Monthly Archives: November 2011

British co to invest $ 13.5m in DEPZ

British co to invest $ 13.5m in DEPZ
Business Report

M/s. Hop Yick (Bangladesh) Ltd, a British Virgin Island company will set up a garments manufacturing industry in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ).

This fully foreign owned company will invest about 13.5m US Dollar in setting up their unit and will manufacture all kinds of garments item. The company will also create employment opportunity for 4685 Bangladeshi nationals.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority and M/s. Hop Yick (Bangladesh) Ltd in BEPZA Complex in the capital recently. AZM Azizur Rahman, General Manager (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA and Md. Waliul Islam Towhid, General Manager of M/s. Hop Yick (Bangladesh) Ltd signed the agreement. Major General ATM Shahidul Islam, ndu, psc, Executive Chairman, Sayed Nurullslam, Member, (Investment Promotion), Md. Shawkat Nabi, Secretary, Mahmud Hasan, General Manager (Public Relations) and other Officials of BEPZA were present at the signing ceremony.

Bashundhara Group to produce LPG cylinder

Bashundhara Group to produce LPG cylinder
Business Report

Gas shortage has almost stopped new gas connection to homes and business and as an alternative to it the government has decided to promote the use of cylinder gas at all levels.

In this background, the Bashundara Group has launched a cylinder making plant at a cost of Tk 100 crore styled as ‘Basundara Liquified Petroleum Gas Ltd’ (BLPGL) to be set up at Sundarban Industrial complex at Mongla. It will be a mega project to produce international standard gas cylinder.

Managing Director of the Bashundhara Group Sayem Sobhan recently inaugurated the plant at a simple function at the plant site. Senior Deputy Managing Director Belayet Hossain, Deputy Managing Director Mustafizur Rahman, Senior Executive Director Mahbubuzzaman, Advisor Press and Media Mohammad Abu Tayeb, General Manager Sales and Marketing Shahin Ahmed, General Manager Operations Engineer Zahid among others were present.

Mustafizur Rahman speaking on the occasion said that the company would pursue  the policy of serving the nation by offering pragmatic alternative to fuel crisis. “We’ll try hard to make the product affordable and available all over the country,” he said in response to a question on price and supply strategy of the company.

The project has been implemented under the technical support of two Chinese companies -Hunan Technical Import and Export Corporation and Jiangyan City Yuehai Manufacturing Company Ltd.

The installed production capacity of the plant is 100 thousand cylinders of different size a month. It is also expected that the existing LPG marketing companies will take the company cylinders for enhancing the supply of the LPG at the market.

The BLPG has also entered into an agreement with a Danish company – Kris Kossan – to commission another LPG bottling facility at Sundarban Industrial Complex. The new LPG bottling factory is likely to be made operational by January next year.

Currently the BLPG takes LPG feed from Petronas Trading Corporation of Malaysia and delivers as much as 32,000 metric tons of gas to the consumers after bottling at the plant. The company hopes to double its production to 64,0000 metric tons a year when new bottling plant goes into operation.

EU stops mandatory test of Bangladeshi frozen fish

EU stops mandatory test of Bangladeshi frozen fish
Star Business Report

Bangladesh has got rid of a mandatory EU screening for exporting frozen fish after the country made progress in its residue monitoring system.

Earlier the European Union used to test 20 percent of frozen fish consignments from Bangladesh to keep its exporters under a continuous pressure to improve compliance.

The decision was posted in the official journal of the European Union on November 16.

The lifting of the restriction, which was slapped two years ago, will cut delays in export and reduce costs.

“It will bring about changes in the negative mindset about our products abroad and increase confidence about our laboratory capability,” said Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas at the seminar. “Demands for our fisheries will rise,” he said.

The Department of Fisheries, and EU-United Nations Industrial Development Organisation co-organised the event at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka, focusing on emerging food safety issues and compliance.

The EU relaxed its rule after an audit team of the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the European Commission visited Bangladesh in March-April.

“The results of that inspection confirmed considerable improvements in that third country, particularly in the implementation of analytical methods used for residue monitoring and traceability of animals and products,” said Official Journal of the European Union.

