Unitex Group plans to invest about Tk 650 crore to set up manufacturing plants for chemicals, steel and paint at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN) in Chattogram.
The company has already submitted its investment proposal to the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), seeking a 20-acre plot at the BSMSN.
"We will start development work on the proposed project after getting the land allotment," said Mohammad Arif, chief financial officer of Unitex, adding that he expects to secure a lease agreement by December.
Of the total investment, a private bank has hinted that it would finance 60 per cent of the project while the rest will be paid through the company's equity.
The plan will be implemented in phases with the steel and chemical manufacturing plants to be constructed first while the paint factory will be established later.
Bangladesh's steel industry is growing in line with the government's development works in the commercial, housing and public sectors.
It is estimated that the sector generates around $3.6 billion in revenue each year and in 2016, government projects accounted for about 40 per cent of the country's total steel consumption.
With that in mind, the new steel manufacturing unit, which is expected to create about 1,100 opportunities for direct employment, will be dedicated to the local market.
On the other hand, the chemical plant will supply both the domestic and export markets.
Asked about the challenges when making such investments, Arif said that every investment carries the potential for loss or gain.
"But these sectors where we are investing have shown promises for the future," he added.
Unitex began its journey as a spinning and composite yarn manufacturing business in 1992 and has since evolved into a rapidly growing multi-dimensional conglomerate.
The group considers itself to be a solution provider, primarily for cotton sourcing and logistics support. Unitex also provides a wide variety of services in other sectors, including liquid petroleum gas and petroleum.
Meanwhile, Beza Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury said they will allow construction work on these factories to commence after the central effluent treatment plant is established. The country's economic zones authority encourages this type of investment inside the BSMSN as it will generate more employment opportunities.
The land will be allotted for the project considering Unitex's investment plans, he added.
As per the investment proposal, Unitex wants to produce import substitutes for chemical, steel and paint products in the domestic market.
The group decided to invest after assessing the market's potential as it has a keen understanding of business.
For this reason, they should not face any challenge to make this investment, Chowdhury said.