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  1. Bangladesh to receive 70 lakh masks from Japan Regarding the mask shortage in the local market, the minister said not everyone is required to wear masks Amid public concerns about the global outbreak of deadly coronavirus, the demand for the face masks in Dhaka has increased sharply, triggering the price too. Photo: Saikat Bhadra Bangladesh will receive 70 lakh pieces of masks from Japan for free, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque. He was addressing a press meet over coronavirus at the ministry auditorium on Thursday in the capital. "The government of Japan will provide 70 lakh pieces of masks to Bangladesh which will reduce mask shortage in the market." Regarding the mask shortage in the local market, the minister said not everyone is required to wear masks. "Only those affected with cough or fever can use it to prevent spread of the diseases," he added. When asked about the coronavirus situation, the minister replied that no Bangladeshis were infected with the virus. "We have installed scanners in all river, land and airports. Besides, on arrival visas for Chinese citizens, particularly from Wuhan, is temporarily unavailable as part of extra cautionary measure," said the health minister. The minister also informed that the 312 Bangladeshi students are under quarantine process for 14 days, and they are receiving foods sponsored by the government. Other government high-ups and health officials were present during the press conference.
  2. BEZA, TOA ink deal for BSEZ development This is the first G2G economic zone, and will be built on 1000 acres of lands at Araihazar of Narayanganj To develop Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEZ), an agreement signing ceremony was held between the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and TOA Corporation of Japan, at a hotel in the capital today This is the first G2G economic zone that will be built on 1000 acres of lands at Araihazar in Narayanganj. Under the agreement, TOA is responsible for developing the land, building boundary, making a connecting road, water reservoir, and power plant. The project aims to create a conducive environment for various industries for a sustainable development. Besides, the zone also will attract Japanese investment in the country and create more employment opportunities. It may also contribute to reduce poverty in the country and improve living standard of the people. Beza expects that it can bring Japanese investment equivalent 20 billion once the project starts operation, and most of the investment will be from reputed Japanese brands. Besides, recycling plants will also be there to check the industrial wastes.
  3. Tokyo Gas to conduct feasibility study on land-based LNG Terminal Besides conducting the study, the Japanese company will also prepare the tender documents for builders interested in constructing the terminal Tokyo Gas, the largest natural gas supplier of Japan, is likely to be selected for conducting the feasibility study on the first ever land-based Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Bangladesh. Out of two bidders, Tokyo Gas's proposal meets Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) requirements, said a source at Petrobangla. American energy advisory company Galway Group LLC is the other bidder. Both parties are now negotiating the different terms and conditions for signing the contract. "After getting the approval from the finance committee, we will sign the contract as early as we can," said a senior Petrobangla official. Tokyo Gas will be given one year to conduct the feasibility study. Besides conducting the study during the period, the Japanese company will also prepare the tender documents for builders interested in constructing the terminal. The energy division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources has planned to set up a land-based LNG terminal with a re-gasification capacity of 1,000 million cubic feet per day in Matarbari, Cox's Bazar. But Petrobangla will be able to extend the capacity later if necessary. Petrobangla, in charge of LNG imports into the country, plans to build a land-based terminal that can handle 7.5 million tonnes of LNG annually in Matarbari. The project will cost over $1 billion to complete, said Petrobangla officials. At present, Petrobangla has two floating storages at Maheshkhali, a facility for re-gasifying imported liquefied natural gas, with a 1 billion cubic feet regasification capacity. It has been importing LNG from Oman and Qatar through two long-term contracts. Under its 15-year deal with Qatar, Bangladesh pays 12.65 percent of the three-month average price of Brent oil, plus a constant of 50 cents per million British thermal units.
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