“Based on the results of that inspection, it appears unnecessary that Member States continue to ensure additional sampling and analytical tests on consignments of crustaceans imported from Bangladesh,” it said.

At the programme, participants said there has been progress in various areas of fisheries sector to ensure production and processing of safe shrimp over the past several years.

With registration of 190,000 shrimp farms, implementation of traceability has become easier. The number of laboratories and testing machines has increased. At the same time, the government has also framed laws on fish feed and hatcheries.

“But we have to continue our efforts to sustain our achievement,” said the minister, stressing the need for steps to control the use of illegal chemicals, pesticides and feeds, stop anti-biotic contamination, and poor processing at factories.

The sector that employs more than 10 lakh people fetched $625 million in exports in fiscal 2010-11.

During July-October export earnings rose 21 percent to $208 million, according to Export Promotion Bureau data.

S Humayun Kabir, director of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association, termed the EU waiver a great achievement.

He said the association has set a target of $1.5 billion from export of shrimp and fisheries by 2015.

Kabir, however, feared damage of cultured shrimp due to virus infection that causes millions of dollars in losses, putting many farmers in debt.

“The future sustainability depends on the future of disease management,” he said.

Fisheries Secretary Ujjwal Bikash Dutta, and Counsellor and Head of Cooperation of EC delegation to Bangladesh Milko Van Gool also spoke.

Of asparagus and capsicum—a farmer’s success story

Of asparagus and capsicum—a farmer’s success story
Our Correspondent

BOGRA, Nov, 27: Anser Ali 60, from Bujruk Shokra village under Shibganj upazila of Bogra district, a grower of exotic vegetables, has brought a tremendous change in his life cultivating uncommon vegetables like asparagus in his land. He usually sells them in Dhaka and Cittagong between February and March earning around Tk 70 thousand a year. February to March is the peak time for asparagus.

He started farming foreign vegetables about 20 years ago on 7 decimals of his land by investing only Tk 200. For his outstanding contribution in farming foreign and local vegetables, he received Tk 3.5 lakh as prize money from Bangladesh government in September this year.

Agriculturist Md. Mahatab Uddin encouraged him at the outset to cultivate capsicum in 1992. His first harvest was not successful due to lack of knowledge on cultivation methods.

He cultivates 600 decimals of land in the winter season and 231 decimals in the summer for supplying foreign vegetables to some multi-star hotels in the capital. He said his annual profit has reached 2.7 lakh from selling vegetables like pepper, capsicum and asparagus etc. He further said he has been producing commercially sweet corn, hybrid cabbage, hybrid onion and some other foreign vegetables. He pointed out that getting quality seeds is one of the vital setbacks in cultivating foreign vegetables in our country. With the profit out of selling vegetables, he has purchased 429 decimals of land and is running his family as well as repaying his loan.

He also claimed, he supplies 20 varieties of foreign vegetables to 8 customers in the capital. He has created job opportunities for local jobless men and women in his vegetables fields. He now wishes to export vegetables if he would get government assistance in this regard.

Lack of transportation facilities is one big problem for foreign vegetables cultivation. Railway is the most effective transportation though there is no direct railway communication from Bogra to Dhaka and Cittagong. For that reason, vegetables cultivators have to spend huge money as truck fares. He said, the foreign vegetable cultivation can be profitable and may contribute a lot to our economy if the authority pays heed to cultivators and their problems.

1.7m users to get Teletalk 3G services from March

1.7m users to get Teletalk 3G services from March

State-owned cell phone operator Teletalk is expected to provide Third Generation or “3G” mobile services to 1.7 million users by March next year upgrading its technical infrastructures. “Teletalk is working rapidly to launch the 3G services from March 26,” Teletalk managing director Mujibur Rahman told BSS. Only 1.7million users will enjoy the services initially and the number would be increased gradually, he added.

He said Teltalk nearly finalized the preparedness to launch the 3G services installing additional 2160 BTS or Base Transceiver Stations.

Besides, he said, installation work of new 708 BTS was almost complete and they will be put on operation with the existing 1250 BTS. Another 100 BTS were already installed in Dhaka and works were underway to set up more 68 BTS by March in the capital.

