What's new

Bangladesh Economic & Infrastructure Development - Updates & Discussions

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States
PREPAID GAS METERS
Perks aplenty but installation slow


Asifur Rahman, Mahmudul Hasan
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:00 AM Last update on: Mon Jan 17, 2022 01:21 AM


The installation of prepaid gas meters is going on at a snail's pace even though the system comes with many perks, including cuts in customers' cost and a reduction in gas wastage.

For instance, Tuhin Rahman, a resident of the capital, used to pay Tk 975 each month for gas but her expenses fell drastically since October, when a gas distribution company installed a meter in her apartment.

"My monthly expense for cooking gas got cut by over 50 per cent as a result," Rahman told The Daily Star.

About half a dozen people said their gas bills were cut by 30 to 40 per cent ever since the distribution company replaced its traditional billing system with prepaid meters.

Not only from the customers' end, it will reduce gas usage amid dwindling reserves, which is leading to costly imports in order to keep wheels turning and burners running.
For example, a customer without a prepaid meter uses 70 cubic meters of gas per month while customers with a meter use 30 cubic meters of gas.

But despite all these perks and the instruction of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, installation of prepaid meters has been running at a snail's pace.

The installation of prepaid meters began a decade ago but only about four lakh meters have been installed so far, keeping over 90 per cent of the roughly 43 lakh residential customers away from the benefit.

Wishing to remain unnamed, a joint secretary level officer of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division told The Daily Star that they usually prepare bills equal to 87 cubic meters while prepaid meter users use less than 50 cubic meters in a month.

"I recharge only Tk 500 in prepaid meters for a two-burner stove and can use it for one-and-a-half months," said Azimur Rahman Gani, a resident of Mirpur.

A pipeline gas user had to pay a bill of Tk 975 each month for a two-burner stove and Tk 925 for a single burner.

Initiated through a pilot project in 2011, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company has so far installed 3.33 lakh prepaid meters. It has over 28 lakh customers.

The project was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and meters were acquired on a turnkey-basis deal with contractors who import them.
It also signed an agreement with United Commercial Bank to facilitate prepaid card recharge for customers.

However, customers are annoyed with the system as it requires them to visit an agent to recharge their cards while recharging an electricity card can be done through mobile financial service providers' apps.

According to an official of Titas, a Japanese company supplied the meters, which cost Tk 14,000 a piece and last for about 20 years.
And customers now have to pay Tk 60 as rent per month for the meter.

"We have plans to increase it to Tk 100 so that the price of the meter can be collected within 13 years," he said.
Titas has also undertaken two more projects to set up over 12 lakh meters as a part of the government's plan to bring all residential customers under the prepaid system by 2024.

However, both projects are currently with the planning ministry for review.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) provided instructions on many occasions to install prepaid meters.

"In a notice in 2019, there was a guideline to introduce pre-paid meters," said Md Abdul Jalil, chairman of BERC.
"It will inspire customers not to waste gas and their monthly gas expense will reduce," he added.

About the delays in implementation, a top official of the company said people were reluctant to install meters at the beginning.
"Now they are prepared and eager to get meters. It wouldn't take much time to install meters now," he added.

Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited, which supplies gas in Chattogram, has already installed 60,000 meters so far. It has about 5.5 lakh customers.
It initiated another project to provide a further one lakh meters. The installation will start from June, according to an official of the company.
Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Ltd (Sylhet) has also started a project to install meters.

The other three companies under the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) are Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Ltd, Pashchimanchal Gas Company Ltd and Sundarbans Gas Company Ltd.

The meter installation process should be based on preference as customers should have the option to buy and install it if willing, according to Prof M Shamsul Alam, energy adviser to the Consumers Association of Bangladesh.

So if customers could install it on their own accord, everyone would purchase it, he said.

The BERC in its tariff rules in 2015 instructed the companies to introduce the gas meter system but they are not abiding by it, which is punishable.

"These companies are violating this rule and they should face punishment such as fines or imprisonment or both but the BERC is not taking any step," said Alam.
"These companies are creating unnecessary complexities for the customers so they can rip them off," he added.
Some excellent work being done in Bangladesh, well done guys.

