Mongla Port Authority on Wednesday signed a deal with a Chinese company to dredge the inner bar of Mongla Port channel to allow the anchoring of container ships with 10-metre draught.
Rear Admiral M Shahjahan, chairman of the Mongla Port Authority, and Yang Zhijum, representative of the contractor Jianshu Haihong Construction Engineering Company and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation signed the agreement.
The Tk 754.08 crore project will begin in January 2021 and end in July 2022.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, who joined the programme online, said, "The dredging of the outer bar area of Mongla Port channel has been completed with around Tk 700 crore and it is expected to serve ships with 10-metre draught soon."
Ships have started sailing to and from the newly dredged channel on Mongla Port's outer bar.
"The completion of the dredging of the inner bar area of Mongla Port channel will shorten the turnaround time of ships arriving at the port while cutting the cost of transporting goods," Khalid Mahmud said.
The number of ships arriving at Mongla Port will jump, playing a major part in the economic development of the southwest part of the country.
Mongla Port lies on the bank of the River Pashur. Due to the navigability problem of the Pashur channel, ships would first unload the containers at Chattogram Port and then come to Mongla Port after reducing the draught size.
This increased the cost and time of cargo transportation to and from the Mongla Port.
So, traders were reluctant to use the port for import and export of containerised goods.
The completion of the new project is expected to achieve the desired depth of channels which would vastly increase the navigability of the port.