An Overview of the Textile Chemical Sector in Bangladesh

An Overview of the Chemical Sector in Bangladesh

Md. Jasimuddin Mandal
Dyeing manager, PC Colour Soft Fabric Pvt. Ltd, Calcutta, India
Mazharul Islam Kiron  
Chief Editor, Textile Learner Blog

In this study we have attempted to consider the various types of textile chemicals and other chemicals which are used in Bangladesh mostly. Here we show the present conditions of the textile chemicals in Bangladesh and also in world scenario. We consider the list of textile chemicals which are used in Bangladesh and their suppliers name and list. We also highlighted strength, weakness and overall challenge of textile chemical industry in Bangladesh. In this report contain a very clear knowledge about the scope of the textile chemicals business in Bangladesh.

The textile industry has played an important role in Bangladesh’s economic for a long time. Country textile industry in Bangladesh accountants for 45% of all industrial employment and contributes 5% to the total national income. A huge 78% of country’s exports earnings come from textiles and apparels sector, according to largest figures available. The textile private sector in the country is the fastest growing sector in Bangladesh. So the future of textile industry of Bangladesh is very bright. Combined the textile and apparel sectors consist of around 4000 firms. The textile industry is one of the largest in Bangladesh and is still expanding.

The textile industry is a chemicals based industry. There are different types of chemicals needed in the process of different types of textile processing steps. So chemicals play a vital role in textile industry specially wet processing factory.

Like textile, pharmaceutical sector has a great future. The pharmaceutical sector is widely regarded as a “hi-tech” industry, is a most developed among the manufacturing in the Bangladesh. Roughly 250 companies are operating in the market. So there are various types of chemicals used in this sector. Also there are so many chemicals are used in different industrial areas at present stage.

The Dyestuff sector is one of the important segments of the chemical industry in Bangladesh, having forward and backward linkages with a variety of sectors like textiles, leather, paper, plastics, printing inks and foodstuffs. The textile industry accounts for the largest consumption of dyestuffs at nearly 70%.

Objects of the Study:
The main objective of this study as follows:
  1. Prospect and challenges of basic chemicals industries in Bangladesh
  2. Segments of chemicals
  3. Present situation of chemicals sectors in Bangladesh
  4. Chemicals used in different industries area in Bangladesh
  5. Justification for setting up the basic chemicals project
  6. Factors to consider when staring a manufacturing plant or a business
  7. Present condition of global chemicals industries
  8. Market demand to set up a chemicals business
  9. To identify the problems and prospects in different areas of chemicals sectors.
  10. To investigate the potential problem & prospects in chemical business.
  11. To introduce initial policy adopt appropriate direction to overcome the problem in order to regime of globalization.
  12. To find out the textile chemical market research.
  13. To increase the potentialities of chemical business.
  14. List of chemicals suppliers and manufacturer of Bangladesh
Different Chemical Names and Their Uses:
Chemicals are the most important ingredients of the wet process based industry. Textile wet processing industry can’t imagine without chemicals. Without textile industry, chemicals also widely used in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, papers, cements, fertilizers, paints, plastics etc. Different chemicals used for different manufacturing process. Mostly used chemicals in textiles and other industries are summarized below:

Caustic Soda:

One of the main basic chemical is caustic soda. Its chemical name is Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). It is an industrial product. Different industries use Caustic Soda as raw material. We name here few of the large consuming industries of Caustic Soda consumption such as Soap, glass, drugs, paper & pulp, textiles, leather, sugar, WTP and ETP etc.

Hydrogen Peroxide:
Our main basic chemical is Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). Market size in our country is ever bigger like caustic soda. Textile, Dyeing, medicine, pharmaceuticals, cleaning agent, pulp and paper etc Industries use Hydrogen Peroxide in huge quantity.

Acetic Acid:
This acid is widely used in textile wet processing industry for neutralization of fabric. And also used to obtain acidic condition in dyeing solution.

Hydrochloric Acid:
In the process of producing Caustic Soda we get Hydrogen (H2) and Chlorine (Cl2) as bi product. We will make very good use of H2 and Cl2 to produce different bi products. One bi product that we have decided to produce is Hydrochloric acid. It is used in textile industry, metal industry, effluent treatment plant, pharmaceutical industries, leather industries and many other industries.