Thanks brother - your good wishes much appreciated. :-)
 

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States
bSz2XSAsYoVz3X5SUjSUlt3OVDmlZucevFDuqief.jpg

Posted on: 16-Jan-2022
Post Creator: The Daily Star

Novo Nordisk, Eskayef launch locally made insulins

Novo Nordisk, the world's biggest insulin maker, yesterday launched three locally manufactured insulin products in Bangladesh. The three products -- Mixtard 30, Insulatard and Actrapid -- all manufactured by the Danish company's local partner Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd, were unveiled at a ceremony at the Westin Hotel in the city. With the launch, Novo Nordisk, which controls 75 percent of the local insulin market, and Eskayef, Bangladesh's one of the fastest growing medicine makers, will be able to take the insulin products to the patients at affordable prices.

This is the first time the Danish company is producing insulin locally. Before the launch, the company used to import the products. The current diabetic population of 8.4 million in Bangladesh is projected to double by 2030. To meet the growing demand for insulin in Bangladesh, Novo Nordisk has partnered with Eskayef and established a high-tech facility, exclusively for insulins.

Almost 6 to 7 out of 10 patients taking insulin in Bangladesh use Novo Nordisk's insulins, according to company officials. The insulins have been manufactured from bulk drug (insulin crystals) and other raw materials supplied by Novo Nordisk, Denmark. The domestic formulation complies with the stringent quality norms as practised across the world by Novo Nordisk.

Maziar Mike Doustdar, vice president for international operations at Novo Nordisk, said Bangladesh is the eighth largest country in the world when it comes to the number of diabetic patients. So, Bangladesh needs support in producing the insulins, he said. He said the company is now helping 1,500 children with diabetes to obtain free treatment and insulins, who otherwise would have not been able to afford treatment. Their number would go up in the coming days, he said.

Prof Gowher Rizvi, international affairs adviser to the prime minister, said the launch of the locally produced high quality and world-class insulin is a milestone for Bangladesh. Mozibur Rahman Fakir, state minister for health and family welfare, said diabetes is one of the most challenging diseases for the world. It is also true for Bangladesh. He thanked Novo Nordisk for setting up a sophisticated manufacturing plant in Bangladesh in association with Eskayef to produce high quality products. Pia Olsen Dyhr, the Danish minister for trade and investment, said there is a serious lack of access to proper treatment among Bangladeshi diabetic people. "The partnership between Novo Nordisk and Eskayef will make a significant difference in taking affordable products to the people of the country,"she said. She said the partnership will not only promote world-class insulin products but also help transfer technology and innovation. "The local venture will create jobs for the people of Bangladesh," said the Danish minister. Svend Olling, Danish ambassador to Bangladesh, thanked Novo Nordisk for investing in Bangladesh, as the people would be able to buy world-class products at affordable prices.

Latifur Rahman, chairman of Eskayef Bangladesh, said the country's pharmaceutical industry has grown tremendously in the past 40 years. Now local companies meet 97 percent of the domestic demand with high quality products. He said the country is also capable of exporting products, meeting all the requirements of the importing countries. He said the alliance has been further strengthened and has facilitated new investments, which would create jobs and provide international quality insulins at affordable prices. Rahman, also the chairman and chief executive officer of Transcom Group, which owns Eskayef, said Novo Nordisk has a total of eight manufacturing facilities across the world, with one in Bangladesh. "It is a proud moment for the pharmaceutical sector in Bangladesh that Novo Nordisk has chosen to tie up with Eskayef to produce such a high-tech product as insulin" he said.

Kim Steffensen, director (contract and local manufacturing) of Novo Nordisk, said: "We never compromise on quality and business ethics."
"The products that Eskayef will produce will have the same quality and standards as Novo Nordisk ensures around the world," he said.

Prof AK Azad Khan, president of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, said the growing number of people with diabetes in Bangladesh is in constant need of proper care and timely treatment including the need for sustained insulin supply.

Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 89 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions in haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. It employs around 32,700 people in 75 countries and markets its products in 190 countries.

Simeen Hossain, chief executive officer of Eskayef Bangladesh, and A Rajan Kumar, managing director of Novo Nordisk Pharma Ltd, were also present.
 

