Modern Syntex has stepped up with a big investment in manufacturing polyester and synthetic yarns to fit the bill for global consumers switching from cotton to manmade fabrics.
The factory, being developed on 20 acres of land in Bangabandhu Shilpa Nagar, has so far made 90% progress in its work.
It has invested $131 million to produce four types of products, such as polyester draw textured yarn (DTY), polyester fully drawn yarn (FDY), polyester staple fibre (PSF), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) chips, to provide backward support to readymade garment, footwear and vehicle-making industries.
Currently, Bangladesh depends on imports of such raw materials from China, Indonesia, Korea and India etc.
Company officials claimed that once the factory goes into operation in March-April 2023, it will have capacity to meet a major portion of local demand for synthetic and polyester fibres and yarns.
"We will meet 60-70% of demand with our products manufactured," Abu Sufian Chowdhury, managing director of Modern Syntex, told The Business Standard.
Around 90% of the civil work of the factory has already been completed. The daily production target of the factory will be 460 tonnes. The factory will employ 1,500 people. The annual turnover will be $200 million
Apparel entrepreneurs say Bangladesh has opportunities to enhance its stake in non-cotton apparel items in the global market. So, they are now investing to increase their capacity of manufacturing such products.
If synthetic yarns and fabrics can be sourced locally, it will be instrumental in saving foreign exchange and extra time needed to import from foreign countries.
Shafal Barua, general manager (technical) at Modern Syntax, said, "Around 90% of the civil work of the factory has already been completed. The daily production target of the factory will be 460 tonnes. The factory will employ 1,500 people. The annual turnover will be $200 million."
All products manufactured will be sold locally, he also said, adding, "We have plans to expand the factory in the next five years."
Shamsul Azam, director at Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said, "The country has a demand for around 2 lakh tonnes of synthetic and polyester yarns. It is good news that Modern Syntex will meet a large portion."
This will take the country's garment sector one step ahead, he added.
BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim said Bangladesh should invest more in manufacturing manmade fibres and fabrics to stay eligible for the GSP plus facility after LDC graduation.
The new GSP plus facility will require the two-stage local value addition, while Bangladesh at present can add about 20% value to products, he also said.
If the government gives policy support, long term financing and utility facilities, local value addition will grow more before the current GSP facility expires.
The global fashion market is dominated by the manmade fabrics made apparels that have a market share of about 75%, Shahidullah Azim noted, adding, "Our production capacity is almost the reverse of the global market demand but we have scope to convert that in the line with global market demand."
"We produce about 70% of cotton-made apparels," he pointed out.
According to Modern Syntex sources, the factory is being set up in Zone-6 of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City with the technological help of German company Oerlikon. Paban Chowdhury, the then executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza), inaugurated the construction work of this project on 7 February 2020.