Dr. M Muinul Hafiz
MBBS, DAND, DLO, MS
Today is 12th July, our 37th Foundation Day. I convey my heartfelt felicitations to our distinguished Stake Holders, Well-wishers and to the members of our United Group family on this auspicious day.
Alhamdulillah, as you know, last year was quite significant for the Group to grow further in our business arena. Power generation and distribution, the prime mover sector of the Group, has achieved another landmark. By the grace of Almighty, our 195 MW Modular Combined Cycle Power Plant in Ashuganj, Brahmanbaria commenced its commercial operations on 8th May 2015 that was well ahead of time. In this project, we achieved two new benchmarks in the power sector of the country. One, it is the first power plant in PPP protocol in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh. Second, this plant has cogeneration facility that employs a Waste Heat Recovery Boiler with each engine generating set resulting in an additional 16 MW power generation through steam turbine, thereby requiring less fuel consumption. With this unique plant, our power generation capacity now stands precisely at 699 MW. With several new power projects under active consideration, this capacity is expected to show a marked increase in the near future.
Let me also have the pleasure to inform you that United Power Generation and Distribution Co. Ltd. (UPGD) which was listed in the capital market last year has successfully commenced its trading in both Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges from 5 April 2015 and, by the grace of Allah, it is doing good.
We are about to create another landmark in Dhaka City with our part-owned ‘Airport Hotel & Retail Project’, a mega undertaking just adjacent to the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. The project includes a 5 star hotel, a 4 star hotel, a 03 million sq ft mega shopping mall, a banquet hall and finest quality commercial spaces with 2000 car parking facility. It is being designed to offer the best accommodation, shopping & entertainment experience to business travelers, tourists and locals alike. Besides 50% owning, United Group is developing this complex with its in-house Construction Company. I am particularly thankful to Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, the Vice Chairman of the Group for managing this gigantic project almost single handedly.
I am particularly happy to let you know that we are further diversifying our business. We are opening a Textile Division for the Group named Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) Industrial City Ltd. at Sylhet city on a vast area of more than 100 acre. This new enterprise will encompass full range of textile manufacturing activity: spinning to fabric to apparel making including dyeing. The first unit in our planning list is the spinning unit of 100,000 spindle made up of European machinery, accessories and utilities. Hopefully, the next would be a Knit Composite Unit of 10 to 15 ton capacity per day producing top of the line knit garments including lingerie. Ground breaking ceremony is awaiting Eid ul Fitr. It will go into commercial operation by 2016 In sha Allah.
In the Administrative Sector, you must be knowing by now that we are in the process of shifting our Corporate Office to Gulshan Centre Point by mid-August 2015. To my mind, this is also going to be a temporary arrangement. We hope to move finally to the United City, probably the last move for the first generation Directors. However, this new set up is going to be one of the most decent and modern offices in the country with contemporary office management system. Our aim is to provide best possible office environment to our employees so that they can give their best. I would expect that all Executives and Staff would do their best to live up to the standard that we want to maintain.
On the Employee Welfare issue, besides our in vogue welfare facilities, we have reframed our Insurance Policy this year to broaden its umbrella to cover the employee’s family as well. To do that, we had to bring the matter under in-house administration rather than the Insurance Company. It has already been put into practice. I am sure, it will ensure best utilization of money for best of the benefits of our employees. In the same note, let me also put some light on our in-hand Executive Residential Complex, another landmark Employee Welfare project on which we had been working for quite some time. Happily, we are informing you that, having completed all our preparatory works, we are now set to commence its construction works in this winter In sha Allah.
On the public welfare sector, ‘United Trust’, our social welfare wing, has substantially increased its social development activities in the area of “Rural Education”, “Health and Sanitation” and “Poverty Alleviation”. At the moment, it closely patronizes 37 education institutions and provides scholarships to more than 50 poor but meritorious students per year. In healthcare side, last year, it provided outdoor services to over 48,000, operated 1700 cataract patients, provided tube-wells and toilets to over 200 families and “Interest Free Micro-Credit” to over 1000 poor families. It also trained and helped in earning livelihood for more than 600 persons. Our aim is to increase the number of beneficiaries by 10 to 15% every year In sha Allah.
Finally, On behalf of the Management, I wish you the very best on this solemn occasion. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon us all. Ameen.