Saudi prince backs Beximco for $1b project

Sun, Aug 29, 2010

Dhaka, Aug 29 (—Beximco has teamed up with a company tied to the Saudi royal family to bid for the billion-dollar BMRE project of the lone oil refinery of Bangladesh, a statement said on Sunday.

"In line with its business diversification objectives, Beximco Ltd is now poised to enter into the oil and energy sector, and has mobilised necessary resources for this purpose," the statement issued in Dhaka said.

"Beximco is pleased to announce that Marasel Company Ltd owned by HRH Prince Salman Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Beximco Ltd will be jointly submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation/Eastern Refinery Ltd to finance the BMRE project of Eastern Refinery Ltd to increase its capacity from 1.5 million TPA to 4.5 million TPA on Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) or Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis," the statement said.

"The value of the BMRE (balancing, modernisation, renovation and expansion) project is estimated at around US$ 1 billion," it said.

"EOI is being submitted ... in response to a notice by Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation/Eastern Refinery Limited inviting national and international bidders to finance the BMRE project of Eastern Refinery."

"We have already mobilised necessary resources for this purpose as we deem oil and energy sector has a huge potential for us to grow," said Salman F Rahman, vice-chairman of the Group.

ERL, being the only petroleum refinery of Bangladesh, meets only around 30 percent of present petroleum products consumption, while the remainder is being imported as finished products.

The business conglomerate has businesses ranging from textiles to pharmaceutical to media and recently acquired the country's biggest private airline and reclaimed the single largest stake in the oldest private bank, IFIC.

It has also invested in the company that owns Dhaka's Westin hotel with plans to build a few more five-star hotels.

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