Category Archives: Transport, Construction, Civil Engineering, Logistics, Housing and Infrastructure

Dhaka eyeing $250m Turkish suppliers’ credit

Dhaka eyeing $250m Turkish suppliers’ credit
Author / Source : JAGARAN CHAKMA

DHAKA, June 2: Although most public-private partnership (PPP) projects still remain confined to drawing boards, the government is going to borrow US$ 250 million suppliers’ credit, as line of credit (LoC) from Turkey, to implement some of those planned projects. Sources in the Economic Relations Division (ERD) said that preliminary formalities, for the borrowing, have almost been completed. Türk Eximbank wants to give the USD 250 million LoC for implementing PPP projects, especially those in the infrastructure development sector, ERD sources said.

The Turkish government has already placed the proposal, raised by Türk Eximbank, at its cabinet meeting.

Earlier, on February 29, a meeting was held at the ERD, to discuss the framework of the agreement. Sources added that a two-member delegation of Türk Eximbank will visit Dhaka, on June 11, to negotiate the issue. Türk Eximbank has already sent the draft framework agreement to ERD. The two eximbank officials who will visit Dhaka, to negotiate the deal, are assistant general manager (buyers’ credits), Alaaddin Metin, and assistant manager (in charge of Bangladesh), Suzan Usta.

Earlier on April 24, the Türk Eximbank wrote to the councellor of Bangladesh embassy in Turkey, Shah Asif Rahman, saying, “The loan facility will be provided in accordance with the preference of government of Bangladesh. The selection of the projects, as well as, experts or construction firms, will be managed by the Bangladesh side.”

The bank also wrote, “As Türk Eximbank borrows on floating rates, all of our loans are also offered at floating rates. The rate offered to Bangladesh, and for any other party, are determined in such a way that they do not go below the cost of borrowing of Türk Eximbank.”

According to the draft framework agreement prepared by the finance ministry of Bangladesh, the credit facility would be made available by Türk Eximbank to the borrower, in order to finance 85 per cent of the goods and services that would be exported from Turkey to Bangladesh, under the LoC, to be issued by a bank nominated by the borrower, to Turkish commercial bank, in favour of the Turkish exporters.

It also said, “The goods, to be exported, should have a minimum Turkish component of 50 per cent.” According to a message faxed to the Bangladesh mission in Turkey, on April 29, the rate of interest and repayment period are: Libor plus 3.5%, with up to 10 years maturity, including grace period for construction projects undertaken by Turkish contractors; and Libor plus 3%, with up to 5 years maturity, for capital goods exported from Turkey to Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCI) has asked the government to use the Turkish LoC towards establishing economic zones, ETP plants under BSCIC or ministry of industries, an industrial zone in Savar, coal-based power plants, composite garments or tannery projects whose finished products can be sold back to Turkey, and water supply and sanitation units.

The Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year has included 10 public-private partnership (PPP) projects, in sectors ranging from communications to energy.
Seven of the 10 projects are under the communications sector. Four are under the roads division—the Dhaka Elevated Expressway, a second Padma bridge between Paturia and Goalundo, Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway, and a tunnel under the Karnaphuli river.

Three are related to the railway—a double-line dual-gauge track on the second Bangabandhu Bridge, a rail line from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar, and a rail bridge from Fulchhari to Bahadurabad ghat.

The remaining three projects are under the energy sector—renovation and modernisation of the Eastern Refinery Limited, setting up an LPG cylinder, and accessories manufacturing plant at Elenga, and a 0.10 million tonne capacity LPG bottling plant, which includes import facilities, storage tanks, pipelines and jetty.

Surface plants to meet 70pc water demand

Surface plants to meet 70pc water demand
Says Dhaka Wasa MD
Staff Correspondent

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) will be able to collect 70 percent water from surface water treatment plants within 2021, significantly reducing the dependency on the fast depleting underground water reserves, Managing Director Taqsem A Khan said yesterday.

“We have already taken a decision to increase the number of surface water treatment plants, considering the falling underground water level. We have taken four projects for this plan, while one was implemented and the rest will be executed gradually”, he said.

Dhaka Wasa is now collecting 87 percent water from the underground sources and only 13 percent from the surface water treatment plants, Taqsem told The Daily Star when asked.

Earlier, he told a seminar yesterday that Wasa shifted its focus from underground water treatment plants to surface water plants to protect the environmental balance.