Stable Bleaching Powder (SBP):
It is a very useful chemical. Not only domestic customers use this chemical. It is used in textile industry, pulp and paper industries and washing plant. Hospitals, WASA etc. organization use stable bleaching powder in bulk quantity. It has domestic use for cleaning houses, toilets and other places.

Chlorinated Paraffin Wax (CPW):
This product is used to produce inflammable plastic. Plastic product does not produce flame rather it melts. This product is used in PVC industries and in cable factories. Fire from electric short circuit is very common in our country. Production of electric cable with CPW will help to reduce the risk of electric short circuit.

Without above these, sulfuric acid, different washing chemicals, sequestering agents, softening agents, different stabilizer widely used in dyeing industry.

Global Scenario:
Global chemical industry is estimated to be USD 3.5 trillion and considered one of the fastest growing sectors of the manufacturing industry. The base chemicals form the largest segment accounting for 45% of the total industry, followed by pharmaceuticals accounting for 27%, specialty chemicals attributing 22% followed by bio-technology and agro-chemicals at 5% and 1%, respectively. Of these specialty chemicals are expected to grow at a faster pace in the next few years in comparison to their global counterparts.

Market Demand:
According to “Feed Mill Industry in Bangladesh: Business Report 2012” the chemical industry in the country by identifying key market players, (including major producers, traders, etc), as well as evaluating foreign economic relations within the sector in the last three years.
The textile wet processing industry is a chemicals based industry. Different types of chemicals need in the process of different types of textile processing steps. So chemicals play a vital role in textile industry.

There are number of company or suppliers supply the chemicals in the Bangladesh, Some of their Bangladeshi suppliers and some of their foreigner company. So there is a vast market demand in textile chemicals.

This market research report offers a perspective on the actual market situation, trends and future outlook for chemical in Bangladesh. The study provides essential market information for decision-makers including:

The Textile Industry – a Chemical Intensive Sector:
More textiles than ever are now manufactured and used, and chemicals are added for an ever increasing number of purposes. And these chemicals do indeed offer certain benefits. They can, for example, make the manufacturing processes easier and endow the final products with a specific function or a particular desirable appearance. These textiles may, for example, be greenhouse fabrics that reflect the sun, flameproof furniture fabrics, durable airbags for vehicles, color-coordinated bath towels, hard-wearing sweaters or work wear that effectively withstands moisture and dirt. Without chemicals it would almost be impossible to produce modern textiles.

Chemicals are Used in Manufacturing:
In comparison with other countries, the volume of textiles manufactured in Bangladesh is big.

Chemicals for Cultivation and Manufacturing:
The manufacturing of textiles from fiber to finished product takes place in several stages, and chemicals are involved in many processes. Traditional cultivation of cotton requires large quantities of pesticides, several of which are hazardous to human health or the environment. No chemical pesticides, commercial fertilizers or genetically modified organisms are used in organic cotton cultivation. A number of chemicals are used in manufacturing in textile factories, such as lubricant oils in spinning and knitting and adhesives that strengthen and protect the threads in weaving.

Chemicals for Color and Shape:
Different materials have different properties, and the origin of the fiber has a significant bearing on what chemicals are used. Substances to increase absorption capacity and reduce shrinkage, for example, are used in the manufacturing of cotton fabrics. To make the textile white, bleaches and optical brighteners are used. A number of different dyes and dyeing methods are used to obtain the desired color and color-fastness, and chemicals are added so that the dyeing process will work. Coatings of plastic and rubber are sometimes used to bring about patterns, make the fabric watertight or achieve other effects. These materials may contain plasticisers such as phthalates, which are hazardous to health. Many of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process are rinsed out using detergents and water. Some substances are broken down or are dealt with in wastewater treatment, while others reach watercourses. Residual levels of manufacturing chemicals may sometimes remain in the finished products.

