about 11 kilometres, and dredging construction of a multi-purpose terminal and two container terminals.
The estimated cost of the project is around $2 billion and the government plans to start it by 2022.
The objective of the project is to provide a major gateway for the country's trade with the outside world.
"All problems regarding land acquisition for the Bay Terminal will be solved soon. The terminal must be established to achieve Vision 2041 (to become a developed country)," said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam on February 6 at a discussion with Chattogram district administration officials and Chattogram Port Authority representatives.
Almost 94 percent of export-import and 98 percent of export are handled through Chattogram port. Port activities depend on tide and ebb because the port is not far away from the Karnaphuli river's estuary.
That is why the Chattogram Port Authority wants to establish the Bay Terminal at a 12-metre depth in Patenga so that large vessels can anchor there.
The government initiated the Bay Terminal project in 2017 to increase handling capacity of the port.
Port authorities said the main problem is accommodating larger vessels and that is why they want to construct the Bay Terminal to improve the quality of services.
Dr Md Abul Hassan told The Business Standard, "Seven private companies, including Red Sea Gateway Terminal, want to invest in various sectors in Bangladesh such as power, energy, railway, aviation and telecommunication."
He said a significant amount of investment is expected from Saudi investors.
Saudi Arabia has sought information on the prevailing investment and commercial opportunities in Bangladesh's private sector for Saudi investors.
Al-Bawani and its partners want 1,000 hectares of land where they will develop infrastructure to attract industrial activities and foreign investment. A memorandum of understanding in this regard has already been signed.
A 32-member Saudi delegation, led by Saudi Commerce and Investment Affair Minister Dr Majid bin Al Qasabi, and Finance and Planning Minister Mohammad bin Majyad Altuajari, visited Bangladesh on April 11 last year.
During their visit, Bangladesh proposed eight projects worth $35 billion, and the Saudi delegation agreed to fund those.
The projects are Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox's Bazar Railway link, Dhaka-Barisal-Payra port Railway link, Establishment of oil refinery and petro-chemical storage, Establishment of aircraft maintenance and repair facilities, Upgrading services of state-owned mobile operator Taletalk, Establishment of a DAP (DI-ammonium Phosphate) industry in KAS, Establishment of Investment Support Fund, and Establishment of Portfolio Investment Fund.
Dr Md Abul Hassan said, "There is progress in some projects and we hope some new agreements will be signed at the JEC meeting."
The 12th JEC meeting was held on March 14-15 last year in Saudi Arabia where issues related to visa processing, manpower, and progress of Saudi-funded projects were discussed.