Bashundhara Industrial Complex, the cement manufacturing arm of Bashundhara Group, is set to expand its production capacity with a view to meeting the fast-growing demand for the construction material amid mega project-implementation spree.
Located in Madanganj of Narayanganj, the factory's production capacity at present is 21 lakh tonnes per year. But after the Tk 447.53 crore expansion project, the annual production capacity would go up to 30 lakh tonnes.
The new extension unit is expected to go for commercial operation next year, taking Bashundhara Group's cement manufacturing capacity to 75.60 lakh tonnes.
Of the Tk 447.53 crore needed for the project, Tk 285 crore has already been raised from the financial sector, while the remaining amount will come from the business group's coffer.
The demand-supply gap for cement widened to 1.47 crore tonnes last year and is expected to hit 1.8 crore tonnes this year, according to a survey by Bank Asia, which arranged the fund through syndication with three other banks -- Pubali, NRB and Janata -- and a financial institution, Uttara Finance.
By 2021 the gap is expected to be 2.17 crore tonnes.
The government's huge spending to build the country's infrastructure has been a boon for the cement industry, said Mohammed Belayet Hossain, senior deputy managing director of Bashundhara Group.
“We are enhancing our cement production capacity to meet the rising demand,” he added.
Globally, per capita cement consumption is 500 kilograms, whereas in Bangladesh it is 120 kg, said Md Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia, which has given priority to bankrolling infrastructure projects.
“So, there is huge scope for growth,” he said, pointing out that the escalating demand for urbanisation is due to a rise in per capita income and an increase in remittance inflow. Bashundhara Group, one of the biggest business groups in the country, holds the second highest cement market share of 8.48 percent by way of its two brands, Bashundhara Cement and Meghna Cement.
Of the two companies, Meghna has been listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange since 1995. Each share of Meghna Cement traded at more than Tk 90 in the last four months. Yesterday, it closed at Tk 95.50.