WB approves $650 million for bay terminal in Chattogram

This significant investment aims to enhance Bangladesh’s global trade competitiveness and reduce import and export costs by improving port operational efficiency and attracting private investment, said a WB press release on Saturday (June 29).

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Bay Terminal Project

The Bay Terminal Marine Infrastructure Development Project will construct a 6 km climate-resilient breakwater to shield the harbour from waves, currents, and extreme weather conditions.

Besides, the project includes dredging the port basin, entrance, and access channels. These efforts will enable the new, modern Bay Terminal to accommodate larger vessels, such as panamax vessels, significantly decreasing vessel turnaround time and potentially saving the economy around $1 million daily.

Currently, the Chattogram Port, which handles over 90% of Bangladesh’s international trade volume and 98% of its container traffic, can only receive small feeder vessels during limited hours.

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The new terminal, operated by leading international terminal operators, will be a game-changer, according to Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. “The Bay Terminal will improve Bangladesh’s export competitiveness through enhanced port capacity and reduced transportation cost and time, opening new opportunities to key global markets,” said Seck.

Mobilising Private Investment

The project is expected to mobilise private investment for the development of container terminals.

The combined investment from the World Bank and the government will bolster investor confidence and help mitigate risks associated with the overall Bay Terminal Development. The World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is also considering investing in one of the proposed private sector-led terminals.

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Hua Tan, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist and Team Leader for the Project, highlighted the broader impact: “The Bay Terminal will contribute to modernising the country’s seaport infrastructure and improving its connectivity to regional and international markets.”

Strategic Location and Benefits

The Bay Terminal, located in the Anandangar/Sandwip channel, west of Chattogram port and near existing road and rail links to Dhaka, is expected to handle 36% of Bangladesh’s container volumes.

This development will directly benefit over one million people, including shipping companies, business communities, importers, exporters, and freight forwarders, with improved access to sustainable transport services.

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Continued Support from World Bank

In the fiscal year 2023-2024, the World Bank committed a record $3.4 billion to support Bangladesh, including the Bay Terminal project. The World Bank has been a crucial development partner for Bangladesh since its independence, committing approximately $42.3 billion in grants, interest-free, and concessional credits to the country.

The Bay Terminal deep seaport represents a transformative step for Bangladesh’s maritime infrastructure, positioning the nation for greater economic growth and increased integration into global trade networks.

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