Mongla Port, the second largest seaport in Bangladesh, is set to transform into a ‘Smart Port’ by 2027, according to Rear Admiral Mir Ershad Ali, Chairman of the Mongla Port Authority (MPA).
During a gathering with Mongla Port users at a hotel in Khulna on Wednesday, Rear Admiral Mir Ershad Ali expressed his vision for the port’s future. The meeting, organized by the MPA, aimed to facilitate faster import and export activities.
In his speech, the chief guest stated, “We are working tirelessly to make Mongla Port the first-ever green, clean, and smart seaport by June 2027.”
He emphasized the challenge ahead and the determination required to overcome obstacles, saying, “Our goal is to increase the port’s container handling capacity from the current 16 containers per hour to 24 containers. Fortunately, we have not experienced any labor disputes at the port in the past couple of years.”
Rear Admiral Mir Ershad Ali also highlighted the main challenge of ensuring the safety of navigation within a 150-kilometer radius. He mentioned that ongoing dredging works, costing Taka 794 crore, would enable ships with an eight-meter draft to dock at the seaport. Upon completion of the dredging project by June 2024, ships with a draft of 9.50 to 10 meters will be able to anchor at the port’s jetty.
Several notable figures attended the meeting, including S K Afil Uddin, MP, Chairman of the Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association, Mohammad Neazur Rahman, Commissioner of Mongla Custom House, and representatives from various organizations such as the Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters’ Association, Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association, Khulna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and Khulna Press Club.
During the gathering, port users and industry leaders expressed their desires for a business-friendly seaport and appealed to the MPA to support the transformation of Mongla Port into a ‘Smart Port.’ They requested the removal of all obstacles hindering container handling and urged the creation of facilities similar to those available at Chattogram Sea Port, in addition to streamlining freight operations for faster port services.
The government has already initiated the “Upgradation of Mongla Port” project, allocating Taka 6,014 crore for infrastructural development, as confirmed by MPA officials to the Observer news outlet. Additionally, a surface water treatment plant worth 20.73 crore has been completed, and construction of a waste management project, costing Taka 401.24 crore, is currently underway at the port, according to port officials.
The transformation of Mongla Port into a ‘Smart Port’ is a significant step that promises to enhance efficiency, increase capacity, and facilitate seamless trade operations. With the dedication and efforts of the Mongla Port Authority, the vision of a modern and technologically advanced port is well on its way to becoming a reality by 2027.