Chinese state-owned company PTI is scheduled to begin the construction of a full-fledged and permanent submarine base in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar in the current fiscal year.
The construction cost of the proposed base for keeping and operating submarines has been estimated at Tk 10,300 crore, officials said.
The Chinese company has been appointed for the job through a government-to-government negotiation between Bangladesh and China.
The construction of the permanent base, which would have facilities like wharfs, barracks, an ammunition depot, repairing arrangements and training provisions, is expected to be completed in 10 years by the fiscal year 2027-28, said the officials.
A special allocation of Tk 54 crore would be required within the outgoing fiscal year for payment of the consultancy fees for the project to be implemented by the Bangladesh Navy.
Inter-Services Public Relations director Lieutenant Colonel Md Abdullah Ibn Zaid on Saturday told mediapersons that they did not know anything about the construction of the base.
‘We will have to know it from the Navy,’ he said.
The Navy received the delivery of two submarines from China in 2016-17, which it is operating now from a makeshift base in the same district.
Named as Nobojatra and Joyjatra, the submarines were procured under a G-to-G contract from China in 2013 at a reported cost of US $ 193 million after both submarines went through extensive refitting and modernization.
The Navy had been persuading the government to build a permanent base since the commissioning of the Ming-class submarines in the Bay of Bengal.
The government is also founding a new naval base at Rabnabad in Patuakhali that will have submarine berthing and operation facilities to ensure security of the Payra Sea Port.
The implementation of the naval base project, BNS Sher-e-Bangla Patuakhali, was set to start from June 2018 to be completed in June 2021 at an estimated cost of Tk 1,081.50 crore.
The entire fund is to come from the state coffers.