Category Archives: Engineering Sector/Steel and Metals Industry

Malaysia to import Walton refrigerators, motorcycles

Malaysia to import Walton refrigerators, motorcycles
Economic Reporter

R.B. Group of Companies Ltd, a leading electrical, electronics and automobile manufacturing and marketing company in Bangladesh, will export Walton brand refrigerators and motorcycles to technology-developed country Malaysia.

The local company recently signed an agreement in this regard with a famous Malaysian company- Aget Group- at its office at Menara Safun Tower in Kuala Lumpur.

Under the agreement, at the primary stage the Malaysian company will import one lakh refrigerators and 50,000 motorcycles every year. This has already created huge enthusiasm at home and some countries abroad.

Through its marketing channels, Aget Group will sell the imported Walton brand refrigerators and motorcycles to Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar and other countries.

Walton Adviser Mizanur Rahman and founder and Chairman of Aget Group Dr. Sultan Abdul Kadir signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.

Walton Director (Finance) Abul Basar Howladar, Managing Director of Seven C Resources Matiur Rahman, Managing Director of Deen Metal Industries Ahmed Ali and General Manager of Aget Group Engineer King Lee were also present at the signing ceremony. At the signing ceremony, Dr. Sultan Abdul Kadir expressed his interest to invest in Bangladesh saying that Bangladesh can be prosperous because of her plenty of natural resources and cheap manpower.

He also pointed out that through the agreement the relationship between the two countries would increase in future and Bangladesh would get an opportunity to expand its market in the ASEAN region.

Walton Adviser Mijanur Rhaman said: “Walton refrigerators are being exported to South Africa, Australia and some other European countries. Walton now eyes ASEAN countries for doing good business.”

A RB Group official said, “The recent economic meltdown gives Walton a competitive edge as its production cost is relatively cheaper because of lower wages.”

“Many manufacturing plants in developed countries were shut down following the global meltdown. These countries are now looking for import from developing countries,” he said.

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Aget Group is one of the world leaders in power production, infrastructure development, housing, flyover construction, steel industry and finance sector. It has largely investment in Indonesia, Singapore, India, Vietnam and Myanmar. The company has also showed its interest to invest in different sectors in Bangladesh under the arrangement of RB Group of Companies.

Local manufacture of 3W CNG auto rickshaws

Local manufacture of 3W CNG auto rickshaws

BSS, Dhaka

Encouraged by the government’s massive industrialisation process based on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Centre (BITAC) has undertaken a plan to manufacture 3-wheeler (3W) CNG-driven auto rickshaws at home.

For the first time, the country is going to produce the motorised rickshaws using the local expertise and spare parts aimed at replacing the city’s non-motorised rickshaws, considered as one of the worst reasons for nagging gridlock in the capital. BITAC, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Industries, prepared a nine-year project proposal involving an initial amount of Taka 26.84 million for producing such an easy-going passenger vehicle. “Now the project awaits approval of the Ministry of Industries,” Director General of BITAC Ashish Kumar Paul told BSS on Monday.

He said the main objective of the project is to phase out non-motorised rickshaws in phases and put in operation an alternative mode of transportation with a rehabilitation option for the rickshawpuller.

The BITAC chief, however, made it clear that the rickshawpuller would get training on technical know-how with soft-loans to help them take up an alternative mode of transportation to earn their bread and butter.

Referring to the poor condition of a sizeable number of motorized vehicles on the city streets, Paul said most of the vehicles of such nature burn much fuel while stranded in traffic jam, contributing pollution enormously into the air to jeopardize the environment.

He, however, claimed that the existing intolerable gridlock could be reduced to a larger extent besides saving a huge sum of foreign currency when the 3W CNG-driven auto rickshaws would be marketed on commercial basis.

The large-scale manufacture of the 3W CNG-run rickshaws will be done with the use of small and medium workshops located in the city’s Dholaikhal, a hub of the country’s potential light engineering workshops.

Asked why the local light engineering workshops have been chosen for manufacturing the 3W CNG-run auto rickshaws instead of imports, Dr Ihsanul Karim, Additional Director of BITAC, said some of these workshops have a good setup and expertise also in manufacturing 3-wheller automobile parts.

