IBS, once an air pollutant, becomes a source of foreign currency

IBS, once an air pollutant, becomes a source of foreign currency

CHATTOGRAM: Industrial black fumes – air mixed with carbon and zinc, once known as environmental pollutants because steel smokestacks and other metal fabrication plants regularly emitted them into the air there only a decade ago, have now become sources of income.

Sources said that Bangladesh has been earning $10-11 million per year for the past 8-10 years from shipments of industrial black smoke or IBS by-products to different Asian countries every year.

The majority of foreign exchange is earned by re-rolling steel mills in and around the port city through the annual export of zinc and other IBS by-products to China, Vietnam, Thailand and many other major emerging economies from the continent.

Among IBS producers, Kabir Steel Re-rolling Mill (KSRM), BSRM and Abul Khair Steel Mills are major suppliers of by-products to local exporters for shipments to these countries.

Speaking to the FE recently, KSRM Deputy Chief Engineer Mostafa Anwar said the steel mill installed an Air Pollution Control System (APCS) in the rolling mill more than a decade ago. years, following a directive from the Department of the Environment (DoE).

First, APCS was set up at a cost of Tk 300 million (Tk 30 crore) in 2010 with the aim of saving the environment mainly from carbon and zinc, but later it turned turned out to be an export item and a source of foreign exchange, the official said. .

CEO Meherul Karim said, “KSRM has installed the most modern APCS which can stop some blacks 100% to save the environment. We provide industrial black smoke by-products to exporters for shipment.

Tapon Sen Gupta, Deputy Managing Director of BSRM, said, “It may be hard to believe that the black smoke emitted by the industries is exported to different countries around the world which earn the country a considerable amount of foreign currency. He said BSRM installed its APCS at a cost of Tk 30 crore in 2010.

Echoing him, Lead Trading of BSRM Kazi Kamrul Islam said, “Initially, we installed APCS to save the environment from pollution. But the system started delivering a huge amount of ash, which became another headache for the company. the trace of more than 50% of zinc which is a precious metal. »

Officials of the two major steel makers said they have long exported the black smoke emitted from their smelters and supplied them to exporters who ship the by-products to different countries, earning foreign currency every year. IBS by-products are exported to Vietnam, China, Thailand and some other countries, they said.

While presenting the by-product production process, a KSRM official said the company installed APCS in accordance with Department of Environment (DoE) guidelines. “Thanks to the APCS, we stop the contaminated smoke produced during the melting of scrap metal in induction furnaces and blow it through the ducts where the magmatic dust is separated and the purified air is released into the environment” , did he declare.

“BSRM, Abul Khair and other steel rolling mills have also set up APCS which regularly produces industrial black smoke by-products,” he added.

When contacted, Chattogram Division DoE Director Mofidul Alam said, “If all industries in the city would install such an APCS, air pollution would be significantly reduced.”

The exports of the by-products will open a new door for obtaining foreign exchange which will strengthen the country’s economy, he added.

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