At the same time, 500 new Transmission Re-ceiver Equipment have been installed to reduce call congestion, Mujibur said. Teletalk has now 29 Base Station Controllers (BSC) of which seven has been installed newly. They are working as network hub.

The Teletalk initiatives came as the government earlier decided to award the state-run enterprise with the task of providing 3G services. Dhaka, Chitta-gong, Sylhet and others big cities will be brought under the services. The user will have to collect new 3G enabled SIM changing the existing 2G SIM card.

Experts said 3G is the way to provide wireless broadband. This is a mobile dedicated technology and can be obtained through smartphones or modems. After introducing the 3G technology or mobile broadband, the mobile user would enjoy the real time video calling, live mobile tv, high speed download, HD gaming, e-education, public health, tele-medicine and e-shopping.

On the other hand, the Teletalk managing director thought that the user number is being cumulatively increased after the declaration of launching 3G, and hoped that it will be reached 30 lakh before March.

Currently, around 50,000 SIM cards of Teletalk is being sold every month, he added.

Teletalk will also set up four customer centres—two in Dhaka and one each in Narayanganj and Sylhet. —Bss

Myanmar, Bangladesh agree to reach two-way trade up to $500m

Myanmar, Bangladesh agree to reach two-way trade up to $500m

DHAKA, Nov 26 (BSS) – Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to speed up the process of implementation of a series of trade facilitating decisions to boost the two-way trade up to 500 million US dollars year on year.

The decisions include banking arrangement and opening of Letter of Credit (LC), coastal shipping, direct air link, cooperation in livestock and fisheries sector, investment opportunities in Myanmar and the need for enhancement of border trade.

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan, now in Yangun on a three-day official visit, discussed these issues with ministers of finance, energy and foreign trade and chairman of foreign relations, said a message received here today.

During the meetings, they also felt the necessity of streamlining the banking arrangement to facilitate opening of LC under Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism.

Faruk informed Myanmar’s Minister for Energy U That Htay that Bangladesh is keen to import energy like natural gas from Myanmar or be involved in ventures for exploration of oil and gas from its off-shore blocks.

He also invited his Myanmar counterpart Win Myint to visit Bangladesh month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair begins January 1, 2012.

Myanmar business groups were also invited to take part in the fair to promote its products in Bangladesh.

During the meetings, Faruk referred to the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to Myanmar from December 5 to 7 this year and hoped that her visit would further cement the Dhaka- Yangun bilateral relations in all sectors

Bangladesh is planning to sign an Inland Water Transport Protocol (IWTP) agreement with Myanmar to increase connectivity aimed at boosting trade between the two neighbors.

The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Myanmar has been taking place under the General Trade Agreement and Border Trade Agreement, signed in 1973 and 1994 respectively.

Dhaka exported goods and commodities worth 9.17million US dollars to Yangon in 2008-09, while its import during the period was $66.65 million, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.

Construction of 150-MW power plant at Khalishpur goes on in full swing

Construction of 150-MW power plant at Khalishpur goes on in full swing

KHULNA, Nov 26 (BSS)-The construction of 150-MW Peaking Power Plant at Khalishpur is going on in full swing.

The state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) sources said the gas-fired power plant is being constructed at a cost of about Taka 1,500 crore to help augment power supply to the area.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing Taka 1100 crore for the project.

An agreement to this effect was signed between Engineering Procurement Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) of Spain and the North West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGL) of the PDB on May 12 to finish the construction of the plant by February 2013.

The construction of the plant started in August this year on a seven acres of land and is scheduled to be completed within 22 months.

Executive engineer of NWPGL Moshiur Rahman has expressed the hope that the construction the would be finished before the schedule.

Indigo cultivation stages a comeback in Rangpur

Indigo cultivation stages a comeback in Rangpur

Our Correspondent

RANGPUR, Nov 26: Gone are the days when the farmers showed reluctance to sow a single seedling of indigo plant and faced tyranny from the British rulers. Cultivation of indigo has now turned into a blessing, a way to change socio-economic condition of hundreds of farmers in Rangpur.