“There is no alternative to promoting the local SMEs to further hasten the countrywide industrialization process” said Dr Karim with the hope that the new venture would contribute a lot in easing the traffic movement in the city.

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) will be given the responsibility to carry out a design task following the ministry’s approval to start the project, he said.

Dr Karim also said that an initial estimation of Taka 2.50 lakh might be charged for each 3W CNG-run autorickshaw equipped with locally-produced sustainable light and medium industries. “Such an autorickshaw with sub-standard spare parts is being purchased in some local markets at over Taka 3.50 lakh,” he said.

Approximately 2,000 3W CNG-driven rickshaws could be produced every year depending on availability of local light and medium industries, said Dr Karim.

Pragati Industries plans to assemble Pajero Sports

Pragati Industries plans to assemble Pajero Sports

Jasim Uddin Haroon

The state-owned Pragati Industries Limited is planning to assemble Pajero Sports, a new model sports utility vehicle (SUV) of the Mitsubishi, shortly, officials said Tuesday.

Recently, a technical and commercial team from Mitsubishi visited the Pragati plant in Chittagong and met its high officials in Dhaka.

“The visiting team has been pleased seeing our facility and we expect to assemble this shortly,” said Zahiruddin Chowdhury, managing director of the Pragati Industries Limited.

Mitsubishi, Japanese automaker, introduced the SUV a few years back and is now marketing it in different parts of the world.

The new model SUV is a seven-seater with 2500 cc engine capacity. It is also equipped with other modern facilities.

Quoting Asia commercial chief of Mitsubishi Kazuhaita Ogata, Mr Zahir said the team is highly pleased with the Pragati infrastructure.

Currently, Pragati assembles Pajero G-31, a nine-seater with 2350 cc engine capacity.

It assembled 446 Pajero G-31s in the last fiscal and it might assemble 500 vehicles in the current fiscal year, according to sources.

The sources said the Mitsubishi will provide some technical support from its plant located in Thailand.

The Pragati chief said: “We’ve asked the visiting team to introduce octane system converting the diesel system to have a good market in the country.”

Mr Zahir said they are yet to complete negotiation on the prices of the parts of the new model saying “We will finish it in the next meeting later this month or in the first week of the September when another team will visit Bangladesh.”

The prices of such SUVs will come down if those are assembled locally, Pragati officials said.

The government has taken this move to revamp the state-owned automobile company, which had for many years been struggling to survive.

Mitsubishi, the Japanese automobile company, has an agreement to assemble Pajero with state-owned Pragati since 1998.

Pragati, formerly known as Gandhara, had launched its operation for assembling motorised vehicles by importing CKD (completely knocked down) parts in 1966.

It first started assembling Vauxhall cars of General Motors but after the independence of Bangladesh the work stopped.

During the 1980s, it assembled Maruti cars in a limited scale.

“We cannot be cost-effective if we produce a limited number of cars,” Zahir added.

Local technology can save dredging cost

Local technology can save dredging cost
Experts say slight modification of existing sand-lifting method to be effective

Morshed Ali Khan

Experts say it is possible to dredge all rivers and canals in the country using human and technical resources available locally.

Experts at the BIWTA (Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority), the organisation that spends about Tk 60 crore annually dredging the rivers, said it is possible to use traditional dredging methods to complete the task at ‘surprisingly low costs’.

They said that with slight modifications, traditional ‘volgates’ currently used to extract sand from the riverbed, could be used to dredge canals and rivers and thus save valuable foreign currency needed to import conventional dredgers.

Engineer Firoze Ahmed of BIWTA said that ‘volgates’ are only equipped with suction mechanism but they could be modified to better utilise them.

“If we are able to equip those volgates with cutting and swinging components, the problem is solved,” Ahmed said.

Conventional dredgers are able to maintain uniformity while dredging the riverbeds. At present volgates can only lift sand from the riverbed, leaving large ditches in its place, which result in complications for the flow of the river.

“We are encouraging some dockyards to design the volgates to scientifically dredge our rivers,” Ahmed said.

Hundreds of private volgates however now lift billions of cubic metres of sand every year from the riverbeds of Meghna, Dhaleshwari and Buriganga rivers. The large amount of sand extracted them feed the thriving construction sector as well as projects surrounding the metropolis.

