Bangladesh pursuing US$9bn in loans for bridge projects

The Bengali government wants to build five bridges with the help of New Development Bank (NDB) loans as it awaits its first financing agreement from the group since joining membership in 2021

The Padma Bridge. The Padma Bridge in Bangladesh. (Image: Adobe Stock)

Bangladesh-based news entity The Business Standard reported that five bridge projects – totalling Bangladesh Tk17,500 crore (US$8.9 billion) – would be serviced by the financing agreements.

The two largest projects include a bridge to connect the mainland near Barishal and Bhola district, and another to link Paturia with Daulatdia over the Padma River.

At present, a ferry provides transportation services over this 3.3km section of the Padma. The country’s largest bridge is located roughly 60-km southeast of the proposed location of the second Padma bridge.

Bangladesh and the NDB

The country joined NDB membership in 2021 along with the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Egypt. The multilateral development bank was established by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and is formerly known as the BRICS Development Bank.

NDB’s VP and COO, Vladimir Kazbekov, along with an NDB delegation, made the group’s inaugural visit to Bangladesh late last month. The NDB said that, “Discussions primarily focused on advancing infrastructural development across various economic sectors.”

The five bridge projects represent a fraction of what the country was seeking across all departments and agencies. In addition to the five bridge projects, a new water supply build in Dhaka and utility work in Narayanganj are budgeted at US$760 million.

All told, Bangladesh has an estimated US$23 billion worth of loans it is seeking from NBD, according to The Business Standard.

Bangladesh has yet to obtain a loan from NBD since joining membership in 2021, though two proposals are in the final stages. NBD, it was reported, expect to provide $4.5 billion for the country over the next five years. The investments would focus on infrastructure development.

NDB extends loans to member countries focusing on these six sectors: clean energy and energy efficiency, transport, infrastructure, water and sanitation, environmental protection, social infrastructure, and digital infrastructure.

Second Padma Bridge

The building of a second bridge on the Padma River will certainly draw the attention of both Bengali residents in the area and a host of international construction companies.

The construction of the first Padma River bridge was a decades-long saga that began in the 1970s but was not completed until 2022.

Ultimately, the Bangladesh government funded most of the US$3.6 billion scheme through its central budget. Construction finally began in 2016 and was inaugurated and opened in 2022. The bridge is currently the largest in the country.


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]