Segments of Chemicals Industry:
The industry includes a wide variety of products from commodity chemicals to research driven specialized products. On a broader base, the industries can be divided into three categories, namely basic, specialty and knowledge based. The main industries under each head are as follows:

Basic Chemicals Industries in Bangladesh belong to mainly Chlor-Alkali Plant & its Chlorinated product and Hydrogen peroxide plant. Main products are being produced from these basic chemicals Industries are Caustic Soda (NaOH), Chlorine (Cl2), Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl), Stable Bleaching Powder (SBP), Chlorinated Paraffin Wax (CPW) and Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2).

Textile Chemicals Importers & Suppliers in Bangladesh:
There are a number of companies or agents import chemicals from abroad and supply chemical door to door in textile industry. Among them half of unknown because they don’t have government license. So they are out of list. Here is given a list of top chemical importers and suppliers in Bangladesh.

Spectra Dye-Chem
Address: 5/2, Block A, (1st floor) Lalmatia,Dhaka – 1207

Dysin-chem Limited
Address: Skylark Point, (3rd floor), 24/A, Bijoy Nagar, 175, Shohid Syed Nazrul Islam Soronee, Dhaka – 1000

Address: RANG, 114 North Chashara, (Mamtaj Bhaban) 3rd Floor,Narayanganj – 1400

Imperial International Ltd.
Address: Bangladesh masjid Mission Complex Central Mosque, Katabon, New Elephant Road, Dhaka – 1000

OMI Colour Chem Corporation
Address :15, Purana Paltan, (4th floor)
City Dhaka – 1000

Asiatic Chemical Agencies
Address :Aziz Bhaban, 93, Motijheel C/A, (9th floor)
City Dhaka – 1000

Daewoo International Corporation
Address :House # 33, Kemal Attuek Avenue, SMC Tower (7th floor)
City Dhaka – 1213

Sulaiman and Sons
Address :Hossain Mainsion, 77/1, Begum Bazar
City Dhaka – 1000

Diamond Gas Co.
Address : 9/2, New Secretariate Road, Fulbaria,
Dhaka – 1000

Panorama International
Address: Aziz Co-Operative Super Market, Room # 61-62, (2nd Floor), Shahbag, 
Dhaka – 1000


Address: Red Crescent Chamber, (Ground floor), 87, Motijheel C/A,
Dhaka – 1000

Swiss Colours Bangladesh Limited.

Address: Ahmed Tower (3rd floor), House # 54/1, Road # 4/A, New Dhanmondi R/A,
Dhaka – 1209

Cotton Group
Address:IMP Plaza, 14, Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Banani
City Dhaka – 1213

JNZ Chemi Enterprise
Address : 51/1, VIP Tower, (13th floor), VIP Road, Nayapaltan
City Dhaka – 1000

Textile Agencies and Trade Ltd.

Address:House # 18, Road # 4, Block-C, Banani
City Dhaka

Al-Amin Traders
Address :37, Sayed Awalad Hosaain Lane, Islampur
City Dhaka – 1100

Goodnather Cable Industries
Address :163, Nobabpur Road (1st Floor)
City Dhaka – 1000

Trade Aid

Address :55, Motijheel C/A
City Dhaka – 1000

Colour Quest Ltd.
Address :43, Dilkusha C/A, (2nd floor)
City Dhaka – 1000

Daffodil Intentional
Address :78, Motijheel (9th floor)
City Dhaka – 1000

Harris & Menuk (Pvt.) Ltd.
Address :House # 8, Road # 19/A, Banani
City Dhaka

Dolphin Enterprise
Address :106, Islampur Road, M. R. Bhababn (2nd floor), Islampur
City Dhaka – 1100

Isamail & Company
Address :3, Zindabahar 1st Lane, Islampur
City Dhaka – 1100

Molla Chemical Co.
Address :32/1, Nababpur
City Dhaka – 1100

Sonarwar Hossain & Co.
Address :12, A. C. Roy Road, Armanitola
City Dhaka – 1100

Sunny Adhesive Co.
Address : Samsuddin Mainsion (5th floor), 17, New Eskaton Road, Bara Mogh Bazar,City Dhaka - 1000

Tanisha Trading Corporation
Address : Mohammady Housing Society, Dhaka Bangladesh