Professor Khabirul Haque Chowdhury, head of planning, Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering of BUET, said that the government should immediately involve the country’s dockyards, and institutions such as BUET, to develop local technology for river dredging.

“With our experts it will not be difficult to convert existing volgates into dredgers and thus save a huge amount of money,” said Chowdhury.

According to an official source, in August 2008 BIWTA formed a four-member committee to explore possibilities of dredging the rivers by private entrepreneurs. The committee, comprised of experts from the BIWTA and Water Development Board revealed that dredging of all rivers and canals could be completed almost free of cost under some strict guidelines.

The committee formulated a set of policy guidelines for the dredging operations and sent it to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for further evaluations. IUCN is yet to offer its opinion on the subject.

Meanwhile, the government recently unveiled plans to import 17 dredgers to dredge the country’s major rivers and canals and protect those. In another move, BIWTA has floated an international tender to procure three ‘top-of-the-shelf’ dredgers and other equipment at a cost of around Tk 200 crore.

Moreover, BIWTA is also seeking a fund of about Tk 1,000 crore for a mega-project to keep the country’s river system flowing.

Abdul Amin Howlader, owner of Hasan Volgate and Dredging, who has been running sand lifting business for ten years, said with minor modifications his volgates could dredge any river or canal scientifically.

“We are keeping many of the country’s rivers flowing by extracting sand from them,” he said adding that the government could earn crores of taka by selling sand from the riverbeds.

“We just need to slightly modify our technology and listen to experts in order to complete the job as efficiently as a conventional dredger,” Howladar said.

Local tech for garments getting ground

Local tech for garments getting ground

The images from the catalogues of local manufacturers show a range of machinery for garment industry. Some entrepreneurs have started manufacturing and assembling those products to reduce import dependency.

The images from the catalogues of local manufacturers show a range of machinery for garment industry. Some entrepreneurs have started manufacturing and assembling those products to reduce import dependency.

Kazi Azizul Islam

It takes three decades for Bangladesh to be among the world’s top three exporters of readymade garments, but the success has come from an industry primarily depending on imported machineries.

The scenario, however, has started changing though slowly, patronised by a new generation of small and medium entrepreneurs who are producing machineries locally to cater to the local garment industry.

Many of the entrepreneurs are delivering garment machineries at a competitive price, which are performing better than the imported ones from China and India, industry people claimed.

New Age talked to a number of Bangladeshi machinery manufacturers who attended the 10th Textech, the international textile technology exposition, held recently in Dhaka.

‘In three years, we have delivered 54 Conveyer Driers to different garment printing units and it has been possible only for assuring reliability,’ said Biplob Ahmed, proprietor of the Quality Engineering Associate.

Biplob sells a Conveyer Dryer, which is widely used to dry the wet garments after those are printed, between Tk 2.5 lakh and Tk 3 lakh, at least 20 per cheaper than the Chinese dryer.

‘If my machine could not deliver better service than the Chinese one, no one here would buy it,’ said Biplob Siddiqur Rahman, proprietor of Kishan Electric and Machineries said their movable and double-sided machine had Taiwanese and Korean components so it works better than the Chinese one.

‘I emphasise on performance of the machines not on price,’ said Siddique, whose company also manufactures thread sucking machine and vacuum screen exposed machines.

Shamim Sarwar, director of the Machine Craft, said their compact Fabric Inspection Machine could perform much better than the Chinese one in detecting faults in fabric.

Garment industry insiders estimate that at present procurements of local machineries and accessories might not amount even $50 million but it has the huge potential to grow.

The Bangladeshi textile and garment entrepreneurs spend more than a billion dollar annually for sourcing machineries to expand or overhaul the production facilities.

China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Germany and Switzerland and Turkey are among the machinery sources for Bangladesh’s garment and textile industry that exports $12 billion plus annually.

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Fazlul Hoque said performance of local machineries had been improving so industry was putting attention on the local machineries.

‘Low cost, growing reliability and always ready for after sales services are attracting garment manufacturers to the local machinery suppliers,’ he said.

Abdur Razzak, president of the Bangladesh Engineering Industries Owners Association said, beside eying garment industry, many light engineering unit owners had long been engaged in replicating industrial machineries.