Bangladesh Paribesh Andalon (Bapa) and Dhaka Wasa jointly organised the seminar, “Dhaka Wasa: activities, challenge and citizens’ expectations”, at the capital’s Cirdap auditorium.

Former chairman of Wasa and urban specialist Prof Nazrul Islam said Wasa must ensure proper supply of water before the people were forced into besieging its office.

He also suggested Wasa activities should be discontinued in Narayanganj, Tongi, and Gazipur, as these areas were now under city corporations. The services should not be extended also to Savar and Ashulia so that the city dwellers get more benefits, he added.

Speaking as a special guest, Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed, founder of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra, said the Wasa authorities should divide its activities into at least six or seven zones for improved services.

Although it seemed that Wasa activities have been making progress, Dhaka City Corporation and Rajuk’s performances are perhaps worsening gradually, he said.

Given that the underground water level has been going down two to three metres each year, it will be tough to live in Dhaka city in the near future due to a lack of water, said Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, lawmaker of Dhaka-11.

Addressing as chief guest, he urged the city dwellers to be more considerate in using water and requested not to make any waste.

Firoz Ahmed, a water resources expert, said that due to inefficient water distribution system of Wasa, there was a continued system loss, which eventually deprived people of water.

Bapa president ASM Shahjahan chaired the seminar, while representatives from some development organisations and Wasa also spoke.

Part of 4-lane highway to be ready by June

Part of 4-lane highway to be ready by June
M Abul Kalam Azad

The communications ministry is pushing hard to speed up the upgrade of Dhaka-Chittagong highway and complete at least part of the work by June.

The upgrade of 192-kilometre two-lane highway from Daudkandi to Chittagong into a four-lane one has remained stalled for about two years due to inept consultancy, frequent change of project director and intervention in land-filling work by some ruling party men, according to ministry sources.

Taking the helm at the ministry in December last year, Obaidul Quader has had meetings with the concessionaires and also has been paying regular visits to the project sites to monitor the progress of work.

In a recent meeting with them, the minister has set a June 30 deadline to complete the upgrade of 25-km part between Comilla and Feni districts.

Ministry officials are hopeful another 57-km of the widened highway would be ready by December.

“The minister is under pressure to perform. He is desperate to have at least a part of the upgraded highway opened by the prime minister at the earliest,” noted a senior official at the communications ministry.

Roads and Highways Department sources said expansion of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, known as the country’s economic lifeline, was essential as the road cannot accommodate around 30,000 vehicles a day.

Besides, a five-hour long Dhaka-Chittagong trip now takes around double the time.

A Tk 2,382 crore project was initiated in 2006 to upgrade the highway in three years, but successive governments had failed to finalise the scheme.

The present government in January 2010 had entered deals with Chinese Sinohydro Engineering, and Bangladeshi Reza Constructions Ltd and Taher Brothers Ltd to widen the road.

Though the project finally started early last year, it never gained any momentum as the concessionaires faced problems in removing illegal structures along the highway and collecting earth for land-filling, claimed contractors.

Ministry officials said 64 per cent of the land-filling work has been completed so far while the rest would be done by May.

The construction of 145 culverts out of a total 220 has been completed and 17 small bridges are being built.

The ministry recently has inked a deal to build three overpasses at as many level crossings on the highway. Tenders have been floated for the construction of five large bridges.

“Now we don’t have any crisis and the upgrading work has been going on in full swing,” Project Director Ibne Alam Hasan told The Daily Star.

He hoped the project will be complete by next year if the current pace of progress continues.

ECNEC approves Tk 5,068 crore for seven development projects

ECNEC approves Tk 5,068 crore for seven development projects

DHAKA, Jan 3 (BSS) – The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved seven development projects involving Taka 5,068 crore.

Of the projects, the major one is the Taka 3,912-crore Second Local Governance Support Project (LGSP-II), which will provide better services to people by strengthening the capacity of union parishads (UPs).

The approval was given at a meeting of the ECNEC, held in the NEC Conference room in city’s Sher-e- Bangla Nagar with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 2,995 crore will come from the national exchequer while Taka 2,073 crore as project assistance,” said Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting. He said the Local Government Division will implement the project by July 2016.

Planning Ministry sources said World Bank (WB) would provide Taka 2,073 crore for the LGSP-II project when the rest would come from the national exchequer.

He said the project aims at ensuring an efficient, accountable and transparent local government system so people can be provided with need-based and better services. The first phase of the project was successfully completed in July 2006-June 2011 period.

