The World Bank (WB) is providing $500 million in financial assistance for Bangladesh under the Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship Project (PRIDE), the lion's share of which will be provided to modernise Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City.
According to a press release of Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (Beza), $467.50 million, which is 93.40% of the total assistance, will be provided for the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial Development Project.
An agreement in this regard was signed between the World Bank and the Bangladesh Export Zones Authority on 13 April 2021. World Bank Country Director Mercy Tembon and Beza Chairman Paban Chowdhury signed the agreement for their respective sides.
The total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk4,347 crore. The World Bank loan for the project is Tk3,967.68 crore with government funding of Tk379.74 crore.
According to the press release, the goal of the project is to encourage private investment and job creation in the economic zones of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City. It will also aim to establish sustainability and environmental tolerance in the mainstream development of economic zones across the country.
To achieve the goal, 30 km of roads and connecting roads within the economic zones will be built. The construction of a 31 km drainage network has been proposed for the project. The development of about 990 acres of land to make it suitable for investment and industrial development has also been proposed, said the press release.
An investors club and an OSS centre will be set up in the project area for domestic and foreign investors. Apart from this, a skill development centre for staff, four power substations for uninterrupted power supply and a 20 km supply line, a 25 km telecommunication system with a high capacity internet connection, installation of optical fibre, 27 km of gas pipelines with 2 DRS, and a 40 km water supply line have also been proposed, it added.
Other facilities include a Central Effluent Treatment Plant with a capacity of 48 MLD and a Solid Waste Management Plant for solid waste treatment. There are also plans to set up biogas plants, waste sorting, and a material recovery facility.
Under the project, rooftop and floating solar systems will be established for the use of renewable energy in industrial mills.
Moreover, to meet the demand for water in industrial plants , a desalination plant with a capacity of 30 MLD will be set up, and a 12.14km long steam network will be installed to meet the demand for steam.
The project includes a plan to establish an Environmental Lab & Monitoring System to examine environmental and other parameters in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City. Other plans include the establishment of a Child Care & Emergency Health Care Center, an Emergency Response Center, and Beauty and Greening of Sheikh Hasina Lake and Mosque.
The project was approved at the ECNEC meeting held on February 1, 2021, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City will serve as a model for the country's industrial sector. At least, 1.5 million people will be employed in this 30,000-acre city. As one of the largest economic and industrial zones in South Asia, the city is emerging as a crossroads of domestic and foreign investment, an economic and industrial gateway to the southeastern part of the country.
Investor interest continues to grow as a result of visible infrastructure development and the most convenient geo-strategic location. Well known domestic and foreign companies or institutions have come forward for investment and industrialisation which include Berger, Asian Paints, the TK Group, Walton, Summit, Bashundhara, GPH, Healthcare Pharmaceuticals etc.
The project will be implemented from January 2021 to December 2025.
Work is underway to set up 12 industries in the industrial city and it is expected that at least seven industries will start production this year.
The press release says entrepreneurs are setting up mills and factories in a single or joint venture, for garments and knitwear, steel and iron industries, the power and energy sector, chemical products, electrical and electronics equipment, pharmaceuticals, textiles, container manufacturing, edible oil, food processing, and automotive industries.
Investment proposals worth about $22 billion have already been put forward for the industrial city, of which $1.38 billion is foreign investment.