‘May be it will take some years to make major categories or sophisticated textile and garment machineries locally but the industries for local machineries have been started growing in Bangladesh,’ Razzak said.

Ananda to set up $300m shipyard in Chittagong to build big ships

Ananda to set up $300m shipyard in Chittagong to build big ships

FHM Humayan Kabir

Leading shipbuilder Ananda Shipyard and Slipways said Saturday it would set up the country’s largest shipyard to make jumbo-sized ocean-going vessels weighing over 100,000 dead-weight-tonnes.

The country’s ship-making pioneer would invest over US$300 million over the next three years in a new facility in Chittagong to grab a major slice of the $400 billion global shipbuilding market, its chairman Abdullahel Bari told the FE.

“We have already acquired some land in Chittagong to set up the state-of-the-art shipyard. We want to start construction of the shipyard by end of this year,” Bari, a Britain-train naval architect, said.

“We want to be a major ship-builder in the region so that we can compete with companies in South Korea, China, India and Vietnam for big and medium-sized vessels,” he added.

Top South Korean conglomerates, namely Daewoo, Samsung and Hyundai dominate the global super ships market — some of them costing more than one billion dollars a piece.

Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese companies have also invested heavily in new and upgraded facilities to break into the top manufacturers’ club.

Ananda, which in 2007 put the country firmly in the global shipbuilding map, can build small ships weighing around 5,000-15,000 dwt at its existing Meghna-ghat shipyard, at a cutthroat price determined by their buyers.

Bari said the proposed new facility — scheduled to be opened by 2012 — would make his company capable of building 20 big container ships or tankers a year that would cost more than $100 million dollars apiece.

“At present, we compete in the small ship category. The prices of these ships fluctuate between five and 15 million dollars. You can’t make much money by manufacturing smaller ships,” he said.

“In case of big ships, the profit margin is far higher and you need the same amount of people required for building smaller vessels,” he added.

Since 2007, Ananda has successfully bagged orders to make 28 ships at a total order price of over $350 million from European, African and Asian countries.

Bari said the proposed facility on the bank of the river Karnaphuli would enable the company to win orders worth a billion dollars, making shipbuilding a major export industry of the country.

“Many top ship owners in Europe have expressed their readiness to place orders for medium to large ships to us, as we offer cheaper prices than our competitors, thanks to abundance of cheap and skilled welders in the country,” he said.

Ananda’s latest move comes as top shipyards in the region embarked on a major expansion drive to win orders for bigger vessels.

State-owned Cochin Shipyard (CSL) of India last year expanded its slipways in Kerala to build ships weighing over 100,000 dwt, aiming to become the largest vessel maker in the Sub-continent.

Taiwan motorbike co wants to invest $30m in Nilhamari

Taiwan motorbike co wants to invest $30m in Nilhamari
Our Correspondent . Nilphamari

A Taipei-based motorbike company showed interest in setting up a factory at Uttara Export Processing Zone of Nilphamari, investing $30 million.

The company, however, wants access to local market besides exporting their products.

Uttara EPZ sources informed that a team of Taiwanese company, LSI Industries Limited, led by its director Russell Woe along with parliiamnet member Asaduzzaman Noor, visited the Uttara EPZ recently.

After the visit, the director of the company said his company would set up the factory that could be in 60 plots out of total 202 plots of the EPZ.

This company, if go ahead with its plan, will bring the single largest investment in the Uttara EPZ.

Established in 1996 near Nilphamari, Uttara EPZ so far does not see any big investment, local industry people said.

Thai Aluminium sets up automatic plant

Thai Aluminium sets up automatic plant
Business Desk

Dhaka Thai Aluminium Industries Limited has set up an automatic aluminium explosion plant at its factory at Savar in Dhaka.

With the new installation, the factory will be able to manufacture 200 tonnes of aluminium products per month, a news release said.

The plant will manufacture architectural door window, curtain wall, automobile parts etc.

The company plans to market a more sustainable 1.2-millimetre architectural door window in September.

The authorities have appointed foreign engineers for the maintenance of plant, the release added.

Largest billet making plant set up in Ctg

Largest billet making plant set up in Ctg

Jasim Uddin Haroon

A local rod manufacturing company said Sunday that it had set up the country’s largest billet making plant at a cost of Tk 2.7 billion, which will almost halve the annual import of the raw material for steel products.

