The government is set to modernise the state-run sugar mills with the cooperation of a German company, aiming to make them profitable, officials said.
Under the move, the ministry of industries (MoI) has requested the company, Heinkel Drying and Separation Group, to come up with specific proposals for automation and modernisation of the mills.
"We requested the company to come up with specific proposals," chairman of Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) Ajit Kumar Paul FCA told the FE on Saturday.
In last week, the company experts had a meeting with Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun in this regard at the industries ministry and presented their activities.
They informed that apart from producing sugar, others products like bio-fertiliser and alcohol etc. could be produced in a significant volume by using the German technology.
The BSFIC chairman said that they will go for renovation, modernisation and diversification of the mills, aiming to make their all 15 mills profitable.
The mills incur financial losses annually due to reasons included drastic fall in sugar production by the years-old machineries.
Besides, the bank interests against the loans taken by the mills have been affecting the financial condition of the mills. The BSFIC has taken loans of around Tk 70 billion from different banks.
The BSFIC has to pay around Tk 10 billion in interests annually against the loans, a high official of the BSFIC told the FE.
The sugar mills run by the BSFIC are: Panchagar Sugar Mills Ltd, Thakurgaon Sugar Mills, Shyampur Sugar Mills Ltd, Joypurhat Sugar Mills Ltd, Setabganj Sugar Mills Ltd, Rangpur Sugar Mills Ltd, Faridpur Sugar Mills Ltd, North Bengal Sugar Mills Ltd, Carew & Co. (Bangladesh) Ltd, Pabna Sugar Mills Ltd, Rajshahi Sugar Mills Ltd, Natore Sugar Mills Ltd, Zeal Bangla Sugar Mills Ltd and Khustia Sugar Mills Ltd.
Each of the mills, excepting Carew & Co. (Bangladesh) Ltd, incurs financial losses of around Tk 600 million annually, according to BSFIC.
Only the Carew & Co. (Bangladesh) Ltd makes a profit of around Tk 800 million annually.
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