The government is set to finalise tomorrow (Wednesday) the terms of reference (ToR) for conducting techno-feasibility study on developing a deep-sea port in Bangladesh.
Shipping ministry sources said a high level meeting headed by Shipping Minister Akbar Hossain will finalise the ToR during the meeting and invite request for proposals (RfPs) from the international consultancy firms, already short listed, for conducting technical and financial studies on setting up the port.
Seven international consultancy firms have already been short-listed for conducting such studies after scrutinising the expression of interests (EoI) submitted by them.
The firms include HPC Hamburg Port Consulting of Germany, Royal Haskoning of Netherlands, Kolen Gromit and Pvt. Ltd. of Australia, Pacific Consultants International of Japan, BCEOM of France, CPCS Transcom Ltd. of Canada and Nathan Associates of USA.
One consultancy firm will be appointed by the government to conduct the feasibility study after evaluating the RfPs to be submitted by the seven companies.
Referring to the proposed ToR the shipping ministry sources said the firm would prepare a feasibility report on commercial aspect recommending the location, facilities and details of the infrastructure and services to be provided by the deep-sea port.
Assessing the potential markets both national and international and examining business opportunities including value added services and facilities will also be among the prime jobs of the consultant.
It will identify the most advantageous site for establishing the deep-sea port.
The firm will also examine the social and environment impact of the ports. It will also estimate the required investments in short, medium and long terms with special emphasis on the short term one for establishing the port.
The draft terms of reference (ToR) have already been approved by an inter- ministerial meeting earlier.
Bangladesh will be able to avoid Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka port for carrying goods by mother vessels once the deep sea port is constructed, a senior official of the Shipping Ministry told the FE.
Besides, it will facilitate India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and China to carry their goods of bulk quantity to their respective countries through Bangladeshi territory and help them avoid Singapore port.
All these neighbouring countries are now using the deep-sea port of Singapore to carry bulk quantity of goods to their respective countries.
When established, the port can contribute immensely to the national economy, said sources.