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Plan to make EPZs low-carbon areas

Badrul Ahsan | June 21, 2015 00:00:00

The government has adopted a plan to make all the EPZs across the country green and low-carbon area by setting up solar-power and central effluent treatment plants, a high official said.

Under the plan, the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) has setup a central effluent treatment plant (CETP) in Comilla EPZ at a cost of Tk 375 million (37.5 crore) to ensure environment-friendly industrial production.

With the CETP in Comilla EPZ, a total of three EPZs under the BEPZA came under effluent treatment facilities.

The BEPZA had earlier installed two CETPs at Dhaka and Chittagong Export Processing Zones.

The authority has also installed solar street lights, 2 units of solar photovoltaic power system and solar panels for investors' club and zone services complex at a cost of nearly Tk 88 million at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) under the green initiative.

Under the project at CEPZ, a total of 750 electric poles have been set up with solar panel on the streets, bringing the entire Chittagong EPZ under solar energy system. As a result, the CEPZ authority expects to save electricity of around Tk 3.2 million per year.

Sources said the BEPZA is also working to establish an environmental laboratory at Chittagong EPZ to assess the volume of carbon the industrial units are emitting, which will help reduce the carbon emission.  

Nazma Binte Alamgir, General Manager (PR) of BEPZA, said implanting the low-carbon project will facilitate the EPZs to enjoy energy use in an environment-friendly way along with ensuring low carbon emission.

"We are putting our best efforts to make the EPZs efficient with good environmental practices," she added.

"With the lessons learnt from this project, the BEPZA will establish such green energy systems and CETPs in other EPZs across the country."

With assistance from local and foreign funds including the World Bank, the EU and the South Korean government, the BEPZA has implemented the low-carbon zone project.

There are eight EPZs in the country, which have been playing a significant role in the creation of employment, attracting local and foreign investments and foreign currency earnings. The zones also help diversify goods and transfer of technology while contributing to the national export.

Around US$3.51 billion were invested by 442 operational and 120 under implementation industries of EPZs at the end of April this year.

Presently, around 413,000 Bangladeshi nationals are working in the factories of eight EPZs.

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