Bangladesh based Star Infrastructure Development Consortium Limited on Monday joined hand with Iran based Servigas to invest around $12 million to take the country`s LPG sector into a fast lane.
Star Infrastructure Development Consortium Limited and Servigas Company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to implement production facilities of LPG Bullet trucks, LPG Industrial storage tanks, household cylinders for cooking stove and cylinders for vehicles.
The MoU was signed during a ceremony which was organised by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at a city hotel.
Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President of FBCCI who also the Chairman of Star Infrastructure Development Consortium Limited and Shahariar Rabiee, Managing Director of Servigas signed on behalf of their respective companies.
Matlub said that initially the joint venture will invest around $12 million to implement facilities to produce LPG storage tankers and household tankers.
"The investment will gradually increase to implement other LPG facilities," he said.
Matlub said that they have chalked out three initial locations for the production facility. These are Mongla of Bagerhat, Sonargaon of Narayanganj and Kishorganj.
"Out of these, one final location will be selected after the technical team from Iran visits these places and finalized the factory location." he said.
He said that worldwide LPG production has increased while the price has fallen hugely.
About this venture with Servigas, he said that FBCCI had organised a business delegation with the assistance of the Iran Embassy and the government to Iran Oil and Petrochemical Expo in Tehran.
"During our visit, we have met many prospective investors in the petrochemical sector and transfer of technology through cooperation with Iran`s technical colleges." he said.
"Servigas will also transfer its technical knowledge to us." he added.
The FBCCI president urged to remove various duties on this sector for the fast growth.
He said that our neighboring country like India has helped this industry by allowing critical components like regulator, valve, LPG industrial storage and various industrial cylinders duty free.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury, Energy Advisor to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through this agreement Bangladesh pave the way for importing LPG from Iran.
"Importing gas is one part but the most important part is that through this agreement, Servigas will transfer its knowledge and technical know-how for the LPG sector to Bangladesh and eventually help us to take the sector forward." he said.
He said that the dependency on domestic gas has to decline. "For domestic purpose, there is no option but to go for LPG."
Tawfiq said that Bangladesh is yet to promote LPG into the country`s energy mix on a large scale. "This will change with step like this."
Shahariar Rabiee, Managing Director of Servigas Company said that Servigas is responsible for manufacturing of variety of cylinders and pressure vessels for storage, transport and distribution of LPG and a variety of pressure productions.
Servigas is a subsidiary of Butane Group, which was founded in 1953 as the first LPG distribution company in Iran.
He said that relying on the experience gained from 30 years of rehabilitation in the field of LPG industry and the scientific and technical knowledge of its young forces, Servigas gained the ISO9001-2008 certification while taking steps in achieving organizational excellence.
The company is trying to meet customer needs by producing safe and diverse products in compliance with global standards."Now we want to transfer our technical knowledge and expertise in Bangladesh. "
Mohd Noor Ali, Vice-Chairman of Star Infrastructure Development Consortium Limited said that they are teaming up with one of the market leaders of LPG in the world.
"I hope with this partnership, we will be able to contribute to country`s LPG sector." he said.
Abbas Vaezi, Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran said that Bangladesh is moving towards the path of development in fast manner.
"Bangladesh and Iran has one of the oldest trade relations. Right after the Bangladesh achieved its independence, we established trade relation. Now as the economic embargo on Iran is removed we want to explore new trade territories." he said.
AR Khan, Chairman of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission said that despite high demand, the LPG cannot be made available to people in reasonable prices.
Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, first Vice- President of FBCCI also spoke on the occasion.