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States
35,000 Acre (Asia's largest) Mirsarai Export Zone update




----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
‘We hope to see a couple of Unicorns in Bangladesh in the next few years’
Tina Jabeen, the former CEO of Startup Bangladesh Limited, joined The Business Standard to share her thoughts on Bangladesh’s startup ecosystem and discuss how we can draw more foreign and local investment
Tina Jabeen. Sketch: TBS
Tina Jabeen. Sketch: TBS

Tina Jabeen. Sketch: TBS

TBS: According to Lightcastle Partners, Bangladeshi startups received around $165 million in funding in 2021. This was the highest funding in a year that Bangladeshi startups received. How do you evaluate Bangladeshi startups' progress so far? Is there scope to do better?

Tina Jabeen:
An investment of around $165 million is extremely encouraging for the ecosystem. Startup Bangladesh Ltd. – the first and only government backed VC fund in Bangladesh, also invested in seven startups last year. This sends a strong positive message to the startup ecosystem and to the local and international investors, even though the amount invested is not large.

There are only a handful of government-owned VC funds in the world. Startup Bangladesh Ltd. invested within the first eight months of its emergence. So, the government's stance to support funding the startups strengthened the emerging startup ecosystem of Bangladesh. In the future, we aspire to see more investments coming in – locally and globally.

Our startup ecosystem is considered an "emerging ecosystem" – as such there are tremendous opportunities to grow and scale-up. I see 2022 as a defining year from an investment perspective = globally and in emerging economies such as Bangladesh. A lot of the investors are looking into Bangladesh as a place for impact investments – in areas such as gender lens investment, SME and climate change.

The tech and climate sectors are going to be very big from this decade onward as companies – local or global – need to be more environmentally and socially responsible to sustain growth. By 2050, one in every seven people in Bangladesh will be displaced by climate change. Almost 18 million people may have to move because of the rising sea level. Investments need to be made to mitigate these risks and startups can provide tech-based solutions that can be scalable and sustainable.

TBS: Of the $165 million invested last year, more than 98% was foreign investment. Is there a scope to increase local investment? If so, how?

Tina Jabeen:
First, you need some big exits. The recycling of money, where startups invest in new startups, is happening in Bangladesh but on a smaller scale. This is happening in Silicon Valley on a larger scale because of thousands of exits.

So, once an angel investor becomes very successful, they create another startup and invest in others. For example, Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, is now a partner at Greylock Partners! And he is investing in game-changing startups such as Facebook and Workday.

Bangladesh's ecosystem is less than a decade old and compared to neighbouring ecosystems it is still quite small. India alone had 85+ unicorns in 2021. When a startup's founders make large exits, as was the case in LinkedIn, they recycle the money in more startups and that is how the ecosystem grows from a series of successful exits.

Take a look at the investors in Silicon Valley. It is the institutional investors! If you look at the investor base of successful VC funds such as Kleiner Perkins, there are endowment funds from Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, pension funds and family offices etc. Collectively trillions of dollars have been invested and churned over decades and as a result, we see the Silicon Valley we see today.

Now let's look at India. India is a comparatively mature ecosystem in South Asia. 25+ years ago, successful technopreneurs from Silicon Valley invested in India in its most promising technology companies. The founder of Infosys – Narayan Murthy launched a VC fund to incubate and fund startups in India. So you can see that private stakeholders play a key role in building the ecosystem, whereas the government plays the role of an enabler.

We need patient capital and a strong private-public partnership to continue to build a robust and strong startup ecosystem in Bangladesh. And eventually, we hope to see a number of unicorns and possible exits in the next few years. It takes time but it will happen.

Illustration: TBS
Illustration: TBS

Illustration: TBS

TBS: Generally, if we consider sector-wise investment, Fintech covers almost 50% of the total investment. What about health, education or agro? How can we increase investment in necessary sectors like these?

Tina Jabeen:
Agriculture is a huge area in Bangladesh. We don't have enough agri-tech startups. We don't have enough startups in health-tech and education either. Some edutech startups, however, are doing a little better thanks to the education ministry engaging with some of the startups.

Since it is an emerging ecosystem, the government should plug them wherever they fit in. How the ministry of education, ICT and a2i approach the relevant startups for the tasks in their niches could be an example. I think health is an untapped ministry where health-tech startups can play a very big role.

In general, there need to be policies, tax policies for example, or policies in the private companies, that will engage the startups. For example, you need to develop an ERP system, why don't you approach a startup that specialises in ERP?

We should also prioritise the woman founders. Maybe a woman-led startup is not that advanced in her particular area. But if we evaluate them with others in the same metrics, it won't work. We need to prioritise them because they are already fighting various biases in getting here.

