Red Sea Gateway inks concession agreement for Bangladeshi terminal

RSGTI, CPA ink concession agreement

The Red Sea Gateway Terminal International (RSGTI) and the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) have signed a 22-year concession agreement for the operation of the Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) on an EquipOperate-Transfer basis.

CPA Chairman, Mohammed Sohail, and RSGTI CEO Jens O. Floe signed the concession agreement in the presence of Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, of Bangladesh, and Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Minister of Investment on 5 December 2023 in Dhaka.

PCT is Bangladesh’s latest and most modern facility with 500,000 TEU capacity, and it is the first to be operated by an International operator in the Port of Chittagong on the Bay of Bengal.

Constructed by the Bangladeshi Government, the PCT has 580 metres of quay, an area of over 200,000 square-metres in conjunction with the South Container Yard, and a 9.5-metre draft offering a shorter sailing distance and guaranteed windows, a first for the Port of Chittagong.

RSGTI plans to invest $170 million in equipment technology, including four advanced Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes.

PCT, with the ability to handle three vessels simultaneously, shall, at first, handle geared vessels with an initial annual capacity of 250,000 TEU, doubling its capacity with the delivery of major equipment, including STS Cranes and Rubber-Tired Gantry cranes.

The equipment will reportedly have the capability to handle the largest gearless and geared vessels calling Chittagong Port.

Floe remarked: “We eagerly anticipate leveraging our operational excellence to enhance the performance of Bangladesh’s primary gateway port.

“Collaborating with the CPA, we aim to expand Bangladesh’s trade network and foster economic growth for its citizens. This marks the initiation of what we hope will be an enduring strategic alliance, enabling RSGTI to further invest in the port infrastructure of this rapidly evolving economy.”

READ: Jeddah Islamic Port nears 500,000 TEU

RSGT Jeddah, RSGTI flagship terminal, will handle over 3.3 million TEU in 2023 at the Port of Jeddah.

“RSGTI, partly owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, is very pleased to have Patenga Container Terminal represent its first international concession, strengthening its position as an emerging port operator with global investment ambitions and a strong emerging market focus,” said Gagan Seksaria, RSGTI’s Director of Global Investments.

READ: MAWANI maps out logistics area in Jeddah Islamic Port

Chittagong is Bangladesh’s primary port, through which over 90 per cent of Bangladeshi trade passes, and it is the busiest container port on the Bay of Bengal. With a population of 167 million and an average GDP growth rate of over 6 per cent over the last decade, Bangladesh is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Most import shipments are destined for Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital and largest city, a distance of 265 kilometres from Chittagong’s maritime centre. The port also serves as the main gateway for Bangladesh’s fast-growing exports, including its apparel and textiles trade, one of the largest globally.

Earlier this year, CMA CGM Group announced the introduction of a new direct service, named Bangladesh India Gulf Express (BIGEX).

More recently, Maersk successfully completed the first India-Bangladesh cross-border logistics of containerised cargo using the inland waterways of the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route for Coca-Cola Bangladesh Beverages.

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