Farmers of Rajendrapur under Rangpur Sadar upazila are cultivating indigo and producing dye from it, which they call ‘True Bengal Natural Indigo Dye’.

Rani, an indigo farmer from Kumarpara, said, “I am a divorcee. Now I am leading a happy life with my daughter and two sons. Two years ago we couldn’t have even two meals a day.”

Rani sold indigo leaves worth Tk 4,000 two months ago.

“I earned Tk 12,000 by selling indigo leaves to the company. Besides, I made Tk 6,000 from selling indigo sticks,” said Jagadish Chandra Barman, a landless farmer of Rajendrapur. He also cultivates indigo on the roadsides of his village.

He added that since he was struggling for money, his daughter had to stop attending school after primary education. Those days are gone for him and she is back to school now.

Jagadish was referring to the Nijera Cottage and Village Industries Ltd (NCVI), a social enterprise of the underprivileged. It has helped change the socio-economic conditions of the underprivileged to a great extent.

Sumanta Kumar Barman, Chairman of NCVI told The Financial Express that they have started exporting indigo to Canada, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and India. With the increase in use of natural dye world wide, the demand for indigo dye is swelling, he also said.

Only 180 members started NCVI like a co-operative society. It has extended its working units and set up structures gradually, he added.

“Indigo stick is good fuel. We can make about Tk 5,000 more from selling the sticks,” said Abul Kashem, a farmer of Rajendrapur.

CARE Bangladesh worked with the poor people of Rajendrapur under its Social Economic Transformation of the Ultra Poor (SETU) project. Shareholders of the company appreciated the role of CARE for coming forward with the idea of reviving indigo farming.

Team leader of SETU project Anwarul Haq said, “When we found that the villagers needed to be involved with long term income generating activities, we began to explore resources for them. We found indigo cultivation to be a good solution to this end.”

Anwar lauded the company shareholders who have been working hard to upgrade it gradually. CARE Bangladesh provides technical support and training for the company.

Some other cottage enterprises of the NCVI produce quality products, which are in great demand in the foreign countries.

The shareholders-cum-workers of the company manually sew elegant kantha (quilts), which are dyed with indigo.

Robust growth in manpower export likely next year

Robust growth in manpower export likely next year

DHAKA, Nov 26 (BSS) – The manpower export is expected a robust growth next year as the government has explored new destinations for skilled and semi-skilled manpower. The destinations include Eastern Europe, Africa.

Official sources said the government desperately tried to explore new destinations to export its manpower to different countries of the world by reducing migration cost and providing necessary training to workers and that got a positive response despite the prevailing global economic recession.

They said Bangladesh sent abroad a total of 13,61,040 people to different countries from January, 2009 to November 22, 2011. This is almost double than the previous BNP-led four party alliance government of 6,90,411 people sent abroad during the same period.

“The number of workers would be doubled next year, as the government’s efforts started yielding positive result to export manpower to the new countries,” Labour and Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told BSS today.

The minister said the government is implementing various programmes including training courses on language, welding, electrical devices , pipe fitting, plantation, swing trade, rod binding, to turn the huge population of the country into human resource.

The minister said that some female interns have already been sent to Japan and over 250 skilled garment workers are expected to be sent shortly.

“The government has earlier initiated state to state talks with different countries of the world to reduce migration cost for the interest of job seekers and that has got a tremendous result,” he said adding that government formed a high-powered committee comprising representatives from different ministries to reduce the migration cost.

The state-owned organisation Bangladesh Overseas Employment Services Limited (BOESL) started sending female workers to Korea by Taka 53,000 only and Jordan by Taka 10,000 only.

The overseas workers sent foreign currencies in the country over US$ 31,836.89 million during the two years and ten months period of the present government.

The Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) source said more than 76 lakh Bangladeshi workers are working in 143 countries across the world. Of them, 80 percent are working in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, UAE, Bahrain and Lebanon. The rests are working in Egypt, Brunei Darussalam, Libya, South Korea, Japan and other countries.

The BMET source mentioned that the ministry along with private recruiting agencies sent 4,95,060 workers abroad before the end of November. On an average around 50,000 job seekers are getting jobs abroad each month.

Besides, the government as well as the private agencies sent 24, 413 female workers to different countries, the source added.

The BMET source said the government is now providing training through its 38 training centres to migrant workers and some 35 centres are expected to be established soon to provide training for the job seekers.

Investment climate attractive due to liberal fiscal policies: DCCI

Investment climate attractive due to liberal fiscal policies: DCCI
Business Report

President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and  Industry (DCCI) Asif Ibrahim informed that the investment climate of Bangladesh is now more attractive with liberal fiscal policies comparing to the other South Asian countries. He invited investors of Japan to invest more in Bangladesh. Welcoming the new Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, DCCI President said that the bilateral trade has been growing up between Bangladesh and Japan for the last several years. But the trade is always in favour of Japan that needs to be balanced through more import by Japan from Bangladesh, he urged.

New Japanese ambassador Shiro Sadoshima called on DCCI President Asif Ibrahim and its Board members on Thursday at DCCI. Counsellor Masayuki Taga and First Secretary Yasuharu Shinto of the Embassy of Japan were also present during the meeting.

DCCI President called upon Japan to take more skilled and semi-skilled manpower from Bangladesh. Bangladesh market is one of the choicest countries for Japanese entrepreneurs to invest and relocate their businesses, he said. He expected more Japanese investment in agro-based industries, ICT sector, backward linkage of RMG, composite textile infrastructure, construction, automobile, transportation, electronics, iron and  steel, jute and  fibre sector of Bangladesh in joint ventures or with 100pc ownership. He also called upon Japan to import Frozen Foods, Leather, Jute Goods, Knitwear, Woven Garments etc. from Bangladesh.

Japan ambassador Shiro Sadoshima said that Japan is willing to strengthen bilateral trade and enhance Japanese investment in Bangladesh. Japan will co-operate Bangladesh for the economic development, he informed. He stressed on more interaction and information sharing among the businessmen of both the countries to be acquainted more with each other. He also highlighted on the glorious part of Bangladesh culture which he thinks is a good branding of Bangladesh to Japanese people.

DCCI Directors M Bashir Ullah Bhuiyan, Waqar Ahmad Choudhury, Khairul Majid Mahmud, M Abu Horaira, former Director Haider Ahmed Khan, FCA, Convenors Iftekhar Uddin and Abul Hossain took part in the discussion.

Cellphones must have Bangla keypad

Cellphones must have Bangla keypad

BSS, Dhaka

The telecoms regulator has decided not to allow the import of mobile phone handsets without Bangla keypad from February next year.

“Importers and vendors will not be allowed to import any mobile phone handset without Bangla keypad after January 31,” Zia Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regularity Commission (BTRC), told BSS.

He said the commission took the decision to supplement a national campaign to promote Bangla and make ICT equipment-friendly to common people.

Sources said at present, some vendors are selling cell phone handsets with Bangla keypad in limited-scale only for their business interest.

The BTRC chief said the commission nearly finalised a guideline to issue an order that would allow only cent percent

Bangladeshi companies and vendors to import cell phone sets to promote local entrepreneurship.

Welcoming the BTRC’s move, Bangladesh mobile phone importers association secretary Foysal Alim said that the regulator should have taken the decision earlier for the interest of local entrepreneurs.

At the same time, the telephone regulator has taken another decision to install EIR (Equipment Identification Register) server to every cell phone operators for detecting the duplication of handset IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number.

Currently, there are a huge number of handsets in the market with fake IMEI number.

Sources said some foreign handset manufacturing and cell phone companies including Grameenphone and Banglalink have marketed cell phone sets directly under its own brand for long time. But, they could not run the job after the implementation of new BTRC guidelines.

At present, around 50 local importers are importing cell phone handsets from different countries.

Industry insiders alleged that the handset manufacturing and cell phone companies have made huge profit through marketing the substandard handsets in the country.

The regulator, however, has kept a provision that the cell phone companies would import high quality multi-media handset by taking prior conditional permission from the BTRC.

Bumper T-Aman production expected in Khulna region

Bumper T-Aman production expected in Khulna region

JESSORE, Nov 25 (BSS) – The farmers of ten south-western districts in Khulna division are expecting a bumper production of Transplanted Aman (T-Aman) paddy this current season.

