Chittagong is some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka. Chittagong, as the biggest port city of Bangladesh, is the locality of both the Chittagong Base of Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Naval Academy. In 2010 China agreed to finance the $8.7 billion port development in Chittagong, Bangladesh. While China maintains that the ports are strictly commercial developments, India fears that the ports have potential military application, thus sparking concern that China is slowly attempting to encircle them. As China continues to expand and Indian fears continue to grow, the region is trending towards instability.
From November 16, 1985, to January 19, 1986, a fleet comprising the guided missile destroyer Hefei and the ocean supply ship Fengcang embarked on its first foreign visit. The mission itinerancy included calls at Pakistan’s Karachi Port, Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port, and Bangladesh’s Chittagong Port. It was the first visit of China’s fleet to foreign countries. When bidding farewell to these South Asian countries, many overseas Chinese gathered to see off the fleet. With horns honking, even children in their mothers’ arms waved goodbye to the fleet.
The 21st fleet of Chinese navy escort arrived in Chittagong city of Bangladesh on January 28, 2016, kicking off its five-day friendly visit to the country. The 21st Chinese naval escort taskforce consisting of the missile frigates Sanya and liuzhou and the comprehensive supply ship Qinghaihu, arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for a five-day goodwill visit. This is the first time in the past three decades that a Chinese navy escort fleet has visited Bangladesh. The PLA Navy fleet held a joint maritime drill with Bangladesh Navy, which played a positive role in promoting mutual trust and understanding between the two navies, and improving the ability of both sides to jointly respond to maritime threats and safeguard regional peace.
A Chinese naval fleet arrived at the Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh on 24 May 2017Tuesday for a four-day friendly visit to Bangladesh. The fleet received a warm welcome from local overseas Chinese at the port. The Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh was the fifth leg of the Chinese naval fleet's global port calls. The two Chinese warships were also open for public visit by Bangladesh Navy personnel and overseas Chinese in Bangladesh.
Constructed in 1887 near the Karnafuli river channel and located approximately 16 kilometers upstream from the Bay of Bengal, the Chittagong Port (originally a river port) is the country’s largest seaport. For fiscal year (FY) 2014-15 (July to June), according to Chittagong Port Authority data, the Chittagong Port handled 54.78 million metric tons (MMT) of shipments (total imports and exports were 48.94 and 5.84 MMT).
Major imported commodities are food grain (e.g., wheat), cement, fertilizer, coal, salt, sugar, and edible oils. According to CPA statistics, the Chittagong Port receives on average 35,500 MT of food grain per month; in FY 2014/2015, the busiest month in terms of tonnage was April (around 44,700 MT).
Bangladesh has seaports, land ports, and airports that support Bangladeshi and other South Asian regional trade (such as for Nepal, Bhutan, and northeastern Indian states). Shipments primarily transit via two seaports (Chittagong Port and Mongla Port), ten land ports (Benapole, Burimari, Akhaura, Sonamasjid, Hili, Banglabandha, Teknaf, Bhomra, Bibirbazar, and Nakugaon), and three international airports (Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, Shah Amanat International Airport, Chittagong, and Osmani International Airport, Sylhet). According to sources, the seaports handle 87 percent of Bangladeshi trade, while land ports handle 13 percent. The Chittagong Port services 79% of Bangladesh’s agricultural imports and exports. After imports arrive in Chittagong, they are transported inland by river, road, or railway.
Constructed in 1887 near the Karnafuli river channel and located approximately 16 kilometers upstream from the Bay of Bengal, the Chittagong Port (originally a river port) is the country’s largest seaport. The CPA’s mandate is derived from the Chittagong Port Authority Ordinance – 1976 (Ordinance No. LII of 1976), which was published on July 7, 1976 (amended 1995). It is a member of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) and oversees 15 departments. The Chittagong Port Authority has oversight over the Chittagong Port (CP), Inland Container Depot (ICD) Dhaka, River Inland Container Depot (RICD) Dhaka, and Sadarghat Jetty, Chittagong.
The Chittagong Port can handle container vessels that carry loads of around 2,500 to 3,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) (more modernized seaports can purportedly handle container vessel loads of 5,000 to 18,000 TEUs). Within the last five years (2005-2014), the number of container vessels increased by 2.08 percent per year. There are 16 private bonded offdock services; 37 types of commodities are authorized through these private services. In 2014, according to contacts, these private services handled 89.91 and 22.93 percent of total export and import volumes.
Government of Bangladesh data notes that the Chittagong Port has general and container berths and other jetties for oil, grain, urea, ammonia, fertilizer, and dry cargo. According to the CPA, the two container berths have 19 jetties: two are equipped with four rail mounted gantry cranes, nine have container cranes, five have wharf rail lines, and 10 include transit sheds; there are pontoon berths for inland coasters and vessels. Transit sheds, warehouses, car sheds, and other cargo storage space are available; cargo can be stored in an unprotected warehouse or open dump area under CPA management. For cargo handling, the Chittagong Port has mobile cranes, forklifts, tractors, heavy and light trailers, and container cranes. The port has a maximum of 36,357 TEUs of cargo handling capacity. Electricity is available for 1,016 refrigerated containers, including eight megawatt (MW) (2X4) diesel generators (11 kilovolts (KV) output per unit).
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