Int'l conference in Chittagong in DecBusiness Correspondent
Bangladesh is one of Asia's leading emerging steel markets and has a growing need for raw materials and steelmaking technologies, according to SteelMint Events, which will be hosting the Steel & Raw Material Conference in the country's metropolitan seaport city of Chittagong on December 11-12.
The conference will incorporate interactive panel discussions addressing various topics, including: the steel industry in Bangladesh; the future of the global shipbreaking sector; new technologies; government policies; and China's impact on the market.
A networking dinner and exhibition will also form part of the programme. Bangladesh had roughly 1 million tonnes of steel capacity in 2014 but this figure is expected to grow to 3 million tonnes this year owing to 'steady economic growth', says the event organiser.
Large players such as Abul Khair and BSRM are reported to have already commissioned high-capacity induction and electric arc furnaces which would expand crude steel production significantly.
'Scrap will be a major raw material for steel smelting units based in Bangladesh - with expected imports to rise from 0.5 million tonnes this year to 2.5 million tonnes in 2016,' SteelMint Events points out.
As a result, Bangladesh is believed to have the potential to become the second largest scrap importer in East Asia, after India, and the fourth largest importer in Asia as a whole.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts that average GDP growth in Bangladesh in the period from 2013 to 2018 will be 6.6 per cent - significantly higher than for many other emerging markets.
Currently, steel is produced through conventional process of re-rolling ship cutting plates. But a structural change is noticed in the steel industry. Most of the re-rollers are adopting backward integration process in order to give quality and cost effective product to the country.
Crude steel production is expected to increase from current capacity of less than 1 million tonnes to over 3 million tonnes in 2015.
Billet imports to Bangladesh surged in 2015 due to cheaper offers from Chinese suppliers. The local mills in Bangladesh currently need 4 million tonnes billet annually.