The districts are Jessore, Narail, Jhenidah, Magura, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Khulna, Satkhira and Bagerhat.

The Jessore-based regional office of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) fixed a target of bringing 6,82,684 hectares of land under T-Aman cultivation of the region. But the farmers exceeded 15,556 hectares from the target by cultivating 6,98,280 hectares of land with a production target of 17,70,934 tonnes of yield.

Of the total land areas, 1,35,395 hectares of land were cultivated in Jessore district,33,650 hectares of land in Narail,92,200 hectares of land in Jhenidah,52,140 hectares of land in Magura,78,830 hectares of land in Kushtia,43,440 hectares of land in Chuadanga, 25,130 hectares of land in Meherpur,82,835 hectares of land in Khulna, 84,080 hectares of land in Satkhira and 70,580 hectares of land were cultivated in Bagerhat district.

Moniruzzaman Kalu, a farmer of Amada village under Lohagora upazila of Narail told BSS correspondent that he cultivated T-Aman paddy on 15 acres of land and expected a bumper yield of the crops. He expected production of paddy of Taka four lakh this year.

Asaduzzaman of Baliadanga village under Narail Sadar upazila Said that he also expected production of paddy of Taka 80,000 from His three acres of land.

Additional director of Jessore Regional Agriculture Extension Department MD Moniruzzaman told the News agency that favourable climatic condition, adequate supply of necessary fertilizers and pesticides are the reasons behind the bumper production.

The farmers have cultivated high yielding variety on their with the technical assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture Extension(DAE), said Banik Ramkrishna, deputy director of Narail DAE.

The Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) and other government, non- government banks had disbursed adequate crop loans to make the T-Aman paddy cultivation a complete success in the region.

BADC to launch three seed multiplication farms

BADC to launch three seed multiplication farms
Author / Source : Faisal Rahman

Dhaka, Nov 25: Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) is going to set up three seed multiplication farms in Barisal and Patuakhali districts with an aim to annually produce11,500 tonnes seeds of different crops for the farmers in the southern coastal region. A Tk.248.63 crore project in this regard is awaiting the approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) anytime in the next fifteen days, sources in the Ministry of Agriculture said.

But before implementation, they said, the project would require the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment report to be submitted to the environment department for approval on the ground that there will be no adverse effect of the land development on the environment of the area, specially on the course of the rivers, they said. According to BADC officials working on the project, the project will shore up BADC’s general goal of increasing quality seed production in the country besides intensifying agriculture in the southern coastal region.

Md. Nuruzzaman, director (seed and horticulture) of BADC, told The Independent that the ministry had recently asked the BADC to revise its seed distribution target to ensure that it could provide at least 23 per cent of the national requirement of quality seeds by 2021.  At present BADC is providing only 9.6 per cent of the national seed requirement, which is about 10.87 lakh tonnes, he added.

He said 1044.36 acres of lands on Char Botham, Char Banshbaria and Char Haider in Barisal Sadar and Dashmina upazilas would be acquired under the project, while about Tk. 18 crore taka was also allocated among the proposed expenditure for the rehabilitation of the 300 families living in those 80-year-old chars (sand bars).

The farms will also focus on producing foundation seeds from the breeder seeds of different stress tolerant varieties of rice, wheat, oil-seeds and pulses, developed by research organizations that include Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), he said. A seed processing and preservation centre with the capacity of preserving 1,000 tonnes dehumidified seeds and 2,000 tonnes natural seeds at a time, and a 2,000 tonnes cold storage for potato will be constructed under the project, he added.

According to the recommendations of the pre-ECNEC meeting on the project on August 18, a 17 kilometres dam is required to protect the area from flooding during the rainy season as the area naturally goes under 4-5 feet water in that period. The recommendations of the pre-ECNEC meeting also include that an Environment Impact Assessment report must be prepared to be approved by the environment department before the implementation of the project.

BPC to start talks to secure fuel supplies

BPC to start talks to secure fuel supplies

The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) will begin talks with a number of international oil marketing companies next week on the terms contracts to import oil products to meet growing domestic demand in 2012, a senior company official said Friday, reports Reuters.

