Bangladesh: Port-Evo Signs Deal with Rupayan
The UK-based Port Evoluation Management (Port-Evo) will invest $25 million in the next year to develop and operate the under-construction river-based Rupayan Container Terminal in Bangladesh.
The deal signed on December 17. with Rupayan Port & Logistics Services at the Westin hotel in Dhaka, will make Port-Evo a partner of the country’s first private inland container terminal.
James Sutcliffe, chairman of Port-Evo in Bangladesh, and Liaquat Ali Khan Mukul, chairman of Rupayan Port & Logistics, signed the deal on behalf of the two companies.
“We are now focusing on emerging markets, and we have chosen Bangladesh as it is a thriving country, whose economy has been growing at upwards of 6 percent in the last couple of years,” said James Sutcliffe. The river-based container terminal will usher in a new beginning and provide a cost-effective and environment-friendly solution to the exporters and importers of the country “blessed with many rivers”.
“From now on, we will work with Port-Evo together to build and operate the river container terminal,” said PJ Ullah, managing director of Rupayan Port & Logistics Services.
He said that the Chittagong port now handles around 1.5 million TEUs [twenty-foot equivalent unit] containers every year, of which 75 percent are Dhaka bound.
The terminal that will be able to handle 260,000 TEUs containers a year will save costs of exporters and importers by 50 percent, he said.
Of the total project cost of $60 million, Rupayan has provided $22.5 million, Port-Evo will provide $25 million in the next year, and the remaining sum will be taken as loans.
The composition of the joint venture will be 51:49 in favour of Rupayan Port & Logistics, said Mahboob Ahmed, managing director of Shipwrights Resources Ltd, which has been offering consultancy service for the building of the terminal. He said the British company will take over the container terminal in Narayanganj for 15 years under a JV equity investment, terminal management and operation contract.
Robert Gibson, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, said Britain is now home to half a million people of Bangladeshi heritage, with the UK being the largest single investor in Bangladesh to date. “The JV project will significantly contribute to the Bangladeshi economy,” Gibson said.
Rupayan Group, a leading real estate firm, got the government permission in December 2009 to set up the terminal near Dhaka to expedite container transportation from the Chittagong Port to Dhaka and its adjacent areas.
The company began construction on 27 acres of land on the banks of river Shitalakkha in September of last year.
The terminal will have all modern facilities, starting from online container tracking service to agro inspection and quarantine facilities, and fumigation area for customs and other regulatory agencies.
The terminal will primarily work as a supply chain inland feeder for Chittagong and Mongla ports with Dhaka-based importers and exporters, in line with the government’s inland multi-modal transport policy for national trade facilitation.
The port is expected to be complete by 2014 and it will create around 6,000 jobs directly and indecently, Ahmed said.
Dredging Today Staff, December 20, 2012