BSRM, the steel market leader, has installed its plant in Chittagong on a 3.0 acre land and it will roll out at least 150,000 tonnes of billet each year, the company sources said.

“We will start trial operation shortly. Definitely, our commercial operation will kick off at the end of this year,” Ameir Alihussian, a director of the BSRM told the FE.

The new plant of BSRM has been named BISCO (BSRM Iron and Steel Company).

The produces will be mainly consumed by different re-rolling mills of BSRM, company officials said.

Leading re-rolling mills manufacture rods from imported billets, a semi finished steel product, to produce quality 60-grade steel products and Bangladesh’s annual import volume varies between 350,000 and 375,000 tonnes.

Smaller re-rolling mills manufacture steel billet by smelting iron wastes or ship scraps for producing plates and mild steel rods.

Mr Ameir said they undertook to set up the new billet making plant mainly as the country’s demand for quality rod is rising and added: “Quality billet is the pre-condition for producing quality rods.”

Steel manufacturers said the demand for 60-grade rod was rising on an average 10 per cent annually and mainly being consumed by the real estate developers.

Steel producers said prices of quality rods depend on the international prices of billets. Self-sufficiency in billet making will help stabilise its prices in the local market, they added.

BSRM said it would purchase 30 MW power from the Power Development Board to run the plant.

Around 250 re-rolling and steel mills in the country produce around 2.5 million tonnes of steel products, which meet the annual local demand.

A breakthrough in building

A breakthrough in building

Steel coil is being shaped in line with the customer requirements at a construction site. ALM Steel Building Technology Ltd has brought in Automatic Building Machine technology to construct an infrastructure within a short span with a small manpower and lower costs. ALM

Steel coil is being shaped in line with the customer requirements at a construction site. ALM Steel Building Technology Ltd has brought in Automatic Building Machine technology to construct an infrastructure within a short span with a small manpower and lower costs. ALM

Md Hasan

It is an architectural feat a Bangladeshi company has brought in. Only a small group of 20 people can build a 10,000- square feet steel building, spending just four to five days — whatever it is — industrial unit, warehouse or even an indoor stadium.

With a rapid construction ability, the new Automatic Building Machine (ABM) technology can also save 40 to 50 percent costs depending on size compared to conventional construction or prefabricated steel buildings.

A business idea comes through someone having the ability to take risks and challenges. And his or her idea also runs the risk of making the new technology popular in terms of cost effectiveness. The initiator believes that the new generation businessmen will be willing to explore the latest technology considering global cost-cutting strategies.

HM Jahidul Islam, managing director of ALM Steel Building Technology Ltd, started business of making conventional prefabricated steel buildings in 2002 after completing his graduation from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in civil engineering.

“ABM is completely a new idea in Bangladesh. But its advantages turned me optimistic to make it available in the country,” said Islam who has so far bagged orders worth over Tk 2 crore in different parts of the country for constructing nine such units.

At the end of 2007, Islam found a US company doing something different, which he thought could be a new business opportunity in Bangladesh for building low-cost steel infrastructure. Islam then communicated with the US-based MIC Industries Inc and got positive response.

MIC Industries Inc is the inventor of ABM technology. Now, more than 60 countries use MIC’s technology to fabricate and construct institutional, industrial, agricultural, recreational, commercial and military buildings.

However, Islam did not hurry to bring the technology, as he himself was not much aware of it. Following the US company’s advice, Islam had to pass the year 2008 for training him in China on ABM technology.

Coming back to Bangladesh, Islam abandoned his old venture Nirman Koushali and set up ALM Steel Building to introduce ABM technology in the country with 30 employees of his previous company.

He chose some areas for introducing ABM technology such as industrial workshops, warehouses, housing projects, gymnasiums, basketball courts, swimming pools, markets, shopping malls, bus stations, grain storages, dairy firms, equipment storages, airports and borders posts.

According to him, his background in the steel industry helped him a lot to introduce the new technology. Making a big infrastructure within a short span also surprised his clients.

“It’s just like a magic,” said Nurul Karim, consultant of Sadia Trading and managing director of DK Architect Ltd, adding that ABM technology is self-supported and therefore no framing is required.

