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EagleRail Is Coming To Chittagong Port

September 7, 21 | 1:12 p.m.
Daily Purbokone

Authorities are going to connect 'EagleRail' of state-of-the-art technology to modernize Chittagong port. For this purpose, the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and the US-based EagleRail Company have reached in a preliminary agreement. There has also been a policy decision to implement the project. The final MoU is expected to be signed this month. The port authorities hope the implementation of this project will reduce the ongoing traffic jam and container congestion inside the port. If all goes well, the pilot project will begin in December this year.

According to port sources, some officials of EagleRail have already visited the Chittagong Port two times. They have verified the feasibility of the Eagle Rail. In the next two to three months a feasibility study of the project will be conducted. If the survey report is positive, it will be sent to the Ministry of Shipping for approval.

According to sources, currently seven to eight thousand trucks and lorries arriving in the protected areas Jetty & Yard of Chittagong port for export container shipments (shipping) and import container delivery (supply). By this system container transport is going up by more than 7,000 on average. Then the container congestion is keep laying in the yard of the port. As a result, the port's efficiency and mobility are not increasing. To get relief from this traffic jam and container congestion the port authorities contacted with the EagleRail authorities.

A senior official of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) said, "We have taken two approaches to reduce the traffic jam on the roads in and around the Chittagong Port area and to reduce the container congestion in the yard. One of them is the installation of sophisticated 'EagleRail' technology at the Chittagong Container Terminal.”

He said that much like cable car the EagleRail can move the containers at least 50 feet above track of the steel structures. Initially, plans are underway to set up two tracks of EagleRail from Chittagong Port to the Bay Terminal. By this two tracks containers will be taken from Chittagong Port to Bay Terminal yard. Container will be supplied from there. At present, per hour maximum of 20 TEUS container movements can be made in the yard of the port. Minimum 300 TEUS container can be moved per hour by using EagleRail system.

The official said that the work has been going on for more than a year now. A delegation of three members of the port led by Member (Admin) of CPA Mr. Jafar Alam traveled to the United States to get a real idea about EagleRail and met with the EagleRail Authority. In line with that, CPA reached an understanding with the EagleRail Authority and made a strategic decision to set up a state-of-the-art technology Rail line at Chittagong Port, which is very new technology for Bangladesh.

By mentioning to sign a formal agreement (MoU) with EagleRail in this running month Secretary of CPA, Mr. Omar Farooq adding that EagleRail is a state-of-the-art technology. When it will be operated in Chittagong port there will no longer have the terrible traffic at port area. "We are now going to build a large bay-terminal in Patenga," the secretary said. It will take about four years to fully implement this project. Before that if the EagleRail can installed within 2-3 years, then it would be connected with the under-construction bay-terminal. However before that the survey report is important.

Directly associated with this project CPA Member (Admin) Mr. Jafar Alam said, "We will be signing a MoU this month with EagleRail. They will run a survey within the next three months. If the survey report is received as positive, we (CPA) will accept it and by accepting the project we will forward it to the Ministry for approval.”

Deputy Manager (Land) of CPA Mr. Md. Zillur Rahman said, the work of the EagleRail would begin by next December. If this happens, the container will pass over the Port to the Bay Terminal Yard. From the inside of the port, the truck-lorry will go down the toll way to the Bay-Terminal. Then there will no longer be a truck-lorry congestion in the port, the container congestion will also end.

He said, the EagleRail Authority will initially implement two pilot projects with their own financing. One of these will be Flow-Yards from New Mooring Container Terminal and the other from the Chittagong Container Terminal to off-dock Esak Brothers Ltd. If this pilot project is successful, it will be extended up to the Bay-Terminal. We will do this in harmony with advanced ports.