A team led by BPC Chairman Mohammad Abu Bakar Siddique is heading to Kuwait and Singapore to hold talks with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), Malaysia’s Petronas, Egypt’s Middle East Oil Refinery and Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC), an official said.

“In Kuwait the team will discuss quantity and price details with KPC on Nov. 30-Dec. 1 and with other companies in Singapore on Dec. 2-6,” he said.

Bangladesh’s fuel oil imports are likely to more than double next year to around 1.65 million tonnes, while overseas purchases of diesel may rise about 25 per cent to 3.74 million tonnes on growing domestic demand, a senior BPC official told the Reuters this week.

Besides diesel and fuel oil, Bangladesh will import 385,000 tonnes of jet fuel, 100,000 tonnes of 95-octane gasoline and 90,000 tonnes of kerosene in 2012, the official said.

In 2011, the BPC paid a premium of $3.14-$3.30 a barrel to Middle East spot quotes for diesel and $31.50-$32.00 a tonne to Singapore spot quotes for 180-centistoke (cst) fuel oil.

Bangladesh also buys fuel oil from Vietnam’s Petrolimex, PetroChina and Maldives National Oil Company.

The state-owned company is likely to face higher prices for 2012 supplies, compared to 2011, as fuel prices have been on the rise, traders said.

Spot cargo premiums for fuel oil have been holding at strong levels of above $12.00 a tonne, while Asian refiners have been selling 2012 term cargoes for gasoil at firmer price levels.

Domestic demand for fuel oil has been swelling as a shortfall of natural gas supply forced the country to turn to costly oil-fired quick rental power plants. The chronic electricity shortage has limited economic growth and investments in Bangladesh and often stirs public fury.

However, the move to import has put more pressure on the country’s balance of payments and inflated the government’s subsidy bill.

The government heavily subsidizes BPC, the country’s sole oil importer and distributor, which sells fuel oil to the local market at much lower rates than import prices.

The total subsidy for the year to June 2012 is forecast to jump to around 460 billion taka ($6 billion) or 5 per cent of gross domestic product, more than double than the original estimate of 200 billion taka, and up from 195 billion taka the previous year.

Production in Semtung likely to start from Nov 29

Production in Semtung likely to start from Nov 29
Author / Source : NURUL AMIN

CHITTAGONG, Nov 25: Production in the Semutang gas field in Chittagong Hill Tracts is expected to start from November 29 this year, said Petrobangla sources. With the beginning of production there, supply of gas from the field to the gas-starved Chittagong will start from the very next day, said sources at the Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited. Meanwhile, a 65-km gas pipeline has been installed from the Semutang gas field to Chittagong.

According to the managing director of Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited (KGDCL), the company is ready to receive and distribute gas through the pipeline. It will ramp up the supply of gas to more than 25 mmcft in Chittagong, sources said.

Earlier, on April 20, KGDCL had signed an agreement with Technic Construction and Pipeline Engineers & Assocaites to install the pipeline at a cost of Tk. 20 crore.

The state-owned company, Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (BAPEX), has already completed drilling in the Semutang field. Total recoverable gas at the Semutang field amounts to 150 billion cubic feet.

BAPEX had started drilling in the field to supply gas to the Chittagong region.

This would ensure supply of 30 mmcfd of gas to power generating units against their total demand of 162 mmcfd of gas, 9 mmcfd of gas to fertilizer factories against their total demand of 115 mmcfd and 164 mmcfd of gas to other consumers.

With the beginning of production in the Semutang gas field, supply of the KGDCL will increase to nearly 250 mmcfd of gas in the Chittagong region.

Production in the Salda gas field will also begin in the first week of December, while production in the Sundalpur gas field may begin at the end of that month.

The Semutang gas field would supply more than 25 mmcft of gas, while the Salda gas field would supply 22 mmcft of gas every day. Moreover, Sundalpur gas field would supply more than 12 mmcft of gas daily.

According to a reliable source, Chittagong is now getting more than 216 mmcft of gas daily. With the beginning of production in these three fields, total gas supply to Chittagong will increase to more than 280 mmcft.