The government of Bangladesh is contemplating an investment proposition put forth by the Danish shipping and logistics behemoth, AP Moller Maersk.
This proposal centers around developing and operating a state-of-the-art container terminal at Chattogram Port’s Laldia.
APM Terminals, a subsidiary of the Danish shipping giant AP Moller Maersk and a global player in the ports and terminals domain submitted this proposal to the shipping ministry in April of the current year.
The investment, amounting to approximately $450 million, aims at constructing a groundbreaking terminal in the Laldia area of the port. The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has responded favorably to this proposition, signifying a promising step toward enhancing the nation’s maritime infrastructure.
The Maersk Group, under the stewardship of CEO Robert Maersk Uggla, is poised to engage with the highest echelons of Bangladesh’s leadership.
A distinguished Danish delegation, led by Robert Maersk Uggla, is scheduled to convene with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the esteemed Gono Bhaban, the Prime Minister’s official residence and office. This meeting will delve into a comprehensive discussion surrounding the investment initiatives encompassing Laldia and other port-related endeavors envisioned by the Maersk Group.
Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohail, at the helm of the Chittagong Port Authority, substantiated this matter. In a conversation with our correspondent, Chairman Sohail, who traveled from Chattogram, corroborated the positive affirmation rendered by the CPA regarding Maersk’s terminal construction proposition.
Importantly, the CPA advocated for a meticulous technical assessment by Maersk as an essential precursor to the terminal’s construction within the Laldia Char region.
Recalling historical precedents, it is noteworthy that the construction of a terminal comprising four jetties at Laldia Char marked the port’s inaugural public-private partnership project.
This pioneering venture, requiring an investment of $301.60 million, gained the cabinet committee on economic affairs’ endorsement in March 2013. In a competitive selection process, five renowned international entities—namely, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (India), Bolloré SA (France), China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd, DP World FZE (United Arab Emirates), and Global Ports Services Ltd (Singapore)—emerged as the shortlisted contenders. This endeavor was subsequently derailed due to the presence of unauthorized occupants, impeding progress.
The CPA initiated an eviction initiative targeting this area in 2019, only to be impeded by legal challenges from the occupants. However, after a hiatus prompted by legal proceedings, the CPA resumed its eviction operation in 2021, successfully reclaiming the land.
As part of the Maersk Group’s ambitious proposal, a fresh terminal covering an expansive 46-acre expanse of the Laldia region has been envisaged. The preliminary investment stands at $450 million.
Echoing the sentiment of port users, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association Chairman Syed Mohammad Arif offered an encouraging appraisal of Maersk Group’s overture.
A considerable proportion of import and export-laden containers coursing through Chattogram port bear the insignia of Maerskline. Arif expressed optimism that the entry of the globally-entrenched Maersk Group, distinguished for its maritime and logistical prowess, could substantially elevate the quality of services accessible to users.