World Bank Approves $650 Million for Bangladesh’s Bay Terminal Deep Seaport Development

$650M for Bay Terminal Deep Seaport Development

The World Bank’s board of executive directors has approved a substantial $650 million investment to support Bangladesh in developing the Bay Terminal deep seaport. This major infrastructure project, located in the Anandangar/Sandwip channel west of the Chittagong port, is strategically positioned near existing road and rail links to Dhaka and is expected to handle 36% of Bangladesh’s container volumes. The Bay Terminal will significantly enhance Bangladesh’s global trade competitiveness by reducing import and export costs through increased port operational efficiency and attracting private investment. The Bay Terminal Marine Infrastructure Development Project will construct a 6km climate-resilient breakwater to protect the harbor from waves, currents, and extreme weather. Additionally, the project includes dredging the port basin, entrance, and access channels to accommodate larger vessels, such as panamax vessels, thereby substantially decreasing vessel turnaround time and potentially saving the economy about $1 million daily. Currently, the Chittagong Port, which handles over 90% of Bangladesh’s international trade volume and 98% of its container traffic, can only receive small feeder vessels during limited hours of the day. The new, modern Bay Terminal, operated by leading international terminal operators, will alleviate these capacity constraints and enhance Bangladesh’s export competitiveness by improving port capacity and reducing transportation costs and time. “Bangladesh’s international trade heavily relies on Chittagong Port, which faces significant capacity constraints,” said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. “The Bay terminal project will be a game changer. It will improve Bangladesh’s export competitiveness through enhanced port capacity and reduced transportation cost and time, opening new opportunities to key global markets.” The project will also mobilize private investment for the development of container terminals. The World Bank’s investment, combined with government funding, will boost investor confidence and help mitigate risks associated with the overall Bay Terminal development. Additionally, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the IFC, is considering investing in one of the proposed private sector-led terminals. “The Bay Terminal will contribute to modernizing the country’s seaport infrastructure and improving its connectivity to regional and international markets,” said Hua Tan, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist and Team Leader for the Project. Over one million people, including many women, are expected to benefit directly from improved access to sustainable transport services, impacting shipping companies, business communities, importers, exporters, and freight forwarders.