During the second phase of the project, the UPs will get equal amount of fund from both the government and the WB, which will also be spent for developing rural communication and hat-bazar infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, education, health and agriculture.

Besides, massive training programmes will be arranged for organizational capacity building of the union parishad, involving social services departments of the government.

The ECNEC also approved the construction of 19 regional passport offices’ project with Taka 104 crore to make it convenient for the people to have their machine readable passport (MRP) from the nearby passport offices.

The committee also approved the construction of the Union Parishad Complex Bhaban (2nd phase) project with a cost of Taka 780 crore.

The other projects approved in the meeting are: Construction of Aviation Refueling Facilities at Sylhet Osmani International Airport (Revised) project (Taka 51 crore-GOB); Construction of Liquid Fuel System for Sirajganj 150 MW Peaking Power Plant (Revised) project (Taka 60 crore-GOB); Emergency rehabilitation & Expansion of Urban Areas Power Distribution system Under Rajshahi Zone (Revised) project (Taka 110 crore-GOB) and Construction of connecting road between Buriganga embankment and Mohammadpur Bus Stand under Dhaka City Corporation project (Taka 51 crore-GOB).

Ministers, advisers to the Prime Minister, members of the Planning Commission, secretaries and officials concerned were present at the meeting.

Move for 3rd sea port under PPP

Move for 3rd sea port under PPP

The government has taken an initiative to set up a third sea port under the public-private partnership (PPP) in southern region, possibly at Patuakhali coast, reports UNB.

According to official sources, a proposal has already been moved to the Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee for approval. “If the proposal is approved, a detailed feasibility study (DFC) will be made”, said a top official of the Shipping Ministry. Before the proposal was made they have conducted a study to determine the site for the port.

A 7-member committee headed by Chittagong Port Authority Chairman conducted the preliminary study last year and selected the Barnabad Channel at Patuakhali coast. On the basis of the preliminary feasibility report, the Shipping Ministry initiated the move for setting up the port.

Earlier, the Shipping Ministry had moved for setting up a deep sea port. But that move remained stuck up for unknown reason.

In the latest move, the Shipping Ministry mentioned in its proposal that it is necessary to set up a new port considering growing use of Chittagong port and the possible use of Mongla port after construction of the Padma Bridge.

“The country’s import and export has been growing by 20 percent per year most of which is being done through the Chittagong port. The Mongla port will face greater load when the Padma Bridge is completed. In such a situation, a third sea port is essential to meet the future demand,” said the proposal.

Govt plans big on Ctg port: PM

Govt plans big on Ctg port: PM
Hasina opens computerised container terminal management

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at the launch of a computerised container terminal management system and a radiation detection system at Chittagong Port yesterday.Photo: STAR

Unb, Chittagong

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday the government is working to make Chittagong Port a gateway of South Asia’s commercial hub.

“Steps are being taken to remove all the hassles facing by port users and ensure import-export activities with transparency,” Hasina said while inaugurating the computerised container terminal management system (CTMS) and radiation detection system at the port building in Chittagong.

Currently, more than 90 percent of the country’s export and import is done through the Chittagong Port.

The prime minister said bulk cargo handling has increased by 12 percent and the number of ship arrivals at the port went up by 8 percent during the last fiscal year.

She said the government has undertaken the task of constructing a deep-sea port at Sonadia in Cox’s Bazar to expand commercial activities in South Asia.

On completion of the deep-sea port, the lifestyle of the people of this region, including India, China and Myanmar, will improve, she added.

Hasina said dredging in the channel of the Pashur river will start soon to develop Mongla Port.

She said with the inauguration of the computerised CTMS and the radiation detector, the premier port has been digitalised replacing the manual management operation.

The prime minister said the Chittagong Port has been turned into a safe port in the world with the installation of the radiation detector with financial and technical cooperation from the US.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said illegal transportation of goods will be prevented through radiation pronunciation.

The Chittagong Port through its Mega Port Initiative has joined the international terrorism prevention activities.

Hasina said the Awami League-led government wants to root out terrorism and terrorists at any cost.

She said the improvement of service at the Chittagong Port to international standard will attract increased overseas investment and help expand trade and business.

“We want to become a maritime force in combination with Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Coastguard, and Bangladesh Shipping Corporation.”

The Prime Minister said the work on installing Global Maritime Distress and Safety System already began to ensure the protection of mariners and ships.