Most importantly, for both startups and SMEs, we should set up a one-stop service, like the one BIDA set up for foreign investors in general. The one-step service that I am talking about should be where a startup can get their trade license, template for incorporation, where they will get instructions on how to make financials etc.

TBS: Is the idea of a startup really clear among our founders? Sometimes it feels like the difference between an SME and startup is not clear. It seems some startups function more like SMEs than focusing on innovation and creating value. Do you feel our start-ups come up with solutions that are innovative enough or are they prone to copying international models that have worked elsewhere?

Tina Jabeen:
We have an emerging startup ecosystem. A startup is about bringing in an innovative solution that is scalable, commercially sustainable while also being a gamechanger.

Uber, for example, or Airbnb, is an innovation. But Pathao piggybacked on Uber model with the innovation of introducing the "bike model". Innovation does not have to be from the scratch. If you can introduce an existing solution customized for the target market in an innovative manner, why not?

TBS: The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated a move to allow the listing of loss-making startups having high growth potentials on the stock market. How do you evaluate this move?

Tina Jabeen:
This is actually a good move. There are many examples of startups going IPO but still in the red. Investors are looking at the long-term potential and market disruption. We need to educate the public market investors on investing in startup IPOs so that they can make informed investment decisions.

TBS: Are our local regulations foreign investment-friendly? What should be done to attract more foreign investment in startups? What else can the government do to improve the local startup ecosystem?

Tina Jabeen:


You have to give incentives to the investors, both local and foreign, to make it easy for them to bring in the money. Important key government agencies/ministries such as Finance, Commerce, NBR, ICT Ministry etc need to fine-tune the existing policies so they become more startup friendly.

The vat, tax and other service duties should be relaxed. However, the government is an enabler. We have billion-dollar private companies, they can also contribute by engaging the startups in their business processes, such as in procurement, etc.

Also, we have hundreds of thousands of expats all over the world, especially those who work in technology. They can be engaged by contributing knowledge, money and network – there are many ways to give back to the country. This investment may come in two ways- they can be real investors with money, or they can do in-kind investment, which is technology transfer.

In Silicon Valley, there is a large expat tech diaspora. We have informally launched Bangladesh - Adviser in Residence (BD AIR), which would be working with startups in Bangladesh as mentors and investors.

In BD AiR, we have already enlisted expats who are engaged in global technology firms such as Google, Facebook, ThermoFisher etc. in various capacities. These mentors are passionate to be engaged with the startup ecosystem and be a part of the New Bangladesh – The Royal Bengal Tiger.
 

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States
Walton setting up lab at Buet


Star Business Desk
Fri Jan 21, 2022 12:00 AM Last update on: Fri Jan 21, 2022 02:25 AM


Walton has announced signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) to set up a laboratory at the latter for research and development of its electronics and technology products.

Prof Satya Prasad Majumder, vice-chancellor of Buet, and SM Rezaul Alam, chairman of Walton Digi-Tech Industries, signed the agreement at Buet Council Building on Tuesday, according to a Buet statement.

Under the agreement, Walton will provide everything required for the laboratory while wherein Buet teachers and students will conduct the research and develop Walton products. The company believes it would bring about a revolutionary change in the economic development and technological advancement of the country.

Walton also handed over a cheque worth Tk 10 lakh to the Buet vice-chancellor to enable three fellowships for master's degrees.

Prof Muhammad Anisuzzaman Talukder, director of research and innovation centre for science and engineering (RISE) of Buet, and Golam Murshed, managing director of Walton Hi-Tech Industries, were present.
 

Tom-tom

FULL MEMBER
Dec 10, 2019
825
-4
615
Country
United Kingdom
Location
United Kingdom
Walton setting up lab at Buet


Star Business Desk
Fri Jan 21, 2022 12:00 AM Last update on: Fri Jan 21, 2022 02:25 AM


Walton has announced signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) to set up a laboratory at the latter for research and development of its electronics and technology products.

Prof Satya Prasad Majumder, vice-chancellor of Buet, and SM Rezaul Alam, chairman of Walton Digi-Tech Industries, signed the agreement at Buet Council Building on Tuesday, according to a Buet statement.