Golden Chemical Company
Address : Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh

List of Chemical Manufacturers Company:
In case of chemical, Bangladesh is fully dependable on foreign chemical companies. Every year Bangladesh import huge amount chemicals from foreign company. A large number of company supply chemical in Bangladesh. We highlighted only top company, they export in Bangladesh.
  1. Dyestar (Germany).
  2. Swiscolor (Switzerland)
  3. Merk (Germany)
  4. Clariant (Switzerland)
  5. Kisko-kyunin synthetic corporation (Korea)
  6. Novozymes (Denmark)
  7. Britacel (India)
  8. Merk (India)
  9. Lova (India)
  10. Denge
  11. Global chemicals (China)
  12. Tian huiquan fine chemical co. ltd. (Korea)
  13. Huntsman
  14. Bangpoo chemicals (Thailand)
  15. Pure Chemicals (India)
Results and Discussion:
Bangladesh chemical industry is of key importance from the point of view of domestic industries i.e. it caters to various industries and has a high potential of growth in the Bangladesh market. So far because of high demand in the domestic market itself, most of the chemical producers were focused on meeting domestic demand rather than exports. The export prospects are also seemed to be good in the light of the fact that Asian region is increasingly emerging as a larger producer as well as consumer of chemical products.

With opportunities in manufacturing, distribution and exports beckoning entrepreneurs, the textile chemicals business is witnessing buoyant growth. However, some entry barriers could spoil the party for new entrants. The country’s textile sector has been witnessing sharp growth over the last decade. Textile manufacturing and trade plays a pivotal role in the economy, and brings in over 25% of the total foreign exchange through exports. According to government estimates, the textiles and clothing sector pitches in about 3% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). With the rise in income levels, the demand for high-quality textiles for apparel, furnishings, upholstery and floor coverings has gone up substantially. This, in turn, has led to the increase in demand for textile chemicals.

A host of business opportunities exists for entrepreneurs in this space. Manufacturing is one big area, given that Bangladesh’s position as an excellent manufacturing hub is gaining more credence among multinational players. A number of foreign companies have entered the Bangladesh market through mergers and acquisitions. They are using the country as a base to produce textile chemicals at costs much lower than in their parent country. Also, the huge domestic consumption of such chemicals in Bangladesh is a big lure for these companies.

We can highlight some points for consuming more:

After the development of product the essential step company face first is the marketing. It means creating value for the customer and building up strong relationship with customer.

The event in which accompany or firm sends its goods or services from one country to another in exchange of money is most case is referred as exporting.

The event in which a firm or company brings goods or services from one country to another in exchange of money can be termed as importing.

Human Resources:

Every organization recruits human resources as the prime mover and development of the business. Chemical business are not an except of that because they also believe that human resources are the most valuable asset for the organizations. Entrepreneurship which leads to innovation and creativity transformed in to new products, services &new way of doing things .Pharmaceuticals believe in decentralization, job enrichment & job rotation in border to provide warm and effective working environment form bottom to the top for the employee.

Training and Development:

Any instruction provided to the employee for a current job from which a quick feed- back is attained by the company is termed as training where the development refers to the promotion of skill of the executives to face the challenges of the competitive environment. For this reasons, they take part in various training which include industrial control and mechatronics, continuous improvement and changing behavior .presentation skills ,general guidelines of standard operating procedure ,sanitation.

Foreign Competition:
Quick delivery of good quality local product of consistent standard will be the essence of our marketing. End user industries at this stage are import dependent. If they want to maintain quality of their work they cannot purchase chemicals from local market. In most cases quality conscious end users directly import chemicals blocking big fund. Basic Chemicals production plants have substantial contribution to these customers.

When a company sells its goods or products at lower price thus that of current market price then dumping occur. Sometimes some Indian companies provide medicines at lower price in this country as a result dumping occurs in Bangladeshi market.

Industry Participant and Product Positioning:
Qualified Chemical Engineers and Chemists will have to recruit for marketing basic chemicals products. They will visit door to door of prospective customers to educate them to use local product. Side by side direct sale company will have distributor network to handle the products. Textile industries, pulp and paper industry, pharmaceuticals, Soap industry and some chemical industries will be our main focus. Executing with chemical background and marketing neck will be utilized to educate them the customer. We will arrange seminars and symposium to inform the prospective customers about our presence.

