Steel, cement makers scent opportunity as Padma bridge construction advances

padmaShah Alam Nur: Local steel and cement makers are smacking their lips at the prospect of getting good business as the construction of approach roads and other works of the multi-billion-dollar

Padma Bridge is underway, industry insiders said.

The supply of construction materials to mega infrastructure projects such as Gulistan-Jatrabari and Kuril flyovers, Bhairab and Rupsha bridges, and the Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal in recent times has boosted their confidence of handling the ancillary works of the country’s largest infrastructure project.

The construction of 6.15-kilometre-bridge, including Jajira approach road and Mawa approach road, accommodation, and river control river training will cost around $ 2.97 billion.

To meet the growing demand of building materials at the Padma Bidge project, the local companies are going to take some preparations such as expansion of production capacity and conducting research on quality of cement.

“We’re expecting massive business as approach road construction of Padma Bridge is going on”, Abul Kalam, Managing Director of Bandar Steel Industry Ltd, told the FE.

He said the China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited and other local and foreign companies are “committed” to building the bridge and other related projects with local materials.

Mohammad Humayan Kabir, Managing Director of Best Steel Industry Ltd at Narayanganj said “With quality products of construction materials, local manufacturers have confidence in providing raw materials for Padma Bridge in time.”

Mr Kabir, also vice chairman of Bangladesh Re-Rolling Mills Association said in recent times the construction industry is increasingly becoming self-sufficient as 95 per cent of building materials are being produced locally.

“Our local companies participated in a large number of infrastructure projects in recent times including the Jatrabari-Gulistan Flyover,” he said adding local companies are also supplying materials for the approach road of Padma Bridge.

According to of Bangladesh Re-Rolling Mills Association, the country has the capacity to produce around 7.0 million tonnes of rod a year, while the local demand is around 4.0 million tones.

The Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association data showed more than 125 companies are manufacturing cement capable of meeting both local and overseas demand.

The country’s leading cement manufacturers industry including Crown Cement, Holcim, Premier Cement, Seven Circle Cement, Tiger Cement, Confidence Cement, Aramit Cement, UltraTech Cement and Fresh Cement have been producing good quality product, which is getting popularity in local and abroad markets.

The production capacity of local cement is almost 18 million tones, but domestic demand is estimated at 10 million tones, the association said.

Mohammad Amirul Haque, managing director of Premier Cement Ltd, said the country’s cement industry has become self-sufficient and can supply product of international standard.

“I think there is no need for importing construction materials for Padma bridge project,” he told the FE.

He said to meet the quality requirement of the Padma Bridge construction authority, local companies have already introduced latest technology including research laboratory on their own.

Shafiqul Islam, project director of the Padma Bridge, said the country has crossed an “important milestone” as the government has signed an agreement with China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited for the construction of the main part of the Padma Bridge.

“It’s true local companies have supplied construction materials to a number of infrastructure projects of the country,” he said.

When completed, Padma will be the largest bridge in Bangladesh. It will connect Louhajong, Munshiganj to Shariatpur and Madaripur, linking the south-west of the country, to northern and eastern regions.

The project covers three districts – Munshiganj (Mawa Point/North bank), Shariatpur and Madaripur (Janjira/South bank).


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