Under the agreement, Walton will provide everything required for the laboratory while wherein Buet teachers and students will conduct the research and develop Walton products. The company believes it would bring about a revolutionary change in the economic development and technological advancement of the country.

Walton also handed over a cheque worth Tk 10 lakh to the Buet vice-chancellor to enable three fellowships for master's degrees.

Prof Muhammad Anisuzzaman Talukder, director of research and innovation centre for science and engineering (RISE) of Buet, and Golam Murshed, managing director of Walton Hi-Tech Industries, were present.
This is fantastic news
 

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States
This is fantastic news

Yes it is. They started small and I hope the program will grow further into a much larger venture. Other than in-house R&D which is meant to drive production efficiencies, they need to do fundamental research connected to commercial applied electronics applications such Optronics, Nano-technology, AI, process mining, robotic process automation (RPA) and other technologies.

Some of the local shipbuilding companies funded the floating research tank facilities at BUET's Naval Engg. dept. and ditto with local construction companies who funded earthquake research in the civil engg. dept. there (housing full size shake simulators etc.).

I have written about and highlighted all this stuff before as you may have seen.
 

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States
I would say Football and sports in general have the worst infrastructure in Bangladesh. Hope this could change soon.

They are also revamping Bangabandhu National Stadium (football) near Bait-ul-Mukarram Mosque. New galleries, seating and pandals.


HSIA terminal 3 updates, as structure completes, new equipment is going in. Description below.

269683009_1920043224844259_2762457169374487189_n.jpg


A sad day - because I suspect Schindler will be installing made in India lifts and escalators in this terminal. Giving lowest bidder Indians the contract when We had far better companies making lifts and escalators in this country (Walton, RFL both have superb reputations locally). This is what happens when you place India-shill Ba$tards in decision making positions.

Our first priority in sourcing equipment on projects should be to source locally and help local industry. Just like they do in India.
 
Last edited:

sallador saan

FULL MEMBER

New Recruit

May 21, 2021
15
0
32
Country
Bangladesh
Location
Bangladesh

Biggest FDI for state-of-the-art shipyard in Patuakhali proposed​

Gentium-Damen to invest Tk14,000cr to build ships for global market​

Photo Collected
Shipyard in Patuakhali

Photo Collected

With a finance proposal of Tk14,000 crore in foreign direct investment, the biggest of its kind, the government is one step closer to realising its plan to build a state-of-the-art shipyard near the Payra seaport in Patuakhali.
Representatives from Singapore and Australia-based Gentium Solutions and Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group have presented the project proposal at a meeting with Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun at his office on Monday.
The Gentium-Damen delegation also handed over a feasibility study report – Developing a World Class Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facility (WCSBF) in the Patuakhali District, conducted by EY India – to the industries minister, said sources at the ministry.


The report says Gentium-Damen will support the government's project by building high quality vessels in the country for the export market. Transfer of technology for specific areas of the shipbuilding process will be incorporated in dedicated and allocated shipbuilding projects at the facility.
As the shipbuilding industry is labour intensive, the WCSBF is expected to generate regional and macro employment opportunities. Thanks to the entry of industry experts like Gentium, Damen and their training programmes, the workforce in Bangladesh will have enhanced skills.
The project will contribute to developing a reliable and competitive supply chain which will produce top-notch vessels to compete in the global market, says a press release of the ministry.
"Damen is the leading ship building company in the world with 35 shipyards under their name around the world. The shipyard planned in Patuakhali will be their 36th," Gentium Solutions Advisor Md Kaikobad Hossain told The Business Standard last night.
"We presented our proposal to the government today [Monday] and are expecting the deal to be finalised within the next three-four months," he said.
"We had inked the agreement with the government on 14 January 2020. Then we hired EY India to conduct the feasibility study. The study took two years to finish," Kaikobad said.
He added that following the final nod, the Gentium-Damen consortium will move towards land development, which will roughly take up to three years.
"During land development, shipbuilding works will also go on through renting shipyards at Khuna and Chattogram," he added.
Damen plans to generate $2 billion of the global shipbuilding market of $200 billion from the Patuakhali shipyard and export vessels to 17 countries – which will play a vital role in the economy of Bangladesh.
"Damen, which has 90 years' experience in shipbuilding and 6,000 ships under its belt, has picked Bangladesh because of the availability of cheap labour," said Kaikobad.
"Once the proposed project is finalised, the Ministry of Industries or the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation will procure land in the area adjacent to the Payra Port," Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said.
He added that the government will extend all cooperation in setting up a world-class shipbuilding factory.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during a visit to Patuakhali in 2014, announced the construction of a shipbuilding facility in the southern district.
In January 2020, an agreement was inked between the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation and the Gentium-Damen Consortium Group after the latter proposed funding the project.
On Monday, the consortium made the official proposal for a Tk14,000 crore investment in the project.
The government has already allocated some 101-acre land close to the Payra port for the project.
 