Challenge of Textile Chemical Sector in Bangladesh:
Presently the apparel export sector is multi-billion dollar manufacturing and export oriented industry in Bangladesh. The success of ready-made garment exports from the country over the last 30 years that has surpassed the most optimistic expectations. For continuation of this success backward linkage of textile apparel industry such as spinning, weaving, knitting and specially dyeing, printing and finishing should develop and proper orientation of these sectors. To properly operate of the dyeing, printing and finishing sector need proper chemical arrangement and distribution. But chemical sector is falling in some challenges.

Here are given some couple of challenges in chemical sectors:
  1. For Chlor-Alkali plant, more consumption of Cl2 is required to run the plant at design capacity. PVC plant is required to consume excess Cl2 from Chlor-alkali Plant.
  2. More water treatment plant to be made by WASA at the different area of the country to increase liquid Cl2 consumption.
  3. Cl2 can be used for de-coloring of dyeing waste colored water. In that case Liquid Cl2 consumption from Chlor- Alkali Plant will be increased. The treatment of wastewater with chlorine gas is a proven process and this was discarded primarily for high cost of chlorine gas. The situation is different in Bangladesh and the cost of chlorine here favors the adoption of this proven process. This process provides an opportunity for both the industry and DOE to perform in a Win-Win situation. Instead of being awkwardly insincere and dishonest with our mission to serve the nation and its people by ensuring a clean environment, both the parties should strive hard to operate ETPs for complying with ECR-97 requirements. The wastewater treatment with chlorine gas can make all the difference by doing something positive rather than being smart by doing nothing purposefully. Operating experiences reveal that the cost of chlorine consumed is very low compared to the chemicals and aids used previously. These industries are now eager and committed to operate ETPs. Satisfactory operation of ETPs would require monitoring of pH, TDS, color, odor and free chlorine so that the right dose of chlorination is employed. In some ETPs adjustment of pH before chlorination and after treatment may be required.
  4. FeCl3 and PAC (Poly Aluminium Chloride) industry to be made to increase liquid Chlorine consumption.
  5. Basic chemicals import should be stooped so that local production slow consumed chemicals like HCl, SBP, CPW plant will be running well.
  6. We have to make central ETP at different industrial area and HCl consumption should be increase to balance Cl2 from Chlor-Alkali Plant.
  7. Regeneration of resins of DM plant to be done by HCl instead of H2SO4.
  8. Now Basic Chemicals plants are suspending due to natural gas permission from the government
From this market research we have seen that there is a big condition to set up a textile chemicals business in Bangladesh. Chemicals business is very profitable business. Bangladesh chemical industry is of key importance from the point of view of domestic industries i.e. it caters to various industries and has a high potential of growth in the Bangladesh market. So far because of high demand in the domestic market itself, most of the chemical producers were focused on meeting domestic demand rather than exports. The export prospects are also seemed to be good in the light of the fact that Asian region is increasingly emerging as a larger producer as well as consumer of chemical products. However, due to lack of research and development, the Bangladesh industry lacks technical know-how and there are few Bangladesh companies in this field, which have attained global competency levels.

  1. Prospect and Challenges of Basic Chemicals Industries in Bangladesh –by Md. Sultan Salahuddin
  2. Business Analysis of Pharmaceutical Firms in Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects -by Md. Anamul Habib and Md. Zahedul Alam
  3. An Overview of the Pharmaceutical Sector in Bangladesh
  5. Indian Chemical Industry Report- 2011
  6. Feed Mill Industry in Bangladesh: Business Report 2012
Special Thanks to-
Rejwanul Alamgir, Noakhali Textile Engineering College
Sabbir Arefin Sharup, Primeasia University
Shirsendu Mukherjee, Calcutta University
Md. Asaduzzaman, Lab incharge, Divine Fabrics Ltd, Gazipur, Bangladesh
Aziz Khan, Asst. Production manager, Intramex, Gazipur, Bangladesh

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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