$18b Payra Port project Deal signing this year

Payra Port Authority (PPA) has begun the process of signing memoranda of understandings (MoUs) and agreements with other countries and overseas companies, to start its operation by 2018, sources in the Payra Port Authority and shipping ministry said.
At least six different MoUs and agreements on dredging, building container terminals and port infrastructure, are likely to be signed with some foreign companies, within this year, the sources added. Forty-two companies from 12 countries have expressed their interest by submitting 123 investment proposals, worth US$ 18 billion, before the PPA, according to the sources.
Commander M Rafiul Hasain, member (admin & finance) of Payra Port Authority, told The Independent that 42 companies from 12 countries, under 19 components, have expressed their interest.
“Eighty-nine proposals have been submitted under 13 components like Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), and 34 proposals have been received under the government-to-government (G2G) component,” he said.
“The authorities are scrutinising the proposals on the basis of priority,” he added.
He also informed that they are likely to sign MoUs and agreements with some foreign companies, soon, for dredging, building container terminals and port infrastructures.
“We will need approximately US$ 17-18 billion for fully operating the mega port, and the foreign countries and companies have expressed their interest in investing that amount, in total, so far,” Hasain said.
According to the short-term plan, the Payra Port Authority wants to start handling cargo vessels at the port, by this year.
As per the port’s mid-term plan, the authorities want to dredge a 10-12 metre channel, and build port infrastructure including one multi-purpose and one bulk terminal, by 2018.
“We want to dredge a 16-metre-deep channel, to start full-fledged port operations by 2023, under the long-term plan of the port,” the official added.
According to the sources, the port authorities are going to allocate 6,000 acres of land at the port site.
The present situation and future planning of the port was to be informed to the principal secretary of the Prime Minister, through video conference yesterday, PPA chairman Captain Md Saidur Rahman told this correspondent.
Payra seaport, the country’s third largest of its kind, located at Rabnabad channel in Kalapara upazila in Patuakhali district, will soon be transformed into a main seaport, in line with the concept of a deep seaport. The revamped port is going to be operational at its outer anchorage area, from December this year.
Infrastructure work have already started at the site, to ease pressure on Chittagong and Mongla seaports, the two leading seaports of the country, and also to facilitate transit, to ensure economic and social development in the southern and central regions.
On November 20, 2013, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had inaugurated the Payra seaport, which is only 31 kms from the sea boundary, 316 kms from Chittagong, 130 kms from Mongla, and 340 kms from Dhaka.
A techno-economic feasibility study, including environmental impact assessment, for development of the Payra Port, has been completed by the Institute of Water Modelling (IWM). At present, a UK firm is conducting a feasibility study on developing Payra into a deep seaport.