The United Kingdom (UK) has stepped up its efforts to help the Ledwood Engineering, a British marine equipment-maker, win the contract for supplying nine dredgers for the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Agency (BIWTA).
The British High Commission in Dhaka has been active to convince the government top brass about what it dubbed the "excellent offer" of the Ledwood Engineering Limited for a Tk 3.91 billion project.
The UK mission is currently pushing the Shipping Ministry for bagging the deal on behalf of Ledwood for the procurement of nine dredgers for the state-run inland water transport agency.
The purchase of dredgers is one of major components of the project titled "Procurement of nine dredgers and ancillary equipment to maintain navigability of inland waterways".
Reiterating its continued support for Ledwood's bid for the contract, the mission said it wants "a positive decision" from the Ministry of Shipping, as the latter is finalising the project document for the approval of the cabinet committee on government purchase.
"This office hereby reiterates its continued support for Ledwood's bid for this contract. Ledwood's offer is excellent, in both technical and financial terms," says Head of Trade and Investment Clifford Bebb in a recent letter to the shipping minister.
The mission also forwarded another letter from the Ledwood detailing its offers, both technical and financial.
The Ledwood's finance package comprises an 85 per cent loan to be supported by the UK's Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) and another 15 percent "additional loan". The package offered by the BNP Paribus, France's second largest lender, is exclusive to the Ledwood.
The rate of interest offered by the company is: the fixed interest rate is 2.02 per cent for 85 per cent of the total price while 15.47 per cent, known as floating interest rate, for the residual 15 per cent.
In case of repayment schedule, the government will have to repay 85 per cent of the loan in 12 years while 15 per cent in four years.
The company made it clear that its contract price is negotiable.
Earlier in October, the British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury requested the Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman to consider the loan proposal of the Ledwood.