Govt to set up two fertiliser factories
Thursday, 03 April 2008

Staff Correspondent

The government has moved to set up two fertiliser factories to cut dependence in import of urea fertiliser, the chief adviser's special assistant said Wednesday.

"We can tell two months later when the work will start," Mahbub Jamil, in charge of industry, told reporters at his office. Industry secretary Nurul Amin said, "The two factories will be able to produce 10 lakh tonnes of fertiliser.

One will be set up in the northern region while the other will be set up at Fenchuganj in Sylhet." "The total cost to build each of the factories has been estimated at $50 crore ($500 million) to $60 crore," he said.

The total demand of fertiliser is 28.18 lakh tonnes in the current fiscal year, of which 13 lakh tonnes will have to be imported. "The two new factories and the resumption of Ghorashal factory will allow production of the same amount of fertiliser that we have to import now," Amin said.

Jamil said the government had moved to import fertiliser on its own instead of going through the middlemen. "We had to reel from the crisis last year as the private importers failed to provide adequate supply.

That's why the government has started to import fertiliser on its own from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar," Jamil said. A delegation led by the industry secretary would go to the three countries to make deals to be in force for five years, he said.

"A deal with Morocco to import raw materials for the TSP and DFP fertiliser factories is at the final stages," Jamil added. The special assistant said there would not be any crisis of sugar in the coming years. "The annual demand of sugar is 12 lakh tonnes and we have a deficit of 10 lakh tonnes.

The 15 state-owned sugar factories can produce 2,10,440 tonnes." "Of the 18 private sugar refineries, production has started in seven factories. They can produce 18 lakh tonnes of sugar a year."

Jamil said the total stock of salt in the country was 25 lakh tones. "The salt is produced in coastal regions particularly in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar."

"If the salt production can be started in Satkhira and Khulna, the country will be self reliant in salt and can export abroad in future," he said. The demand of salt in the country is 12.65 lakh tonnes, Jamil added.

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