Matarbari Port

From Global Energy Monitor

Matarbari Port is a deep sea port under development in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

The deep sea port was proposed to receive imported coal for the proposed Matarbari power station.


The port is under development on the Maheshkhai island (Moheshkhali upazila) in Cox's Bazar District, Chittagong.

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The deep sea port was proposed to receive imported coal for the proposed 1,200 MW Matarbari power station. The government approved a Tk360 crore project to set up a deep sea port for handling imported coal for the proposed plant in August 2014. In January 2015 it was reported that the proposed Sonadia Port may be abandoned, and the Matarbari Port would be extended up to Sonadia, 25 kilometers away.[1]

The Bangladesh government was expected to seek funds from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the port. JICA is funding the Matarbari power station. A feasibility study was set to be conducted before constructing the deep-sea port. Pacific Consultant International (PCI), a Japanese firm, found Sonadia Island suitable for the construction of a deep-sea port in 2006, but did not consider inclusion of coal, oil, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) jetties in the deep-sea port.[2]

In June 2015, JICA said construction of the 18-meter-deep port at Matarbari was set to start by January 2016. The Japanese prime minister offered US$4.8 billion in loans for the project, which would include the 1,200 MW Matarbari power station. JICA imagined the port to be part of a broader project to turn the area into an industrial corridor, and “an important trade gateway to the rest of Asia and beyond.”[3] The coal terminal may be a joint venture between Coal Power Generation Company of Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) and Shumitomo Corporation of Japan. The 1,200 MW power station, a joint venture of Japan's Mitsui and Company Ltd and Malaysia's IMDB Energy Group Berhad, would use about 3.73 million tonnes of coal annually.[4]

In September 2015, Dhaka cleared Japan’s proposal to finance and build the seaport in Matarbari. JICA offered US$3.7 billion to build the US$4.6 billion port and power complex.[5][6]

In September 2017, it was reported that a Japanese consortium comprising Sumitomo Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, and IHI Corporation signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the 1,200 MW coal-fired power plant and deep sea port at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar. JICA would finance the project and the total project cost would amount to 500 billion yen.[7]

In January 2018, it was reported that Matarbari Port was planned for completion in July 2024. According to the state minister, 18 percent of project work had been completed.[8]

In June 2018, the Japanese government approved a loan of US$24 million for the project, as part of its 39th Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan package.[9]

In March 2020, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the “Matarbari Port Development Project” (Tk 17,777.16 crore). Of the total project cost, Tk 2,671.15 crore is coming from the Bangladesh government, Tk 2,213.24 crore from the Chattogram Port Authority, and the remaining Tk 12,892.76 crore from JICA.[10][11]

In December 2020, the first commercial ship – foreign ship MV Venus Triumph – reached the deep-sea port with the help of a tugboat. Ships are anchoring at the port temporarily, although the port is reportedly not scheduled to open until December 2026. Officials said the power plant under construction may require 3.73 million tonnes (Mt) of coal a year, which will be imported from Indonesia, Australia, and South Africa through the Port.[11][12]

In July 2021, a cargo vessel became the first to berth at the second jetty being constructed for unloading coal. The arrival increased the total number of vessels that have been berthed at the two jetties in last six-and-a-half months to 18. Construction of the first jetty, meant for unloading fuel, was completed in 2020. Around 75& of the construction work for the 300-metre long second jetty, meant for unloading coal, has already been completed according to sources close to the project. The jetty is expected to be fully constructed by 2022.[13][14]

According to November 2021 reporting, the new structure of the port was finalized based on studies carried out by Japan's Koei, Germany's Pichner, Japan's TEPSCO, Australia's SMEC, and a few other companies. The original length of the Matarbari sea port of 3km was increased to 14.3km with the decision to build a deep sea port. Similarly, the breadth of the channel increased by 100 metres (from 250 metres to 350 metres). The depth also increased from 15 metres to 18.5 metres. In addition to the two jetties nearing construction completion, another six jetties are expected. The Payra Port was in turn downgraded to a regular port.[15]

In February 2022, the project overcame land acquisition issues after the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) paid Tk87.47 crore in compensation to the Cox's Bazar district.[16]

In May 2022, Chairman of the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) claimed the project would become the "region’s most important export-import hub in the future."[17]