“A big infrastructure can be set up within only four to five days with less than 35 percent costs. And so, we went for ABM technology,” he said. Sadia Trading’s warehouse was the ALM’s first project in Bangladesh where ABM technology was used.

Islam explained why his company brought ABM technology from the US company along with some other required machines from China and Korea.

ABM is a self-contained manufacturing technology on wheels and capable of fabricating and assembling an entire building at the construction site.

“When a customer confirms an order, we move to the site with a group of 20 workers and then construct the steel building in line with the customer’s required design,” said Islam.

“We will be able to make an infrastructure even in a day once our workers become fully skilled,” he said.

ALM uses high-tensile and high-intensified steel coil imported from China and Korea. The steel coil is shaped through ABM machine as per the customer’s requirements and set through automatic seam-locking technology.

Islam said the ABM technology uses an integrated microprocessor to produce unique structures from various designs with ground-to-ground and self-supporting panels that require no beams, trusses, columns, nuts, bolts, fasteners, screws or sealants.

ABM technology meets high safety standards including European compliances. ABM buildings are virtually maintenance-free, since they are watertight, rust-free, earthquake-resilient and fireproof, said Islam.

Bangladesh’s steel building industry has an annual turnover of Tk 100 crore. But maximum of the works are foreign company-dependent.

“If we can make ABM popular in Bangladesh, a big amount of foreign currency will be saved as ABM costs 30 to 50 percent less than conventional technology,” Islam said.

In near future, Islam hopes, industrial sector would be the main customer of ABM technology for its cost effectiveness.

“But the technology can do much for the low-income people of the country,” he said. From his own experiences from visiting various countries, Islam is now planning to provide low-cost housing facilities to the rural people through the ABM technology.

A steel-made house will give more lifetime than a conventional tin-made house with at least 35 percent lower cost.

Refrigerators to be exported to Africa, Europe

Refrigerators to be exported to Africa, Europe
Economic Reporter

For the first time, a local company is going to export its world standard refrigerators to African and European countries.

RB Group of Companies, a familiar name in the country’s electronics and automobiles sector, has completed most of the tasks including signing agreements to export refrigerators to some countries of the two continents. Sources said RB Group would be able to send their world standard products to the countries within few months.

Walton High Tech Industry established on 20 acres of land at Chandra in Garipur, outskirts of the capital Dhaka, is now manufacturing world standard refrigerators. The high-tech factory is capable of producing over six lakh refrigerators annually as against as the domestic demand of four lakh refrigerators. The factory has created an employment opportunity for over two thousand of people.

Policymakers of the company said the factory is equipped with the latest technology and capable to increase production of refrigerators if they get opportunity to export more refrigerators to foreign countries.

Assistant Director of RB Group (Export) Mizanur Rahman said Japanese entrepreneurs now are not interested in manufacturing refrigerators in their country as they are facing high labour cost and other problems. Japanese now see import of refrigerators from foreign countries like Bangladesh that witness duty free facility and cheap labour cost.

With a view to importing refrigerators from Bangladesh, representatives of several Japanese companies recently visited the Walton High Tech Industry and have expressed their satisfaction over the world standard production facility of the factory. Some Japanese companies have already taken some initiatives like opening LC to import refrigerators. Mizanur Rahman hoped that within few months Walton refrigerators would be exhibited in the showrooms of Japan and some European countries.

Earning from bicycle export rises by 58 pc

Earning from bicycle export rises by 58 pc

Kazi Zahidul Hasan

Despite the on going global recession earnings from the country’s bicycle export rose by more than 58 per cent in the first nine months of current fiscal year.
Bangladesh’s bicycle export is growing fast as European buyers are looking for non-traditional countries like Bangladesh for import of the light engineering item at cheaper prices, said industry insiders.

Local bicycle manufacturers fetched US$ 61.84 million from export of bicycle in the July-March in fiscal 2008-09 over the same period of last fiscal, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Bangladesh exported $39.01 million worth of bicycles at the same period in 2007-08 and total earning from the sector was 64.28 in that fiscal. The value addition is about 20-25 per cent after spending foreign exchange on imports of raw materials.

Meanwhile, local exporters fetched US$ 52.74 million from export of bicycle in the first eight months (July-February) in the current fiscal year over the same period of last fiscal, said the EPB statistics.

