DHAKA: According to sources who spoke with Arab News, Bangladesh is counting on Saudi competence to handle a newly built terminal in the country’s major port, while negotiations are underway for Riyadh’s next investment in the South Asian nation of Bangladesh.
The Bangladeshi Ministry of Shipping has chosen Saudi port developer Red Sea Gateway Terminal to run the brand new Patenga Container Terminal in Chittagong Port, which will cost a total of $240 million. This makes Red Sea Gateway Terminal the first international company to receive an offer from Dhaka to run one of its ports.
“RSGT will operate the newly built Patenga Container Terminal,” Abul Bashar, director-general of programming and investment promotion in Bangladesh’s Public Private Partnership Authority, said in an interview with Arab News. “RSGT” stands for “Receiving and Shipping Group of Thailand.”
According to Bashar, this is the first time that the government has given a foreign corporation the opportunity to run the port that is considered to be the largest in the country.
He continued by saying, “It is my hope that RSGT will be able to take over the operations of the terminal by the end of this year.”
The Patenga terminal, which accounts for between 5 and 7 percent of Chittagong’s total operations (the remainder of which are managed by the Chittagong Port Authority), will be equipped, operated, and maintained by RSGT under the terms of the deal that is anticipated to be reached.
The operations of Patenga will be taken over by a Saudi corporation for the next 22 years. According to Bashar, the first two years of the project will be devoted to the preparation and installation of equipment. He also mentioned that Dhaka expects RSGT to “use all ultra-modern equipment and technology.”
According to what Bashar mentioned, “RSGT has a proven track record of managing port operations smoothly in Saudi Arabia and other countries.”
“The Bangladeshi government believes that if a company like RSGT joins the port operations activities here, then in the future there will also be an opportunity for technology transfer.”
The Chief Executive Officer of RSGT, Jens O. Floe, was quoted in the past as saying that the company’s “proposed investment is a vote of confidence in Bangladesh’s future.”
The Saudi company also stated that the rapid growth of Chittagong and RSGT’s competencies are a suitable complement for one another.
“The rapid increase of Chittagong Port’s cargo volumes requires additional investments in contemporary equipment, cutting-edge technology, and the development of new human capacity. “This project fits in well with Red Sea Gateway Terminal’s competencies as well as its expansion strategy for emerging markets,” Gagan Seksaria, the director of global investments for RSGT, stated in a statement that was made in August of last year.
We have a great deal of faith that we will be able to make a big contribution to the rapidly expanding economy and trade of Bangladesh as a result of this investment.
Chittagong Port is the busiest container port on the Bay of Bengal. In the 2021 fiscal year, it handled around 3.2 million 20-foot equivalent units and functioned as the primary gateway for the import and export of maritime goods for Bangladesh. This comprised goods produced by the nation’s garment industry, which is responsible for 80% of the country’s total exports and accounting for 11% of the country’s gross domestic product.