The GBB Power Limited, a power generation company, is going to start tea business through establishing a new company named GBB Tea Estate Limited.
The company will make equity investments in a 49 percent share of the GBB Tea Estate.
However, it has not been finalised yet about how much equity will be invested. The company's board of directors will buy 150-200 acres of land in Umarpur of Panchagarh for tea cultivation.
The company will spend Tk15-20 crore for purchasing the land.
SM Hedaitul Islam, company secretary of the GBB Power, made the statements while talking to The Business Standard.
According to the Bangladesh Tea Board, 5.31 crore kilogram of tea was produced in 2001. Of this amount, the local demand was 3.69 crore kg while 1.29 crore kg tea, amounting to Tk89.49 crore, was exported.
In the last 17 years, local demand has increased by a 145 percent to 9.04 crore kg. But the export decreased by 95 percent to 6 lakh kg. In 2018, the total earning from the tea export was Tk20.39.
During this time, tea production increased by 55 percent to 8.21 crore kg. The Bangladesh Tea Board expects the production will exceed 9 crore kg this year.
Tea production increased by 2 percent each year during the period. At the same time, the demand increased by 3.23 percent. As the production was lower than the demand, there was a deficit in supply in the local market, according to the Bangladesh Tea Board.
According to a report by the London-based International Tea Committee, a total of 610.11 crore kg of tea is produced in the world per year. China is the highest producer of tea whereas India stands second. Kenya and Sri Lanka hold the third and fourth position respectively. Bangladesh is the ninth in tea production. Bangladesh is the 62nd in exporting tea.
At present, prices of different categories of tea have decreased in Bangladesh. The price of the best quality of tea has decreased from Tk250 to Tk220 per kg. The price of average quality has decreased from Tk245 to Tk205, and the price of medium quality tea has decreased from Tk242 to TK190.
According to the Bangladesh Tea Board, the commercial tea production started in 1854 in Malinichara Tea Garden in Sylhet.
At present, there are 166 registered tea gardens in Bangladesh. Of which, 91 are in Moulovibazar, 25 in Habiganj, 19 in Sylhet, 22 in Chattogram, seven in Panchagarh, two are Rangamati and one is in Thakurgaon. The total area of all these gardens is 2,79,439 acres.
GBB Power plant to shut in 2023
The GBB Power has a 20-megawatt power plant in Bogura. The plant started in 2008 with an agreement for 15 years with the Bangladesh Power Development Board. The agreement will end in 2023. The Bangladesh Power Development Board is not renewing the term of any quick rental based power plant.
In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the GBB Power sold electricity worth Tk54.75 crore which was Tk54.99 crore in the previous year.
However, the net profit of the company decreased by 19 percent. In the last fiscal year, the net profit of the company was Tk7.69 crore and the earning per share (EPS) was Tk0.76. In the previous year, the net profit was Tk9.69 crore and the EPS was Tk0.94.
In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the company provided 10 percent in cash dividend to its shareholders. The next annual general meeting of the company will be held on December 18.
In the 2017-18 fiscal year, the company did not provide any dividend to its shareholders though it made a net profit of Tk10 crore.
At the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the profit of the GBB Power increased by 15 percent. During this time, the net profit of the company was Tk3 crore and the EPS was Tk0.30. In the previous year, the net profit was Tk2.61 crore and the EPS was Tk0.26.
GBB Power was listed with the share market in 2012 with a paid-up capital of Tk101.8 crore. The closing price of its share was Tk15.40 in the Dhaka Stock Exchange on Monday.
In last one year, the lowest price of its share was Tk8.60 and the highest price was Tk16.90.