Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina believes the Chattogram Port Authority’s Patenga container terminal project will become a "beacon of hope" for Bangladesh's economic development.
On Wednesday, Red Sea Gateway Terminal International (RSGTI), partly owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, signed an agreement with the Chattogram Port Authority to invest in and operate the container terminal.
At the signing ceremony held at the Prime Minister's Office, Hasina said the project exemplifies a "strong and sustainable partnership" between Bangladesh and the Gulf kingdom.
"The agreement is an example of the two countries' joint vision for economic cooperation and prosperity. Bilateral relations, especially trade relations, will be further strengthened through it."
The "self-reliant" terminal will also enhance the capacity of the port, and bolster regional trade, according to the premier. while opening opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship, she said.
"It will act as a gateway to global trade and open up new opportunities for our businesses."
Expressing gratitude to the Saudi government for its initiative, Hasina highlighted the reputation of RSGTI in reducing import and export costs. She said that the Patenga terminal under RSGTI's management will significantly contribute to Bangladesh's economic growth, drawing from the expertise and technological know-how of Jeddah Port Terminal and other terminals.
"The Patenga terminal will become a driving force for economic growth in Bangladesh."
RSGTI, through its subsidiary RSGT Bangladesh Ltd, formalised a 22-year concession agreement for the operation of the Patenga Container Terminal on an equip-operate-transfer basis.
The company plans to invest $170 million in equipment technology, including four advanced ship-to-shore cranes. The terminal, 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.
Jens O Floe, CEO of RSGTI, expressed pride in being chosen as a significant investor and underscored the company's commitment to leveraging 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."
Constructed by the Bangladesh government, the Patenga Container Terminal 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 Chattogram Port.