Besides, International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code has already been implemented.

According to the IMO Convention, she said, shipping and maritime culture has been built up in Bangladesh, which has emerged as a shipbuilding nation.

Bangladesh has been building and exporting oceangoing vessels to different countries, including Germany, Finland and Denmark, she added.

“The government has been able to build a peaceful and disciplined image of Bangladesh,” Hasina said, adding that those who were in power in the past had turned Bangladesh into a militant and extremist nation.

Mentioning the government’s firm commitment to turn Chittagong into the commercial capital of the country, Hasina said a tunnel would be built beneath the Karnaphuli river.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority Commodore Anwarul Islam also spoke on the occasion.

Port officials said container handling capacity of the port will double with the new system introduced that is sure to help ease the complete container handling process and make the stakeholders anxiety-free while tracing out their containers at the yard.

With the implementation of the CTMS, the operational activities of the import and export containers and payment of charges and dues will come under online networking system.

Under the new system, loading and unloading activities of the container ships at the port, shifting of containers in the yard, stacking, tracking, delivery and gate control will be conducted through online billing.

Partial operation of the CTMS system began at the port’s Chittagong Container Terminal and New Mooring Container Terminal on October 10 and at the general cargo berths on October 12 last.

The equipment that will be added to the handling capacity of the port include six straddle carriers, three container movers, 10 low-mast fork lifts and four rubber-tyred gantry cranes worth Tk 117 crore.

The import consignments from Finland, Germany, South Korea, Japan and the USA include equipment for bulk cargo handling as well.

Country’s biggest private ICD starts operation tomorrow

Country’s biggest private ICD starts operation tomorrow

CHITTAGONG, Dec 11 (BSS) – BM Container Depot Ltd. (BMCDL), the country’s biggest inland container handling company in private sector with an outlay of Taka 300 crore, will be inaugurated formally on Tuesday next.

The Inland Container Depot (ICD) facility has been developed with state-of-the-art technologies sprawling around 50 acres of lands in Shitalpur area under Sitakunda industrial belt beside the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, about 21 kilometer off from the Chittagong seaport.

The container depot has the capacity to handle around 10,000 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) of empty and laden containers daily.

Shipping and port circle sources opined that development of such a big scale off-dock facility in private sector outside the port would help significantly the growing congestions of containers in port restricted areas as well as would ensure speedy, efficient and hassle-free containerized export-import trade.

BMCDL is a latest Netherlands-Bangladesh joint venture enterprise of RB Group — one of the country’s leading industrial conglomerates having huge investment in backward and forward linkage industries in garments and textile sectors, and textile that employs around 12,000 workforces.

The BMCDL has the high-speed Internet connection to let know the customers instantly real time cargo information and also equipped with modern fire fighting equipment, CCTV, standby power generation and adequate cargo and container handling tools that included modern ICD machineries and equipment like Reach Stackers, Empty Handlers, fork-lift truck, prime mover and laden container trailers.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Commerce Abul Kashem Master, MP, will attend the inaugural function as the chief guest while Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Alphans Hennekens will attend the function as the special guest on the BMCDL premises.

Country to have second submarine cable soon: Faruk Khan

Country to have second submarine cable soon: Faruk Khan
Author / Source : BSS

DHAKA, Dec 4: Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan today said the government is working for another submarine cable to ensure qualitative, faster and low cost IT services to all. “Work on the second optical fiber line is underway. I will raise the matter before the cabinet so the work is done as quickly as possible,” he said while inaugurating e-krishok service at Spectra Convention Centre in the city.

Bangladesh Institute of ICT In Development (BIID) in cooperation with Catalyst, ACI Ltd and Grameen Phone (GP) launched the service.

E-krishok is an initiative to reach the benefits of ICT to farmers of rural areas. Any farmer having an issue, question or problem related to agriculture or any other income generating activity would be able to get low-cost IT services.

Prime Minister’s Private Secretary and National Project Director of Access to Information (A2I) Programme Nazrul Islam Khan, and deputy ambassador of the Netherlands Embassy in Dhaka Carel Richter addressed the function as special guests.

BIID chief executive officer Shahid Uddin Akbar, Sultanur Reza of GP, executive director of Catalyst Markus Kupper and executive director of ACI Ltd Dr FH Ansarey also shared their ideas on how farmers can benefit using technology-based information.