“Demand for local bicycles in the European Union (EU) markets is now on the rise due to mainly price competitiveness,” said Halim Khan, executive director of Meghna Group, The company is the pioneer in bicycle manufacturing.

He said China, the world’s main bicycle exporting country, is now converting its industries into high-end products and this is helping Bangladesh’s bicycles industry.

“At least four thousand bicycle industries in China are on the verge of closure due to price high steel price, creating more opportunities for the local exporters,” he added.

“Besides, the global bicycle manufacturing leader China is not at all encouraging investment in such light engineering venture like bicycles in the country,” Khan added.

He also said the growth rate in the third quarter of the current fiscal could be more as some developed nations are at present passing through in recession.

Khan said the UK is the main potential buyer for local bicycle manufacturers, where Bangladesh has been exporting major quantity of the export.”

“Low cost labour and availability of latest technology helped Bangladesh compete with regional non-traditional countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, by manufacturing fashionable bicycles,” he added.

Industry insiders said Bangladeshi manufacturers have been exporting around 0.5 million of bicycles per annum in the global market, mainly to the EU.

They said Bangladesh has been exporting mid-range bicycles in the global market, average price is ranging between $ 80- $ 85 per unit.

According to industry sources, some 15 local companies, employing over 3000 workers, are manufacturing and assembling sport bicycles for export.

Currently, they said world’s some of the leading companies, including Raleigh, PCM and Motor and Sports of the UK and Aldi of Holland, Bachtenkirch Interbike of Germany, M&F De Scheemaeker and Formula Cycling of Belgium are importing bicycles from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh manufactures mountain bikes, city bikes, free styles, trekking, folding, beach cruiser and kid bikes. Industry insiders said the country can export around 2.0 million pieces of bicycles a year.

According to industry sources, some 15 local companies, employing over 3,000 workers, are manufacturing and assembling bicycles for export.

Bangladesh manufactures mountain bikes, city bikes, free styles, trekking, folding, beach cruiser and kid bikes. Industry insiders said the country can export around 2.0 million pieces of bicycles a year.

Shipbuilders may change Bangladesh economy

Shipbuilders may change Bangladesh economy
Barua says at Stella Moon handover ceremony

Dilip Barua, industries minister, formally hands over the Stella Moon, a ship built by Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, to Stella Shipping P/S of Denmark in Narayanganj yesterday. Photo: Ananda Shipyard And Slipways

Dilip Barua, industries minister, formally hands over the Stella Moon, a ship built by Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, to Stella Shipping P/S of Denmark in Narayanganj yesterday. Photo: Ananda Shipyard And Slipways

Star Business Report

Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday shipbuilding, which is a very labour-intensive industry, has the potential for generating a huge foreign currency and developing extraordinary skills in the field of engineering.

“The country has skilled and semi-skilled professionals as well as necessary ingredients to be a shipbuilding nation. So the industry holds the potential for transforming Bangladesh into a middle-income country in near future,” Barua said.

He was speaking as chief guest at a function organised by Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, one of the leading local shipbuilders, as it formally handed over its eighth ship, Stella Moon, at $7.5 million to a Danish buyer, Stella Shipping P/S.

The function took place at the company’s office at Meghnaghat in Sonargaon under Narayanganj district.

“The company has so far secured export orders for 34 ships at $373.50 million. It has received export proceeds and advance payments of $48.54 million. Denmark, Germany, Norway and Mozambique have placed the orders,” said Ananda Group Chairman Dr Abdullahel Bari at the ceremony.

Earlier Ananda exported its first ship Stella Maris to another Danish company at $6 million on May 5 last year and six others to the Mozambique government at $6.2 million on November 13, said the company officials.

The officials also said they are now building 10 ships of which six have been ordered by Komorowski and four others by Wessell, two German companies.

“We hope to deliver the ships within the next three years as the construction works are going on in full swing,” said a company official.

Stella Moon has 64 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) container carrying capacity with 2,950 deadweight tonnages.

Deadweight tonnage, also known as deadweight (DWT), is a measure of how much mass or weight of cargo or burden a ship can carry safely.

