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Congestion likely to ease as new Chittagong terminal opens

Chittagong: Bangladesh's much sought-after terminal -- New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) -- is now ready for operation. The terminal is expected to help reduce the turnaround time at the country's prime seaport in Chittagong to a great extent as at least two feeder vessels could easily be berthed at two jetties of the NCT each day.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who laid the foundation stone of the project in 2003, is likely to inaugurate the NCT sometime in October.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has already declared 40,000 square metres as a bonded area for operation of the NCT's two jetties. The work of the remaining three jetties is likely to end by 2007. Each of the jetties will be 200 metres long. The jetties will also have nearly 200,000 square metres of yards with modern back-up facilities.

The building of the terminal was undertaken by Beijing-headquartered China Harbour Engineering Group.

The terminal can't come soon enough as the country has groaned under minimal port infrastructure which has seen a congestion surcharge of $130 kick in since June 5, causing consternation and even strikes this past weekend.   [07/09/06]

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