HR Wallingford to help Chittagong welcome larger vessels

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The Chittagong Port Authority and HR Wallingford have today signed a contract that engages its expert hydraulics engineers to study navigation at the Bangladeshi port. Around 90% of Bangladesh’s international sea trade is handled by the port, which is seeking to welcome larger vessels.

Today’s signing ceremony was attended by a number of high-profile figures including Rear Admiral Azad, chairman of the Chittagong Port Authority; Robert Chatterton Dickson, the British High Commissioner; and Dr Manzur Haque, executive chairman of Interport BD (HR Wallingford’s agents). They were joined by senior HR Wallingford representatives via video conferencing.

HR Wallingford will provide a detailed Hydrological and Hydraulic Study of the Karnaphuli River, and provide insight into potential solution to improve access to the port, particularly around the ‘Gupta Bend’. The river bend is a well-known constriction in the river, which limits the size of the vessel that can enter the Chittagong – one of the world’s oldest ports.

The HR Wallingford team will initially review ways that larger ships might navigate the bend, before going on to use its findings to propose long-term solutions that maximise the capacity at Chittagong and work with the river’s natural properties.

Applying its extensive knowledge of ports and harbours, the team will use surveys, navigation studies, dredging assessments, planning tools and HR Wallingford’s state-of-the-art ship simulators to help provide and test solutions.

Martin Young, Chief Technical Director at HR Wallingford said: “We first studied Karnaphuli River over 60 years ago, so are we are delighted to be returning to Chittagong to help the port go from strength to strength.”