DHAKA, Dec 20, 2016 (BSS) - British company DP Rail today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Railway (BR) to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the planned 240-kilometer Dhaka-Payra rail line.
Under the MoU, the British firm will invest in the new railways around Taka 60 thousand crore, which will be the biggest ever Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for Bangladesh.
The MOU was signed at a programme at the Ministry of Railways in the capital city. Railways Minister Md. Mujibul Haque, UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy for Bangladesh Rushanara Ali, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake and Chief Executive of DP Rail Ian Derbyshire witnessed the signing ceremony.
"The rail line, biggest ever project in the country's railway sector, will play an important role in generating more revenue by facilitating transportation of goods to and from the deep-sea port," Mujibul Haque told the event.
Besides, he said, it would for the first time link the Barisal divisional headquarters with rest of the country.
Rushanara Ali MP said this is a project of vital national importance to Bangladesh. She welcomed the fact that this project has been proposed as a "best of British" railway, representing a substantial export opportunity for the UK railway supply chain.
"I am looking forward to seeing the benefits that this project will bring to the people and businesses of Dhaka, and to Bangladesh in general," she said.
Alison Blake called the MoU a great example of British business expertise supporting the development of Bangladesh infrastructure and future economic development.
DP Rail is working with China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Ltd as its principal civil engineering contractor.
The new railway forms a vital part of the Payra Port project, which is designed to provide a new deep water port at the top end of the Bay of Bengal, capable of handling large container ships of 8,000 containers capacity or 120,000 tonnes of cargo.
DP Rail expects the freight train service to start, prospectively, in 2024 and, in the first full year of operation is projected to handle approximately 2 million TEU with frequent daily trains running at 100 kilometer per hour, and with volumes rising to almost 4 million TEU per year by 2030. Container trains will be around 1km in length. Additional trains will convey coal and other bulk products.
For the country's readymade garment sector, the railway will be the high capacity trading route to the sea and its customers around the world.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)