Shipping lines not transporting Bangladeshi hydrogen peroxide

Published : 14 Jun 2022 09:32 PM

The shipping line is in turmoil due to the massive casualties caused by the hydrogen peroxide explosion at the BM depot in Sitakunda.  Although hydrogen peroxide produced in Bangladesh is exported to different countries of the world, shipping lines are reluctant to transport it.  The Singapore Port Authority has also restricted the transportation of these goods due to space constraints.  As a result, the export of this chemical, which can be exported to at least 14 countries of the world, is likely to be stopped.  Due to non-shipping, these chemicals are now lying dangerously in various depots.

It is known that the hydrogen peroxide produced in Bangladesh is exported to 14 countries of the world including Vietnam, China, Korea, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, UAE and South Africa.  These chemical products are not being shipped due to the explosion at the BM container depot in Sitakunda.  Samuda Chemical Complex Ltd. took the shipment of hydrogen peroxide to OCL Container Depot in Chittagong for shipping, but the shipment of hydrogen peroxide at the BM Container Depot in Sitakunda went to Samuda Chemical due to explosion and fire.  Depot authorities e-mailed Samuda Chemical authorities last Wednesday to return shipments of hydrogen peroxide to the factory.  As a result, they have to bring the hydrogen peroxides back to the factory without exporting.  Every month, Samuda Chemicals exports about 4,000 metric tons of hydrogen peroxide.  The maximum price per ton is up to US 500 500.  As such, Samuda Chemical's exports US$ 2 million per month are in doubt.

Not only Samuda Chemicals, but also Tasnim Chemical Complex, SM Chemical Industries, HP Chemicals Limited and Infenia Chemical Company, the country's hydrogen peroxide exporters.  Al-Razi Chemical Complex, a subsidiary of BM Container Depot Owner, is also involved in the export of the product, which receives 10 per cent government funding.

 According to Bangladesh Inland Container Depot Association (BICDA) sources, 111 containers of hydrogen peroxide were trapped in four depots after the explosion and fire at BM Container Depot.  These products were supposed to be exported to different countries of the world through Chittagong port.  OCL Depot in Chattogram has 49 containers, Portlink Depot has 31 containers, Eastern Logistics has 24 containers and KNT has 7 containers of hydrogen peroxide. A 20-foot container is loaded with 20 tons of hydrogen peroxide.  One TEUS container contains US$ 10 thousand worth of goods at US$ 500 500 per ton.  Hydrogen peroxide is used in many sectors, including washing plants in the garment industry.

 Meanwhile, an explosion at a BM container depot from hydrogen peroxide has led to a loss of confidence in the export trade of the product;  Shipping lines are already showing reluctance to transport these goods from Bangladesh.

Traders say the hydrogen peroxide export sector is in dire straits after an accident at the BM depot.  If exports are completely cut off, traders in this sector will face losses, as well as negative effects on foreign exchange earnings.  This effect will be far-reaching in the export trade.  On the other hand, importers have also raised questions about hydrogen peroxide maintenance, safety and security at depots.

Mamunul Islam, a senior official at Samuda Chemicals, said, “Samuda Chemicals has been exporting hydrogen peroxide for the last 15 years.  The amount of export was increasing every year.  The BM container depot accident will have a very negative impact on the hydrogen peroxide export sector.  This effect has already begun to be felt.

Syed Mohammad Arif, clChairman of the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, said, the main line operators were reluctant to transport the goods from Bangladesh due to the explosion and fire caused by hydrogen peroxide at the BM container depot.  ONE, OOCL, Goldstar and other shipping lines have decided not to transport any container filled with hydrogen peroxide. On the other hand, the authorities of Singapore Cargo Yard have expressed reluctance to take hydrogen peroxide.  Authorities have instructed to limit shipments of hydrogen peroxide as safety and yard capacity are exceeded.  Following such directives, the path of export of hydrogen peroxide in Bangladesh has become more difficult.  The export goods that are transported from Bangladesh become transhipment ports like Singapore, Malaysia, various ports in Sri Lanka. Khandaker Masud Rana, Assistant Manager, Eastern Logistics, said, There is a meeting with all the depot authorities at the Custom House on Sunday.

 After that meeting, we will know what to do next.

Hydrogen peroxide produced in about 8 factories in Bangladesh is used in various factories in Bangladesh and is exported to 14 countries including Vietnam, China, Korea, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, UAE and South Africa.

 According to the Bangladesh Export Development Bureau, hydrogen peroxide exports amounted to 23.3 million in the 10 months from July to April of the 2021-22 fiscal year.  Exports in the first 10 months of the current financial year were 23 percent higher than the full period of the previous fiscal.

According to Chattogram Custom House, from June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2022, 11 companies exported one lakh 30 thousand 393 metric tons of hydrogen peroxide.  The taxable value of which was Tk 404 crore 31 lakh 66 thousand 855.

Syed Mohammad Arif, President of the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, said,  Temporarily the captains of the various ships of the main line operator, the port authorities do not want to carry the product.  I hope the issue will be resolved soon.

Hydrogen peroxide is shipped to 19 private ICDs before shipment, like readymade garments and other export products.  Ruhul Amin Sikder, secretary general of the Bangladesh Inland Container Depot Association, an organization of ICD owners said.