Second jetty opens for Matarbari power plant

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Ports and Shipping

Second jetty opens for Matarbari power plant

Dwaipayan Barua Fri Jul 16, 2021 The MV Horizon-9 is seen nestled at the second jetty of the Matarbari power plant yesterday. The vessel, carrying 185 tonnes of machinery for the plant, was first to berth at the partially completed jetty. Photo: COLLECTED

A cargo vessel yesterday became the first to berth at the second jetty being constructed for unloading coal for the under-construction coal-based power plant at Matarbari in Moheskhali upazila of Cox’s Bazar.

The Panama-flagged MV Horizon-9 sailed from Singapore with 185 tonnes of machinery for the power plant, arriving at the outer anchorage at around 1:30am before eventually being berthed at 10:30am.

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So from now on, the plant’s authorities will be able to allow two vessels to berth at the same time.

With this, as of yesterday a total of 18 vessels have been berthed at the two jetties in last six-and-a-half months.

Earlier on December 29 last year, a vessel named as Venus Triumph carrying construction materials became the first to berth at the first jetty. Construction of the first jetty, meant for unloading fuel, was completed last year.

Around 75 per cent of the construction work for the 300-metre long second jetty, meant for unloading coal, has already been completed, according to sources close to the project.

Abul Kalam Azad, project director (PD) of the 1200-megawatt Matarbari Coal-based Power Plant, said that since another vessel is scheduled to arrive within a couple of days, they decided to berth the small-sized MV Horizone-9 at the partially completed portion of the second jetty so that the next vessel won’t need to wait for long.

Azad, also executive director of the Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL), said around 175 metres of the second jetty has already been completed.

He hopes that the jetty would be fully constructed within this year.

The state-owned CPGCBL is implementing the Tk 35,984 crore power plant project.

Azad thanked the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) for providing harbour operation services and successfully handling ships at the jetties since December last year.

CPA Captain Ataul Hakim Siddique, also harbour operation coordinator and project manager of the Matarbari Port Development Project, said berthing a vessel at the second jetty is a milestone for the construction of the future Matarbari Deep Sea Port since it would work as capacity building for the future port.

The idea of the deep sea port in matarbari was conceived after the government started a coal-based power plant project in the area as a wider channel and port were required to bring in fuel for the plant.

Initially, only the construction of a coal jetty was planned but when the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) started implementing the project, it saw the potential for a commercial port.

As part of the power plant project, an artificial channel that is 14.5 kilometres long, 250 metres wide and 18 metres deep has been constructed.

In March 2020, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the construction of a deep sea port in Matarbari involving Tk 17,777 crore.

Of the estimated cost, JICA will put in Tk 12,893 crore and the rest Tk 2,213 crore will be borne by the CPA.

The CPA on September 23 last year signed an agreement with Japanese firm Nippon Koei Joint Venture (JV) Company for engineering and consultancy services for the Matarbari Port Development Project.

Once the deep sea port comprising a 300-metre multi-purpose terminal and 460-metre container terminal is built, it will be able to accommodate large mother vessels with a draft limit of 18 metres.

Vessels with upto 9 metres of draft can now berth at Chattogram port.

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