Beximco launches $100m PPE plant
Source: The Daily Independent
The plant, located on a 25-acre PPE Park, is an advanced fully vertical PPE manufacturing facility that is built on the concepts of flexibility that allows for additional phases of capacity expansion, according to a press statement.
The construction and certification of the site took six months from groundbreaking, said Beximco CEO Syed Naved Husain.
While giving introductory speech at the inaugural ceremony, Husain said the PPE park converts granules to meltblown as well as laminated fabrics in different weights. “The fabric is used to manufacture isolation and surgical gowns disposable– sterile and non-sterile reusable isolation gowns, N95 Cup type and foldable type masks, surgical Masks, disposable scrubs, woven and knitted shoe covers and head covers and, reusable scrubs with water repellent treatment.”
United States Ambassador in Dhaka Earl R. Miller inaugurated the plant. The ceremony, hosted by Beximco CEO Syed Naved Husain, was also graced by the presence of Major General Md Mahbubur Rahman, Director General of the Directorate General of Drug Administration, Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, and Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem, Chairman of National Board of Revenue.
The ceremony was attended remotely through video-conferencing by Salman F. Rahman MP, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for Private Sector and Investment Affairs, and by Sandeep Das, Regional Managing Director of Intertek, South Asia, Roque Corona, Vice President of Global Softlines, Intertek, North America, and Jason Allen, Technical Head PPE, Intertek, North America.
The sewing facilities for the gowns and coveralls are fully air-conditioned, ensuring clean-room environment. There is also an ETO sterilization facility for the production of sterilized gowns.
Intertek and Beximco have developed a PPE Center of Excellence at Beximco Health, PPE Industrial Park, Dhaka.
The Centre of Excellence PPE lab has a covered area of 12,000 sq ft with major sections of physical testing (respiratory analysis), chemical testing and micro-biological testing, thereby housing all amenities to ensure it meets the regulatory and quality assurance requirements of PPE manufacturers across Bangladesh.
This is Intertek’s, a 130-year-old leader in testing, most advanced PPE lab capable of testing all levels to comply with US, EU and UK standards.
Commenting on the agreement, André Lacroix, CEO of Intertek, said: “As a purpose-led company, Intertek’s mission is to make the world a better and safer place by bringing quality, safety and sustainability to life. That is why we are extending our partnership with Beximco by establishing a new state-of-the-art center of excellence to ensure its vital PPE products are able to meet the highest risk-based quality assurance standards.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen global demand for PPE rise significantly, along with the need for end-to-end testing and certification solutions for protective clothing and other PPE equipment. With BEXIMCO becoming a key player in the manufacture of PPE globally, I am confident the next stage in our partnership will help make the world an ever-safer, ever-better place in these challenging times,” added Lacroix.
Syed Naved Husain, CEO Beximco, said: “Beximco has steadily contributed to Bangladesh's meteoric rise as a manufacturing hub in South Asia. I’m delighted with the new development since it would place Bangladesh on the world's PPE manufacturing map.”
“The quality assurance prowess of Intertek has helped the cause immensely since it tackles the regulatory issues and has further cemented our relationship. The new facility shall help manufacturers, buyers, retailers, brands and the government with required services since all the services shall be available under one roof encompassing European, American and other global regulatory standards. This should help us realize our vision of seeing Bangladesh as the largest manufacturer and exporter of PPE products,” added Husain.
The park will serve both domestic and international markets and is aimed at increasing the diversity of the supply of PPE, ensuring that it is not totally dependent on any one country.
Beximco Group, through its new Beximco Health division, has agreements to supply PPE, including masks and protective gowns, to major US healthcare service providers.
Ambassador Miller said this is an evidence of the capability of Bangladesh enterprises to move beyond ready-made garments in producing products for export and demonstrates the ability of the Bangladesh labour force to produce goods meeting the exacting standards of the healthcare industry.
This is not the first time Beximco has risen to the challenge of a disrupted supply chain. Last year, at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Beximco pivoted from producing garments to protective equipment within a matter of weeks, learning the specialized fabrication techniques, setting up production lines, and producing 6.5 million pieces of gowns for distribution in the United States through the US Federal Emergency Management Administration.
Ambassador Miller said the Beximco plant will add to the robust and growing bilateral trade between Bangladesh and the United States.
According to the most recent estimates, Bangladesh annually ships $6.7 billion in goods to America – nearly twice as much as it did a decade earlier.
Meanwhile, the value of US products exported to Bangladesh has grown four-fold in the same period as US producers meet the demands of Bangladesh’s growing economy.
“Our two nations share a common perspective on the value of trade and free enterprise in a nation’s progress. Beximco represents these values,” Miller said.