DHAKA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — Chinese-built factory has begun manufacturing concrete sleepers for a mega rail link project in Bangladesh connecting to the country’s largest Padma bridge which was also being constructed by Chinese firms.
Built by the China Railway Group Limited (CREC), a world-leading construction conglomerate, the assembly work of the sleeper factory, the first of its kind in Bangladesh, was completed on Aug. 22 when it started production on a small scale.
Bangladeshi Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan Wednesday formally inaugurated the factory at a ceremony in the country’s Faridpur district, some 101 km away from the capital Dhaka.
The completion of the factory to make concrete sleepers for the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project (PBRLP), which will greatly contribute to the region’s connectivity, has been achieved despite the impact of COVID-19 in the country.
The 170-km PBRLP is one of the most significant projects under construction by the CREC. The project, with a cost of more than 3 billion U.S. dollars, has been over 80 percent funded by Exim Bank of China. The project will greatly promote regional connectivity and economic development.
Officials said 370,000 sleepers are expected to be produced from this factory for the tracks of the PBRLP.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming congratulated in a letter the CREC officials on helping establish the concrete sleeper manufacturing factory.
Wang Kun, PBRLP project director of the CREC, expressed his gratitude to the Bangladesh Ministry of Railway and other agencies which supported their efforts in timely completion of the factory.
He said the CREC has taken adequate measures to ensure health and life safety of Bangladeshi and Chinese employees working for the factory.
The sleeper factory is able to independently produce more than a dozen kinds of sleepers including 1,676 mm ballasted broad gauge (BG) sleeper, ballast-less broad gauge sleeper and dual gauge sleeper, which are currently used in Bangladesh.
The factory covers an area of 1.815 acres, with 104 sets of moulds, 16 stations, six steam curing pits and two sky cranes put into use.
All the equipment is provided by the CREC, and is tailored for Bangladesh railway construction, combining Asian and European standards, with an average daily capacity of more than 500 sleepers.