Abdullah-al Kaiser Hasnat, a lawmaker from Narayanganj-3 constituency, Einar H Jensen, Danish ambassador, Bea M ten Tusscher, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bangladesh, Hassan Farazandeh, ambassador of Iran, Afruja Bari, managing director of the company, and Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher, chairman of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd, among others, were present at the function.

Walton to export refrigerators to African nations

Walton to export refrigerators to African nations
United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

Bangladesh is going to add another item, refrigerator, to its export basket as the local refrigerator-manufacturing-company RB Group has signed initial agreements with Japan and some other countries in Africa.

According to its officials, the local business group, after massive negotiations, signed its agreements with a number of importers in African countries to export its brand-product Walton Fridge. Now they are preparing to open LC for the import.

‘An agreement is likely to be signed soon with Japanese importer,’ said RB Group assistant director Mizanur Rahman.

He mentioned that some representatives of a Japanese importing company recently visited the RB Group’s manufacturing plant in Gazipur.

‘They have expressed satisfaction with the quality and standard of our products,’ Mizan said. ‘We’re expecting to export our products to Europe also as negotiations are going on.’

The RB’s manufacturing unit, Walton Hi-tech Industries, now produces about 6 lakh units of refrigerators against a demand for 4 lakh across the country. About 2,500 workers remained engaged in the manufacturing plant, set up on 20 acres of land.

The plant was set up not only to meet the local demand but also to export abroad. But the recent economic meltdown gives the Walton a good advantage as its production cost is relatively low due to lower labour cost.

RB officials noted that after the global meltdown, many manufacturing plants in developed countries were forced to shut down. These countries are now looking for imports from developing countries.

Mizan said his group has been the first local company which entered into production of refrigerators and some other electronic goods. ‘We’re also producing motorcycle to meet the local demand,’ he added.

He claimed that Walton offered a 10-CFT refrigerator at Tk 20,700 while a similar-size imported refrigerator sells between Tk 30,000 and 33,000.

‘We can offer a cheaper price if we get policy supports and incentives from government,’ he said.

In the existing policy, he said, the import of refrigerator is easier than its production locally. ‘Import duty on raw materials is higher than duty on import of finished one.’

Presently, Walton is marketing 12 models of refrigerators by its 600 exclusive outlets and also by vendors throughout the country. Another 7 models will come into the market next month.

Industrial group offers heavy duty FRP manhole for Dhaka

Industrial group offers heavy duty FRP manhole for Dhaka

A local manufacturer of plastic and other consumer goods yesterday announced their brand-new product named fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) manhole-cover that gets thieves no gains and can last long sustaining pressure of heavy-duty vehicles.

Addressing a press conference at its office in the old city, officials of Naseem Group said that the existing alloy-made manhole-covers could easily be replaced with the new covers which will be cheaper and more sustainable as well. “Our FRP-made manhole covers can replace the existing alloy-made covers which are prone to theft and pose serious health risks,” said the Group’s Managing Director, Rashid Ali Khan.

He also claimed that the new manhole-covers are not recyclable, but high pressure resistant. It can bear with around 30 tons. They have no resale value-and so no lure for the thieves, who render thousands of manholes to lid-less traps all around the city.

In Dhaka and other metropolitan areas across the country, it has been a major problem to use the allow-made or iron-made manhole as those either frequently break down under overpressure or are stolen by thieves.

“Considering this problem, we have planned to commercially produce such FRP-made manhole, which is being used by many developed countries. But to encourage our new venture, the government will have to come up with policy supports like tax incentives,” Khan told the press conference.

He, however, informed that his industrial group has had interaction with Dhaka WASA and Dhaka City Corporation who are mainly using the existing iron manholes. “They are examining our product.”

Naseem Group, which produces more than a hundred types of plastic and other metallic products, claimed to be the pioneer in plastic industry in the country as the group’s first unit was established way back in 1949. This year, the Group is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

The company is now also producing FRP lining on gas cylinder. The officials of the Group said the molded grating on gas cylinders can protect life and property in case of explosion.

When these CNG cylinders explode, they hit a large area and whoever is inside that periphery is affected. Casualty may also take place.  But if this lining is done, then even on explosion, cylinders will not burst into the air and so lives are secure. They mentioned that many people are not inclined to go for these CNG cylinders, but if this technology is introduced, these will bring in a lot more people in the loop of cylinder age.