Meghna Group has established itself in the international plastic raw materials market, exporting Tk 150 crore in just three months after launching its petrochemical plant, the first of its kind in the country.
“In addition to export, we have sold plastic raw materials worth Tk 150 crore in the local market during this period,” Suman Bhowmik, Senior Deputy Managing Director of Meghna Group of Industries, told The Business Standard (TBS).
He said there is a huge demand for plastic raw materials in the country, which was previously totally dependent on imports, and in the international market.
“The demand for PET resin in the country is two lakh tons per year, while we have a production capacity of one lakh tons,” he said.
“PVC resin production has just started in the country. Some of our products have already been sold and used for making plastic pipes. The demand for PVC resin in the country is more than four lakh tons per year as we have a production capacity of 1.5 lakh tons,” he added.
The local business conglomerate has invested $400 million to set up the factory in the Meghna Economic Zone (MEZ) in Sonargaon, Narayanganj. The construction of the petrochemical plant on an area of 97,205.491 square meters in the MEZ took about five years.
Meghna Group started producing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin on September 14 and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin three months ago.
PVC is used in a variety of applications in the building and construction, healthcare, electronics, automotive and other industries, in products ranging from piping and linings, pouches and blood tubing, wire and cable insulation, windshield system components and more.
PET is used in fibers for clothing, containers for liquids and food, and thermoforming for manufacturing, and in combination with fiberglass for engineering resins.
Apart from selling products in the local market, the company has already exported PET resin to India, Italy and Dubai, sources inside the company said.
The plant is equipped to produce three different grades of PVC resin: K57 – used for injection molded fittings, K67 – used for rigid PVC pipes, profiles and films, and K70 – used for packaging films, calendered films and cables.
Suman Bhowmik said, “This is the biggest private sector investment here. Our factory employs approximately 1,900 people.
“The Barmag Huitong technology used by Meghna PET produces higher quality PET compared to other technologies. In addition, Meghna PET uses a liquid and steam heating system in the production, which results in low heat consumption. Technology high-end and solid state polycondensation plant from UOP-SINCO, Italy makes Meghna PET the best in the market,” said Suman Bhowmik.
The Meghna Group’s petrochemical plant did not use its full production capacity, sources within the company said.
Suman Bhowmik said, “The PET resin plant is operating at 90% capacity. There is an order for 500 tons of PVC resin from India. Soon we will reach our maximum production.
Plastic consumption is on the rise
According to Bangladesh Plastics Market Outlook 2019-2025, published by Business Wire, factors such as low-cost manufacturing, durability, large-scale availability of raw materials, and sustainability are driving the Bangladesh plastics market at a growth rate. Compound Annual Compound Rate (CAGR) of 8%.
The current per capita consumption of plastic in Bangladesh is 7 kg per year, compared to about 23 kg per year in India and more than 100 kg per year in other developed countries like the United States and Singapore. There is therefore a huge potential in this market which is expected to reach $6.5 billion by 2024-25, according to the report.
Shamim Ahmed, President of the Bangladesh Plastics Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told TBS: “We need many types of raw materials. We are highly dependent on imports of PET resin and PVC resin. bought PVC resin at $1,150 – $1,200 per ton, its price fluctuates on the international market.
“If this raw material is produced in the country, it will greatly benefit our business. We will be able to manufacture and export various products made with these locally produced raw materials. It is the opening of a new horizon for the country.
Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), Shaikh Yusuf Harun, told TBS: “Meghna Group has opened its petrochemical plant, which is its biggest project. ‘other industries in the country’.