US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller inaugurated the ‘BEXIMCO PPE Industrial Park’ at Savar, Dhaka yesterday, 10th February 2021. This is the first-ever industrial park in South Asia only to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE).
Beximco invested $100-million for this 25-acre highly equipped industrial park. The construction and certification of the site took six months from groundbreaking to certification and full production.
The PPE park converts granules to melt-blown as well as laminated fabrics in different GSM, the company said in a press release.
The fabric is later used to manufacture isolation and surgical gowns disposable sterile and non-sterile, reusable isolation gowns, N95 cap type and foldable type masks, surgical masks, disposable scrubs, woven and knitted shoe covers and head covers, reusable scrubs with water repellent treatment.
“The new facility shall help manufacturers, buyers, retailers, brands and the government with required services since all the services will be available under one roof encompassing European, American and other global regulatory standards,” Beximco CEO Syed Naved Husain said at the inauguration ceremony.
Salman F Rahman, MP, Honorable Advisor to the Prime Minister, Bangladesh for Investment & Private Sector and the Vice-Chairman of Beximco Group also joined the ceremony online.
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 dependent on any one country, he said while hosting the event.
“Beximco has steadily contributed to Bangladesh’s meteoric rise as a manufacturing hub in South Asia. I am delighted with the new development since it would place Bangladesh on the world’s PPE manufacturing map.”
Beximco Group, through its new Beximco Health division, has agreements to supply PPE, including masks and protective gowns, to major US healthcare service providers.
Intertek and Beximco have developed the PPE Centre of Excellence at ‘Beximco Health’ in the PPE Industrial Park in Savar, Dhaka.
The Centre of Excellence PPE lab has a covered area of 12,000 square feet with major sections of physical testing (respiratory analysis), chemical testing and micro-biological testing, ensuring that it meets the regulatory and quality assurance requirements of PPE manufacturers across Bangladesh.
This is Intertek’s, a 130-year-old leader in testing, the most advanced PPE lab capable of testing all levels to comply with the US, EU and UK standards, according to the PR.
“This shows that Bangladeshi enterprises can move beyond readymade garments in producing exportable goods,” US Ambassador Earl R Miller said while inaugurating the park.
Last year, at the height of the first wave of the 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 gowns for distribution in the United States through the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The ambassador noted 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.
However, the value of US products exported to Bangladesh has grown fourfold in the same period. “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.
On teaming up with Beximco, 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 Centre of Excellence to ensure its vital PPE products can meet the highest risk-based quality assurance standards,” he said.
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.”
The opening ceremony was also attended by Major General Md Mahbubur Rahman, Directorate General of Drug Administration; Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), and Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, Chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR).