SR Chemical Industries Limited is going to produce seven types of chemicals – including caustic soda, bleaching fine and bleaching powder – in the country's northern region Bogura.
According to the people concerned, the company will start production in mid-December. Once it is operating, the country's textile and paper industry is due to save Tk200 crore in foreign exchange annually.
Asif Rabbani, managing director of SR Chemical Industries, claims that its research shows there is already a ready market for chemical products in South Asian countries including India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. China is also a potential export destination.
"Before the start of production, the Chinese company Dezhou Chemtics Chemical said that it will purchase 12,000 tonnes of bleaching fine per year. But before exporting it, our goal is to prioritise meeting the country's demand. Initially, we will be able to export 50% of the total production. We will also be able to export 6,000 tonnes to China," he said.
The Tk850 crore project in Sherpur, Bogura will be the largest industry in the northern part of the country. Built on 100 bighas of land, it will directly employ 1,000 workers.
Md Rayhan Ferdoush, head of the production of the company, said, "SR Chemical will produce bleaching fine in Bangladesh for the first time. There is huge demand for this chemical in the country and abroad. By exporting only 50% bleaching fine, the company will earn at least Tk60 crore a year."
"To maintain the quality of the products to the international standard, we have made modern laboratories and an efficient Research and Development department," he added.
Some 25 engineers and workers from China, along with a number of local engineers, have been working on the plant for the past two years. Chinese engineers will stay on after the company goes into production.
The plant has been built using Chinese machines and Japanese technology. It will produce chemical products like: caustic soda, bleaching fine, bleaching powder, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite, and liquefied chlorine.
Md Rayhan Ferdous said the company will produce 40 tonnes of bleaching fine and bleaching powder per day. In addition, the production of hard soda will be 100 tonnes, hydrochloric acid 35 tonnes, sodium hydrochloride 12 tonnes, and liquefied chlorine 10 tonnes.
"These chemicals are used in the textile and paper industries and in the manufacture of water purifiers and disinfectants," said Asif Rabbani, managing director of the company.
"SR Chemical, a subsidiary of SR Group, will make a significant contribution to the national economy," he added.
Golam Mohammad Siraj, chairman of SR Group and a member of parliament of BNP Bogura 6 Sadar constituency, said the government had been trying to set up a heavy factory in Bogura for many years, but for various reasons it was not able to. But SR Chemical is setting up the industry in Bogura at a cost of $100 million.
"All the departments of the government, especially the departments of power and environment, have cooperated sincerely in setting up the industry," said Ghulam Mohammad Siraj.
Asif Rabbani, managing director of the company, said electricity was one of the raw materials of the factory and the government has been cooperating from the beginning to ensure 24-hour power supply.
If the factory runs normally, the government will get electricity bills of at least Tk6 crore per month.