GPH Ispat Limited, one of the leading steel manufacturers in Bangladesh, told Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) on Wednesday that the company has still not decided on the investment of a new medical oxygen plant.
The DSE-listed company made the disclosure on the stock exchange's website in response to a query of the prime bourse dated 6 May regarding the clarification on recent news published in the media.
Earlier this month, news broke that GPH Ispat is going to import a $5 million oxygen liquefaction plant from China to produce liquefied oxygen for medical use – a step to meet the increasing demand for oxygen during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We have started the procedure to import the plant. If the government helps us, we will be able to import the plant and start production in around 4 months – 2-3 months earlier than normal," said Md Almas Shimul, additional managing director of GPH Ispat.
It, however, said that government support will be needed to expedite the import of the liquefaction plant.
Riding on investment news, its share price rose by 22% to Tk33.30 each this month till 12 May at the DSE.
The installation of this plant, having a daily production capacity of 50-60 tonnes, was supposed to enable GPH to produce 70-80 tonnes of medical oxygen a day.
This is expected to reduce the country's dependency on imported medical oxygen.
The company's existing 250-tonne-capacity oxygen plant – mainly used for steel production – in Sitakunda of Chattogram can produce 22-25 tonnes of liquid oxygen that is used for medical purposes.