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States

Biggest FDI for state-of-the-art shipyard in Patuakhali proposed​

Gentium-Damen to invest Tk14,000cr to build ships for global market​

Photo Collected
Shipyard in Patuakhali

Photo Collected

With a finance proposal of Tk14,000 crore in foreign direct investment, the biggest of its kind, the government is one step closer to realising its plan to build a state-of-the-art shipyard near the Payra seaport in Patuakhali.
Representatives from Singapore and Australia-based Gentium Solutions and Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group have presented the project proposal at a meeting with Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun at his office on Monday.
The Gentium-Damen delegation also handed over a feasibility study report – Developing a World Class Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facility (WCSBF) in the Patuakhali District, conducted by EY India – to the industries minister, said sources at the ministry.


The report says Gentium-Damen will support the government's project by building high quality vessels in the country for the export market. Transfer of technology for specific areas of the shipbuilding process will be incorporated in dedicated and allocated shipbuilding projects at the facility.
As the shipbuilding industry is labour intensive, the WCSBF is expected to generate regional and macro employment opportunities. Thanks to the entry of industry experts like Gentium, Damen and their training programmes, the workforce in Bangladesh will have enhanced skills.
The project will contribute to developing a reliable and competitive supply chain which will produce top-notch vessels to compete in the global market, says a press release of the ministry.
"Damen is the leading ship building company in the world with 35 shipyards under their name around the world. The shipyard planned in Patuakhali will be their 36th," Gentium Solutions Advisor Md Kaikobad Hossain told The Business Standard last night.
"We presented our proposal to the government today [Monday] and are expecting the deal to be finalised within the next three-four months," he said.
"We had inked the agreement with the government on 14 January 2020. Then we hired EY India to conduct the feasibility study. The study took two years to finish," Kaikobad said.
He added that following the final nod, the Gentium-Damen consortium will move towards land development, which will roughly take up to three years.
"During land development, shipbuilding works will also go on through renting shipyards at Khuna and Chattogram," he added.
Damen plans to generate $2 billion of the global shipbuilding market of $200 billion from the Patuakhali shipyard and export vessels to 17 countries – which will play a vital role in the economy of Bangladesh.
"Damen, which has 90 years' experience in shipbuilding and 6,000 ships under its belt, has picked Bangladesh because of the availability of cheap labour," said Kaikobad.
"Once the proposed project is finalised, the Ministry of Industries or the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation will procure land in the area adjacent to the Payra Port," Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said.
He added that the government will extend all cooperation in setting up a world-class shipbuilding factory.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during a visit to Patuakhali in 2014, announced the construction of a shipbuilding facility in the southern district.
In January 2020, an agreement was inked between the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation and the Gentium-Damen Consortium Group after the latter proposed funding the project.
On Monday, the consortium made the official proposal for a Tk14,000 crore investment in the project.
The government has already allocated some 101-acre land close to the Payra port for the project.

This is the best investment news for Bangladesh I've heard since Covid started and it is a wonderful catalyst for the shipbuilding sector - that sector really needed this massive kick-in-the-pants to get the balls rolling.

Shipbuilding is an industry notorious for seasonal dearth of orders and ups/downs of ship-builder fortunes. Although Bangladesh has built ships since time immemorial as one of its local labor specializations (in addition to our renowned textile industry), and is reputed to have built large ships for Mughal and British Navies, the commercial revival of steel shipbuilding only started in the 1960's (with establishment of modern yards in Chittagong and Khulna). Large 5000 DWT coasters are built on fallow coastal and seasonal riverbed islands with no infra support other than a few small cranes and welding guns/torches.

