Drague suceuse à désagrégateur J.F.J. De Nul au Bangladesh

Construction of Payra seaport in Bangladesh

Young and typified by extremes. Bangladesh embraces the extremes that come with its young existence and unique location. Since independence from Pakistan just over 50 years ago, the motivation to overcome the remaining economic hurdles is greater than ever. Seaports play a key strategic role in this, because whose ports are big and deep enough, trades with the world. This is also what Bangladesh aspires to: bringing and keeping Payra port, the third and youngest port addition, on point to receive large ocean-going vessels. Jan De Nul has been a permanent partner in the construction of this port since its inception, a project to which more than 400 colleagues still contribute every day.

The Payra port has only been open for a few years, pushing import and export opportunities for Bangladesh sharply upwards. The port's implantation was between Mongla port in the West and Chittagong port in the East. Both ports were groaning under the pressure and bumping up against their maximum capacity. A third port today not only eases that logistical burden, it also offers Bangladesh a new growth perspective. The inauguration of the port a few years ago was the first step in building Payra into a major player in Bangladesh's overseas trade.

Payra port: economic hub in the making 
The development of the Payra port area is in full swing and with it all possible access options to it. Accesses from land and from the sea. The one on land is taken care of by the national military services, the one offshore by Jan De Nul Group. Some 400 employees and more than 20 vessels so far contribute to the deepening of the access channel, the deepening of the river and the reclamation of the port area.

The access channel to be deepened goes up to 57 kilometres offshore. Bangladesh has a mild summer season and a heavy rainy season. Depending on weather conditions, the dredgers work in the deepest zones offshore or more upstream on the river and the area to be reclaimed in the port, a working zone that offers the vessels and its crew more protection from the heavy swell and sometimes even cyclones peculiar to the Bengali climate. 

At sea, zones are defined where the dredged spoil is dumped. The hopper barges sail towards the zone and unload the sand there; the cutter barges, on the other hand, operate stationary and cannot store dredged spoil. They press the sand towards the right location using floating pipelines. The use of floating pipelines is not new, although the distance to be covered in Bangladesh is challenging: each cutter has up to 2.5 kilometres of pipeline linked up to the dumping site.

Land for further expansion of port area
Besides deepening the access channel, Jan De Nul Group is also responsible for reclaiming new port land. Dredged sand in the river is pressed ashore by hopper barges via a pipeline over land. With the help of heavy equipment, the applied sand will be spread out and the site will be levelled. The port authority will thus have additional land available for further development of the port area after the dredging campaign.

A welding workshop has also been set up at the dredging site. Large pieces of mainly cutter barges are prepared there for assembly or already used pieces from on board are repaired there. This hub makes it possible to switch quickly and keep the vessels working continuously.

The multi-year project for which Jan De Nul Group is a guest in Bangladesh is accompanied by extensive local cooperation. Bengali surveyors, landfill workers and suppliers are fixed values for this local development project. But above all, we focus on the economic boost that is slowly but surely coming with the expansion of this third seaport. A boost that will undoubtedly also benefit employment in Bengal.