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Dredging of Bangaldesh's Mongla port to ease congestion at Chittagong

SHIPS with drafts of 10.5 metres will be able to berth at Mongla port in Bangladesh once the dredging of its port channel is completed. The deepening of the channel is intended to turn the port into an alternative option for shippers who had to contend with severe congestion at Chittagong port this summer.

Mongla port is currently underutilised because it can only serve vessels with drafts of 8.5 metres. Shippers claim they must wait weeks to get goods to Mongla, reported IHS Media.

"Until now, small vessels can come to Mongla port due to its low draft. If big vessels call the port in increased numbers, Mongla will be able to cater external trade as an alternative to [the] congested Chittagong port," electronic goods importer Alamgir Hossen said.

The US$85.1 million dredging work will turn Mongla port into an attractive gateway because construction of the Padma bridge and a rail link will connect Mongla to the capital Dhaka, where most of Bangladesh's garment manufacturing capacity is located, Mr Hossen said.

Mongla port chairman Commodore AKM Faruque Hassan was quoted as saying: "We are raising capacity. We are buying equipment, and we are constructing two more jetties. Work will start by early next year."
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