This investment will help greatly, as there are almost two dozen very large yards and over a hundred smaller ones of international repute following DNV, RINA, Bureau Veritas, Lloyds, NK and other classifications in shipbuilding. There are indications Australian shipbuilders of repute are also to follow Damen's lead - but too early at this point to tell.

Gentium-Damen made a very wise decision considering shipbuilding and qualified welder labor in Bangladesh is probably the lowest in all of Asia, being half that of even India. I have no doubt that shipbuilding volume will even exceed $2 Billion in short order, there is absolutely no reason it won't - given that orders come in, which I see Damen having no problems with generating.
 

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States
This is from Damen's MOU signing in 2020.


Bangladesh’s shipbuilding industry: How breakers turned into builders​

Shariful Islam , Rafikul Islam
  • Published at 10:50 pm May 23rd, 2018
  • Last updated at 10:50 pm May 23rd, 2018
shipbuilding-industry-1527094102549.jpg

Bangladeshi shipbuilders are now building a number of diversified types of vessels such as multipurpose vessel, fast patrol boat, container vessel, cargo vessel, tanker, dredging barge, etc Syed Zakir Hossain

This is the final part of a two-part series exploring the potential and challenges of the shipbuilding industry in Bangladesh.

With an increasing number of orders from both local and global buyers, the shipbuilding industry of Bangladesh is flourishing rapidly, contributing to diversification of the country’s export basket and generating employment opportunities.

Since 2009, Bangladeshi shipbuilders have earned $170 million by exporting small- and medium-sized ships to 14 countries, Western Marine Shipyard Managing Director Engr Md Sakhawat Hossain said while speaking to the Dhaka Tribune.

He said: “All types of inland and coastal vessels are being built in Bangladeshi shipyards. Currently, shipbuilders in the country have 30 orders from local buyers and eight from foreigners.”

Local shipbuilders are expecting more and more work orders, as global shipbuilding industries are overbooked with orders from numerous buyers from all over the world.

Ananda Shipyard Chairman Abdullahel Bari said: “If the government provides long-term facilities to this sector, including block allocations, we will certainly be able to grab an even bigger share of the global market within a few years.”

Currently, some 30,000 people have been employed in the shipbuilding sector, he added.

Western Marine Shipyard Chairman Md Saiful Islam said there would be job opportunities for 20,000 more people in the industry within the next five years and for 100,000 within 15 years.

shipbuilding-industry-1527094235292.jpg

From breakers to makers

The shipbuilding industry has emerged as an important sector in Bangladesh economy, and the country does have a rich history in the shipbuilding industry with accounts found in writings of many travellers who visited Bengal more than 200 years ago.

The British navy used ships built in Bengal in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, when Lord Nelson defeated Napoleon’s fleet.

However, the Chittagong-based industry started waning in the latter part of the 19th century due to the use of steam engines and the discriminatory policy of British colonial rulers who were determined to protect their shipbuilding industry in the United Kingdom, despite claims that ships made in Bengal were cheaper and more durable, according to Banglapedia.

During the first three decades following World War II, ships were usually built in Europe and Japan. Over the last two decades of the 20th century, shipbuilding work started to move away from Europe towards low-cost countries in Asia, notably Korea, with China also entering the market in the last decade.

India, Indonesia, and Vietnam also entered the industry during the last decade. Later, the industry started its journey in Bangladesh, as the country has immense potential and several advantages over its rivals, including cheap labour.

However, following the 1971 Liberation War, businesses that were earlier involved in ship disposal started focusing on building ships, and Bangladesh got its first exposure to the international shipbuilding market in 1979.

Currently, there are 69 yards at various across the country that are building and repairing almost all kinds of inland and coastal vessels.

Of the shipyards, nearly 70% are located in and around Dhaka and Narayanganj along the riverbank of Buriganga, Shitalakya, and Meghna, 20% along the Karnapuli river in Chittagong, and 6% along the Poshur river in Khulna, and the remaining 4% in Barisal division.

Bangladeshi shipbuilders are now building a number of diversified types of vessels such as multipurpose vessel, fast patrol boat, container vessel, cargo vessel, tanker, dredging barge, ferry, passenger vessel, landing craft, tourist ship, tugboat, supply barge, deck loading barge, pleasure craft, crane boat, speed boat, deep-sea trawler, self-propelled barge, inspection vessel, cargo coaster, troops carrying vessel, double-decker passenger vessel, hydro-graphic survey boat, pilot boat, hospital ship, and water taxi.
 