Holcim announces capacity expansion

Holcim announces capacity expansion
Star Business Desk

Holcim (Bangladesh) Ltd has recently inked a deal with a German company to launch a capacity expansion project that will start commercial production in mid 2013.

The project will produce 7 lakh tonnes of cement a year with which the company’s yearly production capacity will reach up to 2 million tonnes, the statement added.

The cement maker signed the deal with Enexco Teknologies of Beumer Group of Germany where Aidan Lynam, regional head, South Asian/ASEAN region of Holcim Group, and KJ Putez, chairman and managing director of Enexco, exchanged the related documents.

“Our project will offer quality cement and we have completed almost all the primary groundwork, including finalising the cost of the new venture,” said Rajnish Kapur, managing director of Holcim (Bangladesh).

“In order to maintain quality aspects in every step, project will be supervised by Holcim Group Support, Switzerland and Holcim Trading, Spain,” Lynam said.

Cement exports may double

Cement exports may double
Author / Source : RAFIQ HASAN

DHAKA, NOV 20: Cement exporters are now upbeat on doubling exports of the construction materials to the northeast Indian states, also known as ‘seven sisters,’ following Delhi’s declaration to give duty- free access to all goods from LDC states in the Saarc region, including Bangladesh. “We hope export would increase significantly and at least be double from the existing amount if the facilities are allowed,” said a cement exporter. Such zero tariff benefit was a long-time demand of the cement exporters, he pointed out.

Currently, around two lakh tonnes of cement are being exported to India annually. Industry insiders, however, say such benefit would be visible in the upcoming construction season.

According to sources construction activities remain dull on both sides of the border during rainy season mainly due to lack of brick.

“We are yet to get any confirmation from the governments of India and Bangladesh about the duty free access of cement,” said Abdul Khaleq Parvez, vice-president of Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA), a platform of private cement factory owners.

“We read in the newspaper and we are expecting a notification very soon in this regard,” he added.

On November 9, India granted duty free access of all products from five least developed nations of South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (Saarc), including Bangladesh, except wine and tobacco, according to an official notification of the Indian government.

Although Bangladesh has a surplus amount of cement after meting its domestic demand, the absence of Delhi’s zero tariff benefit remained as a barrier to boosting its exports to the seven sisters.

The cement factories in the country have the capacity to produce over 20 million tonnes against the local demand of 8-10 million tonnes. Of these, only around two lakh tones are exported to India.

According to sources, 8-10 major factories are engaged in cement exports to the neighbouring country. “So far my knowledge, nowhere other than India, cement is exported from Bangladesh,” Parvez earlier told The independent over telephone.

Industry people said the present market demand for cement in northeast Indian states is around 3 million tonnes, while those states produce around 1 million tonnes only. These states bring cement by road from distant West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar states. Bangladeshi cement has a competitive advantage there due to its lower transportation cost, industry sources said.

As a result, the sources said, the demand of Bangladeshi cement in seven sister states is very high as those are cheaper than the product coming from other states.

It took three to four days to reach a truck loaded with cement from West Bengal to Tripura. On the other hand, if it is imported from Bangladesh it can be reached within 10 to 15 hours.

As a result, the transport cost is much lower and traders of those states feel much comfort to import cement from Bangladesh, the source elaborates. They said cement production in Bangladesh boomed since late 1980s as dozens of cement factories were set up in different parts of the country. Some multi-national companies also came up and set up production plants here. The major cement factories in the country are Crown Cement, Diamond Cement, Premier cement, Heidelberg Cement, Lafarge Surma Cement, Confidence Cement, Meghna Cement, Niloy Cement, Aramit Cement, Padma Cement and Modern Cement.

Crown Cement has been the top cement exporting company to India from Bangladesh since 2003. According to MI Cement Ltd, the company exported 68,000 tonnes Crown Cement fetching US$ 5.48 million between the period of July 2009 to June, 2010. The company earned $2.267 million through exporting cement in 2008-09 fiscal.

Canada wants to invest in potential sectors under PPP

Canada wants to invest in potential sectors under PPP

Canada has shown interest to invest in Bangladesh’s electricity generation, water treatment, construction and jute sectors under the Public Private Partnership (PPP), reports UNB.

Former Deputy Premier of Ontario Province of Canada and Minister for Energy and Infrastructure George Smitherman said this when a four-member delegation, led by him, met FBCCI president AK Azad at FBCCI in the city on Sunday.

Smitherman sought cooperation from the FBCCI in utilising their investment potentials in the sectors.

He said Bangladesh could be an FDI destination as the country’s economic growth rate and export earnings were good despite global ‘recession’.

Smitherman also said they are more interested to invest in electricity generation, water treatment, and high value-added RMG and jute sectors if Bangladesh provides a favorable environment.

Azad thanked Smitherman for his interest to invest in Bangladesh, and said the country could be a suitable place for foreign investment as government policies are going to be more flexible and investment friendly.

He said the bilateral relationship between Canada and Bangladesh is built upon shared values of democracy and pluralism, with exclusive focus on development cooperation, trade and investment, regional security, immigration and people-to-people links.

Jashim Uddin said, “Since we’ve scarcity of electricity and having limited resources of gas, coal-based electricity generation might be a potential sector for investment.”

He also urged the delegation to invest especially in solar power, water treatment, high value-added garments manufacturing, textiles and jute as all facilities are available in Bangladesh.

Both sides emphasised further strengthening the bilateral trade and economic relations between Canada and Bangladesh.

FBCCI first vice-president M Jashim Uddin, vice-president Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, directors Obaidur Rahman, SM Nurul Hoque, President of Bangladesh-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry KB Ahmed, Byung-Duk Ahn, Dr Chul Seung Kee, Elliot Jinhwa Pak and Mir Shahabuddin Mohammad were also present.

The value of bilateral trade has tripled from US$ 593.0 million in 2005 to US$ 1.6 billion in 2010-2011 and Bangladesh’s exports to Canada for the FY 2010-2011 was US$ 994.67 million while imports were US$ 572.74 million.

As of April 2011, the proposed foreign and joint venture investment recorded by the Board of Investment to Bangladesh from Canada stood at US$ 1.8 million which for the FY 2009-2010 was US$ 1.18 million. The actual investment from Canada as of 2009 was US$ 0.21 million generating an employment for 565 employees.

British firm to get $1b project

British firm to get $1b project
Manjurul Ahsan

The government is likely to award a one billion dollar project to a British firm for trebling the oil-refining capacity of the state-run Eastern Refinery Limited.

A government official on Saturday told New Age that the Energy Division finally selected the proposal of Foster Wheeler as the best of the 17 proposals submitted for the project implementation.

The bids made were of three categories — Public-Private Partnership, Build-Own-Operate-Transfer, and Investment only.

The official said the British firm quoted around $0.9b for implementing the project, Balancing Modernisation Rehabilitation and Expansion of Eastern Refinery, on BOOT basis.

ERL managing director Rezaul Karim said they sent the proposal to the Energy Division after completing their tasks.

He, however, declined to say any thing about the project.

The Energy Division will send a proposal within this month to the cabinet committee on purchase for its approval before awarding the job to the British firm, an Energy Division official said.

Once the project initiated by the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation is completed, the ERL will be able to refine 45 lakh tonnes of crude into diesel, petrol, octane, furnace oil, and other petroleum by-products a year.

At present its yearly refining capacity is a maximum of 15 lakh tonnes of crude and the government imports 50 lakh tonnes of diesel, furnace oil, and other petroleum oil to meet the domestic demand for transportation, power generation, industries, irrigation, and so on.

The BMRE project is designed to be housed in the existing ERL area and utilise the existing crude oil reception facilities.

The project also includes additional storage, ancillary utilities, and installation facilities.

An ERL official said the government would save $220m a year by refining a total of 45 lakh tonnes of crude with the state-run refinery. As per the latest calculation, the savings made by refining crude instead of importing refined petroleum products range between Tk 7 and Tk 8 per litre.

A government official told New Age that the contractor would complete the project in three years from signing of the deal and operate the ERL for 10 years for realising its investment and profit.

ECNEC approves Tk 1,650 crore Bibiana-Dhanua gas pipeline

ECNEC approves Tk 1,650 crore Bibiana-Dhanua gas pipeline

DHAKA, Nov 15 (BSS) – The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved four development projects involving Taka 1,971 crore, including Bibiana-Dhanua gas transmission pipeline construction project worth Taka 1,650 crore.

After completion of the pipeline construction project, Dhanua will be a gas hub and will ensure uninterrupted gas supply in the industrial belt of Dhaka. The project is expected to be completed by June 2013.

The approval came at an ECNEC meeting held at the NEC conference room in city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

“Of the total project cost of Taka 1,971 crore, the government will provide Taka 242 crore from the national exchequer and Taka 79 crore as project assistance while Petrobangla will contribute Taka 1,650 crore from its own fund,” Planning Minister AK Khandker told reporters after the meeting. Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam was present.

The Planning Division secretary said Dhanua would turn into a gas hub and there would be uninterrupted gas supply in the industrial belt in Gazipur on completion of the gas project.

The gas transmission pipeline project aims at supplying an additional over 600 million cubic feet gas per day (mmcfd) fromBibiana and Jalalabad fields to the national gas grid.

UK-based company Chevron Limited will produce this additional gas under a production sharing contract (PSC) with Petrobangla.

Under the project, a 36 inch diameter transmission pipeline from Bibiana of Habiganj to Dhanua of Gazipur would be constructed.

This 137-km long transmission line includes 4,500 metre river ways, which will cross through horizontal directional drilling (HDD) system.

The ECNEC also approved improvement and widening of roads and construction of drainage-cum-footpath of Barisal City Corporation (BCC) project, involving Taka 208 crore.

The project aims at creating improved road network system in 45 sq kilometres of Barisal City Corporation. It would also protect the divisional city from the Kirtankhola river erosion.

Under the project, widening and development work of nearly 3.5 lakh square metre road would be implemented. Besides, four kilometre town protection embankment and circular road, 43 kilometre drainage-cum-footpath, 19 box culverts and 76 metre girder bridge would be constructed.

The project also includes beautification of a park and 33 kilometre street lightening work in the city. BCC will implement the project following the June, 2013 deadline.

Two more projects approved in the meeting are: Multi-sectoral programme for prevention of repression against women (third phase) involving Taka 44 crore and ‘Greater Rangpur agricultural and rural development project (first revised) of Taka 69 crore.

Govt to set up new seaport at Patuakhali

Govt to set up new seaport at Patuakhali
BSS Dhaka

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on Sunday said the government would construct another seaport at Patuakhali and a shipbuilding zone at Patharghata. “Surveys have already been ended in those areas and the construction work will begin soon,” he said.

Foreign investment proposals have been received for the proposed shipbuilding zone, he added. The shipping minister was speaking as the chief guest at a discussion meeting organized by Dhaka-based Dashmina-Galachipa Awami Oikya Forum at Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium in the city.

Former State Minister KM Jahangir Hossain, Patuakhali Science and Technology University’s Agriculture Faculty Dean Prof AKM Mostafa Zaman also addressed the meeting while Advocate M Yunus Miah was in the chair.

Shahjahan Khan said the government has taken various steps for smoothening the communication of common people through the river routes in the southern region. The minister said there was no development of the country’s river ways after 1975. The total length of river ways has now reduced to only 6,000 kilometers, he added.

Sylhet gas transmission network to be upgraded

Sylhet gas transmission network to be upgraded

DHAKA, Nov 14 (BSS)-Gas transmission network in Sylhet division would be upgraded for ensuring uninterrupted gas supply to consumer as well as for connecting more areas with gas coverage.

The main objectives of the project are to bring four new upazilas – Rajnagar, Osmaninagar, Balaganj and Bishwanath- under gas coverage, to ensure uninterrupted gas supply with more pressure through strengthening the existing network, to supply gas to 5,000 residential consumers, 200 commercial consumers, 35 industries, 40 captive power plants and 42 tea gardens.

Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Limited will implement the project involving Taka 90 crore, said an official of planning ministry.

The project areas includes Moulavibazar sadar, Srimangal, Rajnagar, Kulauda, Osmaninagar, Balaganj, Bishwanath, Madhabpur, Chhatak and Doarabazar upazilas of Moulavibazar, Sylhet, Habiganj and Sunamganj districts.

The main activities of the project are installation of 114km pipeline, right of way requisition for 82km, construction of five Cathodic protection stations and four new district regulatory stations (DRS), rehabilitation of existing five DRS and land acquisition for installation of pipeline and DRS.

The official said after implementation, the project business would be expanded in the project areas along with generation of new employment opportunities.

Sources said there is a huge demand of natural gas in Sylhet, Moulavibazar, Habiganj and Sunamganj districts for power generation, industry, CNG, and for the use of both commercial and residential purposes.

But, the Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Limited (JGTDSL), the authorized gas distributing organization of the region, could not meet the cumulative demand for gas due to its limitations. Besides, low pressure frequently interrupted the smooth supply of gas.