N Mohammad Plastic plans Tk 500cr expansion
N Mohammad Plastic Industry, a concern of Chattogram-based N Mohammed Group, plans to make a fresh investment of around Tk 500 crore to expand business for increasing its market share alongside exports. Bangladesh currently manufactures over 142 plastic items and mainly exports intermediate products like film plastic, household items and garment accessories.
However it has no facility for manufacturing polyolefin, the raw material used for its chemical resistance and inertness.
According to the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the sector's sales are growing by about 20 per cent every year on the back of spiralling demand from domestic and export markets.
According to an estimate of the association, domestic market sales hit Tk 30,000 crore in fiscal 2018-19, up from Tk 25,000 crore in the previous year.
Though there is no reliable association data on last fiscal year's growth, it is widely believed to have been negative.
N Mohammad Plastic Industry has already signed a land lease agreement with Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) to set up plastic product manufacturing factories on 10 acres of land in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar at Mirsarai of Chattogram.
The company expects this would create employment for about 1,600 people.
The new units will produce flexible or plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) furniture and doors, high-density polyethylene pipes and fittings, wood plastic composites, flexible packaging and moulds for the domestic market.
The company already manufactures 1,500 types of household items made of plastic such as composite doors, boards, pipes and fittings alongside wooden furniture.
"We will set up three factories under this project for expansion of existing plastic industries, flexible packaging, and moulds," said Managing Director Mohammad Nazrul Hoque.
He said these would enable substituting imports of packing products and moulds for local footwear industries and ensure exports as well.
"We have a plan to start construction work of the factories within six months and we will start commercial operation by June 2022," he said.
"We are about to complete the feasibility study of the project and prepared a checklist of the machinery which will be imported from Japan," he noted.
He also said a Japanese company would enter a joint venture with their mould industry. "We already signed an agreement with the Japanese company," he added.
Of the new investment, the company will provide Tk 200 crore from its own pocket and the rest would be mobilised from banks.
Hoque said a bank had already shown interest to provide the loan.
The group has over 3,000 employees under six companies.
Hoque said their annual turnover is around Tk 600 crore but it came down to around Tk 300 crore last year due to the impacts of the pandemic.
He said they export products worth $24 million every year to India, Japan and the Middle East.
Beza Executive Chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun said they always welcomed this type of investment that would contribute in diversification of export products.
He also said Beza was working to facilitate industrialisation and corresponding skill development training institutes to build up skilled manpower for the industries.
He said now Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar was taking shape through the swift development of physical infrastructures of factories.
Harun said rapid work was ongoing for the establishment of a central effluent treatment and desalination plants, a response centre and a training institute.