Meghna Economic Zone (MEZ), a concern of Meghna Group of Industries, has received final approval as the first private sector economic zone of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) yesterday awarded the final licence to the Meghna Group, a leading business conglomerate of the country, to build an economic zone in Sonargaon, Narayanganj.
It will be established on a gross area of 245 acres of land on the bank of Meghna River. The location is close to the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.
BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury presided over the licence-awarding ceremony attended by Meghna Group Chairman and Managing Director Mostafa Kamal, director Tanveer Mostafa and other high officials.
MEZ is the first private sector economic zone that gets final licence after full-filling all requirements including environmental impact assessment and feasibility study.
In October, 2015 the Meghna Group received pre-qualification licence from BEZA for the economic zone.
Officials said the MEZ authorities have already started working to draw both local and foreign investments to the proposed economic zone.
By the end of 2016, two companies are expected to start their test production from the zone, they said. Of them, Meghna Pulp and Paper Mills Limited is being built at a cost of around Tk600 crore while the process to set up Meghna Edible Oil Limited is underway at a cost of Tk200 crore.
The economic zone will generate around 3,000 employments in its first year of operation and 30,000 in first five years, officials said.
They said economic zone, once comes into operation, will have all necessary utility facilities, including a 40 megawatt power plant, water supply system and gas connection from Titas Gas.
It will also have water treatment plant, systems for removing dirty waters, liquid waste refinery plant, solid waste removal system, fire extinguishing system, along with other environment-friendly arrangements.
This economic zone is suitable for industries like pulp and paper, tissue paper, sanitary napkin, baby diaper, PVC plant, oil refinery, flour mill, power plant, petrochemicals, ceramics and LPG plant, according to officials.
The economic zone is 1km away from Dhaka-Chittagong highway, while it is 27km away from Kamalapur Railway Station, and 38 km away from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA).
The government has a target to set up 100 economic zones over 30,000 hectares of land which is expected to generate employment of about 10 million people, along with additional export of $40 billion per year.
BEZA has so far awarded pre-qualification licences to eight local private companies to set up 10 economic zones.