Port Project

The port includes 300-meter-long multipurpose terminal and one 460- meter long container terminal before 2026. According to media reports, "The length of the navigation channel will be 350 meters long with a maximum permissible draught of 16 metres. Ships with the capacity of 8,000 TEUS containers will be able to berth. Constructed on 18 hectares, the container terminal will have an annual capacity of 600,000 to 1.1 million TEUs. Later, the container terminal will be extended up to 70 hectares, with 1,850 metres berth and have a 2.8 million TEUs capacity."[17]


In January 2018, the following was reported regarding the port's proposed capacity:[18][19]

  • In the first phase of construction, a container terminal would be built on 18 hectares, have a 460-meter berth, be able to accommodate 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels, and have an annual capacity of 600,000 to 1.1 million TEU. The container terminal would then be expanded, comprise 70 hectares, have a 1,850-meter berth, and have a 2.8-million-tonne capacity.
  • A multi-purpose terminal would be built on 17 hectares, have a 300-meter berth, and be able to accommodate vessels with up to 70,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt). Its annual capacity would be 2.25 million tonnes.
  • A large coal terminal will handle the enormous volume of coal the country requires. Its proposed capacity is unclear. But officials said the power plant under construction at the port may require 3.73 million tonnes of coal a year, which will be imported from Indonesia, Australia, and South Africa.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Coal Power Generation Company of Bangladesh Limited, Shumitomo Corporation
  • Location: Maheshkhai island (Moheshkhali upazila), Bazar District, Chittagong, Bangladesh
  • Proposed Coal Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): 3.73-4 million tonnes
  • Status: Construction
  • Start year: 2026
  • Type: Imports (Indonesia, Australia, and South Africa)
  • Source of Coal: thermal coal mines in Indonesia, Australia, and South Africa
  • Cost: Tk 17,777.16 crore (US$2.1 billion)
  • Financing: Japan International Cooperation Agency (Tk 12,892.76, or 72.5%), Bangladesh (Tk 2,671.15 crore, or 15%), and Chattogram Port Authority (Tk 2,213.24 crore, or 12.5%)

Articles and resources


  1. "Sonadia deep sea port plan may be dumped," Dhaka Tribune, January 11, 2015
  2. "Matarbari now potential site for deep-sea port," Financial Express, February 21, 2015
  3. "Japan Beating China in Race for Indian Ocean Deep-Sea Port," Bloomberg, June 23, 2015
  4. "Another 1200MW Power Project at Matarbari," energy bangla, June 15, 2015
  5. "Bangladesh favours US$4.6bn Japanese port plan over rival Chinese scheme, says minister," South China Morning Post, September 11, 2015
  6. "Bangladesh's Deep Sea Port Problem," The Diplomat, June 7, 2016
  7. "Consortium to build coal power plant, sea port at Matarbari," The Independent, September 27, 2017
  8. "Matarbari port to be turned into a deep-sea port," The Daily Star, January 7, 2018
  9. "Japan to provide Tk 15,326 crore for 6 projects," The Bangladesh Today, June 14, 2018
  10. "Matarbari Port likely to contribute about 3% in GDP growth," March 19, 2021
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Chittagong Port Authority to get 283.23 acres of land soon for Matarbari Port," Dhaka Tribune, June 4, 2021
  12. "First commercial ship reaches Matarbari deep sea port," United News of Bangladesh, December 29, 2020
  13. "Second jetty opens for Matarbari power plant," The Daily Star, July 16, 2021
  14. "Matarbari: The next hub of power and port," BDNews 24, September 17, 2021
  15. "Deep sea port: From Payra to Matarbari," Dhaka Tribute, November 12, 2021
  16. Land acquisition hitches over Matarbari port finally resolved, Business Standard, February 13, 2022
  17. 17.0 17.1 Matarbari Deep Seaport Will Be The Exim Hub, Maritime Gateway, May 9, 2022
  18. "Matarbari port’s expansion goal is 8,000 TEU ships by July 2023," The Journal of Commerce Online, Bangladesh Special Correspondent, January 23, 2018
  19. "2.1.4 Bangladesh Port of Matarbari," Logistics Capacity Assessments (LCAs) Log, accessed September 2021

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