Jan De Nul Group (JDN), the Luxembourg based dredging contractor, has signed a Joint Venture Company agreement with Payra Port Authority (PPA) to proceed with a contract for the Payra Deep-sea Port capital dredging project of the port’s main channel to facilitate entry of large ships that cannot berth now at Chittagong and Mongla ports. The Chittagong port, the country’s biggest seaport, can only accommodate berthing ships with draft of up to 9.5 meters (31 feet) at high tide while vessels with draught of up to 7 to 8 meters (23 to 26 feet) can enter Mongla port.
The agreement was signed on December 11, 2017 in the presence of the Honorable Minister of Shipping Shajahan Khan Frank Vanwingh de Credendo and the Belgian Ambassador Jan Luykx. The value of the contract is 550 million euro (more than $680 million). The Government of Bangladesh considers the development of Payra Deep-sea Port vital for speedy and efficient development of Bangladesh’s infrastructure, trade and commerce. Successful operation of the new port requires dredging and land reclamation works.
Under this agreement, JDN and PPA have set out the basis for long-term cooperation and they will be able to commence with the first phase of the dredging. Of the 19 components of the Payra Port project, capital dredging is the lead one. The dredging of the 36.5 nautical-mile channel is expected to begin in September 2018. Once the first phase of dredging is completed, by 2020, vessels with draught of up to 11 meters (36 feet) will be able to berth at the seaport at high tide. The second and third phases are likely to end by 2022, facilitating the entry of ships with draught of up to 14 meters (45 feet) to the seaport in Patuakhali.
In the first phase, JDN will deploy up to nine dredges from its fleet, among which some of the most powerful cutter suction dredges (CSD) in the world. These CSDs will reclaim more than 13 million cubic meters (17 million cubic yards) of sediment to create land and dredge more than 60 million cubic meters (78.5 million cubic yards) to initiate the development of the new Payra Deep-sea Port. The Government of Bangladesh has been investing steadily and heavily in the transportation and energy infrastructure to support trade driving the economy to higher growth rates. The Payra Deep-sea Port therefore plays a crucial role in the country’s economic growth. It will gradually develop into a major transport hub for the region.