Bilal9

ELITE MEMBER
Feb 4, 2014
21,076
2
32,782
Country
Bangladesh
Location
United States

Govt eyes $4bn export earning from shipbuilding : Draft policy offers various incentives including bank loan at 4 %​


With a $4bn annual export earnings target in five years, the government has drafted a policy for the shipbuilding industry to provide a range of facilities for entrepreneurs, including bank loans at a 4% interest rate.

The loan, which has to be repaid in 20 years, comes with a five-year moratorium.

At present, bank loans for the industry come with a two-digit interest rate but the Ministry of Industries feels it needs to come down to 4%.


ananda_shipyard_-lead.jpg


The government in the past took various initiatives to lower the interest rate to single digit, but those did not succeed. Banks had earlier pledged to bring it down to 9% but have not implemented that as yet.

The draft policy said Bangladesh has exported 40 ships to different countries in Europe, Africa and Asia in the recent years, and local shipbuilders have earned $180 million from exports.

It emphasised sustainable development of the shipbuilding industry, employment generation, achieving efficiency and raising standards to the international level.
If this flourishing sector receives support, it will create one lakh jobs in the next five years, the draft said.

The draft was sent to different government and non-government organisations last week seeking their opinion.

The formation of a Tk5,000 crore special fund for the shipbuilding industry was also proposed in the draft of the Shipbuilding Industry Development Policy 2019.

Sohail Hasan, managing director of Western Marine Shipyard Ltd, said Bangladesh is building many high-tech ships at present, and achieving the $4bn export target is not a distant dream.

"It is not impossible if the shipbuilding companies can build the capacity to make LSD (also known as dock landing ship) ships, LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) carriers and chemical tankers," he told The Business Standard.

"The countries achieving success in shipbuilding received - and are still receiving - a range of facilities from their governments. If the industry in Bangladesh gets government support, it can grow into to something big.

"The export incentive now stands at 10%, which should be increased. Tax holiday should be introduced again. If the proposal to form the Tk5,000 crore fund materialises, entrepreneurs will get loans easily. This will help the industry grow to a great extent," explained Sohail.

shipbuilding.jpg


Improving standard, providing incentives

Among other facilities, a proposal was made to set customs duty at a maximum 2% to allow easy import of raw materials for the development of the industry.

In the draft, the industries ministry opined in favour of increasing government cash incentives for exporting ships and other materials. At present, ship exports enjoy a 10% cash incentive.

Recommendations were also made to provide cash incentives for local shipyards which participate in international tenders for building dredgers, fishing trawlers, tugboats, ferries and ships that sail in oceans.

The industries ministry is in favour of giving tax holiday facilities to shipyards for the next 10 years. Entrepreneurs said they had earlier enjoyed tax holiday, but that does not exist now.

Shipbuilding is a labour-intensive industry. It requires heavy investment and cutting-edge technology. Entrepreneurs have to wait a long time to get returns on their investment.

The existing investment structure in Bangladesh and other facilities are not at par with competitors such as China, South Korea, Japan and India.

The draft policy recommended taking programmes to also develop the ship repair industry. The industries ministry wants to build a special economic zone for building and repairing ships.

ananda_shipyard_3.jpg


It said steps will be taken to encourage the export of container ships, bulkers, offshore dredger patrol vessels, survey vessels, passenger ferries and landing craft tanks.
Also, local shipbuilding material will be prioritised so that the vessels can be built at low cost.

Bangladesh has a rich history in building ships since ancient times. It was in the limelight for building ocean-sailing ships from the fifteenth to seventeenth century. In the first half of the 19th century, Bangladesh was building ships with a capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes.

At present, some 7,000 big and small naval vessels have been transporting goods and passengers in the waterways. There are 20 international standard and 100 local standard shipyards for building river vessels in the country.

The international standard shipyards are capable of building 100 ships annually, on average. At present, 100 tonne deadweight tonnage (deadweight tonnage is a measure of how much weight a ship can carry) ships are being built in the country.

The draft policy said the country's shipbuilding industry has to be elevated to international standards by linking it with domestic, regional and international water transport, as it has demand both at home and abroad.

The industries ministry said the main aim of the policy is to improve the efficiency of the country's shipbuilding industry and to upgrade it to international standard.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom