Two companies in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN), the country's largest industrial city in Chattogram, have gone into production this year while two others are gearing up for production next year.
Ferdous Wahid, assistant engineer of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza), told The Business Standard (TBS), "Asian Paints Bangladesh Ltd started production in April this year and Nippon-McDonald – a joint venture company of Japanese Nippon Steel Corporation and Bangladeshi McDonald Steel Building Products Ltd – went into production earlier in March."
"The paints and steel sheets produced by these companies are being supplied in the domestic market," he said, adding that two more companies – Samuda Food Products Ltd and Modern Syntex Ltd – are planning on starting production by the end of 2023.
Budhaditya Mukherjee, general manager of Asian Paints Bangladesh Ltd, told TBS, "We received the commercial certificate in April 2022 and started production in the same month. But we are still in the process of scaling up the production line as there were long vacations for two Eids in between."
"We have an annual production capacity of 25000 tonnes and we are hopeful of achieving full capacity very soon," he said, adding that the firm's BSMSN factory is capable of manufacturing all kinds of decorative paints (both water-based and solvent-based) and construction chemicals products.
Nippon-McDonald set up the steel factory on 10 acres of land with an investment of Tk114 crore. It began trial production on 25 January.
McDonald Steel's Project Manager Abdullah Al Mamun told TBS that the company delivered the first consignment of 20 tonnes of steel to the Bangladesh Bridge Authority on 23 March. Production has continued ever since. Mild steel plates are being manufactured in this factory.
Production operations in BSMSN were supposed to be inaugurated in March. BSMSN Project Director Abdullah Al Mahmud Faruk told TBS, "The inauguration date of the industrial city has not been finalised yet. The Prime Minister's Office will make the decision."
BSMSN is being constructed in an area of 30,000 acres of land in Mirsarai and Sitakunda upazilas of Chattogram and Sonagazi upazila of Feni.
According to Beza, of the 30,000 acres of land, about 6,000 acres are being made suitable for the construction of industrial factories. Roads, bridges, electricity and gas facilities have already been ensured across the industrial area. Other infrastructure development works are also in progress.
Garment factories are being built on 500 acres of land. The Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) economic zone is being developed on 1,150 acres of land. Bashundhara Group is developing its factories on 500 acres of land and the SBG economic zone is being developed on 500 acres of land.
Apart from this, the factories of the healthcare sector got 40 acres of land, Bangladesh Auto Industries 100 acres, SQ Cables 40 acres, China's JinJiang 10 acres, and Modern Syntex 20 acres.