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Karnafuly dry-dock, pvt berths to cut trade cost, boost port capacity

18 January 2023

Chattogram Bureau :

Engineer Abdur Rashid founded the Karnafuly Ship Builders Limited (KSBL) in Chattogram in 1994 after visiting Japan for a training programme on shipbuilding. He was an employee of the Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Academy at that time but the six-month training changed his life and shaped the shipbuilding industry in Bangladesh for good. Since then, the KSBL has built around 1,200 ships and repaired around 800 in its three shipyards - two in Chattogram, one in Narayangonj - set up on 68 acres of land. KSBL employs around 10,000 people and spends Tk10 crore per month as a salary while its yearly turnover is over Tk2,500 crore, Engr Rashid told The New Nation.
The government is spending thousands of crore taka on Payra and Mongla ports, but unfortunately, these ports cannot berth vessels with a draught of 8-9 metres. The Karnaphuli River is a blessing for us as here we are able to berth vessels with a draft of up to 11 metres in private berths.
The cost of doing business will decrease as more and more large ships will berth here, decreasing turnaround time as well. We are investing Tk600 crore to construct six jetties. I believe we will be able to handle our export-import trade for the next 20 years utilising the existing ports and these six jetties, Engr.Rashid told to media men.
Around 4,000 ships come into Chattogram port every year but currently, Bangladesh can only repair vessels of 20,000 DWT (or 175 meters in length) at Chattogram Dry Dock, owned by the Bangladesh Navy. Building this new dry dock will be a landmark achievement as Bangladesh will be able to repair vessels of 100,000 DWT or 253 meters in length.It will help to gain the trust of foreign shipping operators to operate large ships in Bangladesh. This dockyard and jetties will create more than 3,000 jobs. For the first long ship of 200 meters long took berth in CCT of Chattogram Port on Monday last which came from Brazil with sugar cargo, sources said.

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