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    ENERGY BD
POWER
The government is moving ahead with a plan to open a $35 billion investment opportunity for private investors in the country’s power transmission sector. According to official sources in the Power Division, the private sector`s enormous success in power generation has prompted the government to invite them to invest in the transmission segment of the sector. The latest government statistics show the private sector’s contribution to power generation hit 11,057 MW representing 54.35percent while the public sector stands at 45.65 percent with its output of 9286 MW against the country`s total power generation of 20,343 MW. Power Division officials claimed this substantial growth has been possible due to a favourable investment policy offered by the government over the last one decade. “Seeing this great success, the government has now moved to unlock the investment scope for the private sector in the transmission segment as well,” Director General of the Power Cell Mohammad Hossain said. Power Cell, a technical wing of the Power Division, which is responsible for preparing policy guideline and implement reforms in the power sector, has already started framing the proposed guideline by accumulating a number of models now being followed by different countries in this regard. “We hope the guideline will be ready by January next,” said the Power Cell DG. Official sources said as part of the Power System Master Plan, 2016, the Power Division outlined a $35 billion investment potentials in the transmission segment up to 2041. As per the plan, the power transmission lines will be expanded to 36,870 kms across the country by 2041. Of the total grid transmission lines, 16,655 kms will be of 132 kV while 9,717 kms of 230 kV, 1,740 kms of 400 kV and 796 kms of 765 kV, according to officials at the Power Division. According to the Power Cell statistics, the total length of transmission lines at present are 11,123 kms covering all over Bangladesh. Of this, 132 kV transmission lines are 7,082 kms while 230 kV 3,343 kms and 400 kV lines are 698 kms. Until now, there is no 765 kV line anywhere in the country. Power Division officials informed that a good number of foreign and local firms lined up with the government by placing their offers to express their intention for investment in the transmission segment. They said that the transmission segment is coming into focus because of the government strategy to keep the power generation momentum continued until 2041 when electricity generation is planned to reach about 60,000 MW. Power Division officials said the government envisioned a total of $216 billion investment in three segments of power sector—generation, transmission and distribution—up to 2041 from 2017. Of this, it requires $150 billion in generation, $35 billion in transmission and $31 billion in distribution. But so far the private investment is allowed only in generation segment while transmission and distribution segments are not opened for private investors. With new policy guidelines coming into place, the transmission segment will be opened for private investors. Mohammad Hossain noted that private sector`s involvement in transmission segment is a little bit sensitive as national security is involved in the sector. But overcoming the security concerns, many countries including neighbouring India has allowed private investment in transmission segment.”The investment could be in private-public partnership (PPP) as well.” Power Division additional secretary RahmatUllah Mohammad Dastagir in a recent presentation to a group of Chinese investor said the country needs an average $9 billion investment in power sector each year up to 2041. Welcoming the government`s move for allowing private sector in the transmission segment, Imran Karim, vice president of Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association (BIPPA), said the new scope will definitely encourage the private investors to continue their contribution in the country`s power sector development. "Without a strong support from the state, it was not possible for the private sector producers to reach the milestone in power generation." According to BIPPA, the private sector has invested about $12 billion over the last 10 years by setting up more than 50 power plants. BIPPA leaders said they have now planned to invest $50 billion in the next 12 years to keep up the private sector`s participation in power sector development. The private investors want to invest as independent power producers (IPPs) as well as private partners via the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative to set up at least 55 plants to generate some 12,000 MW of power or more.
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COAL
NUCLEAR
Dhaka and Moscow have signed a protocol to bring amendments to an agreement signed by both sides on development of Rooppur nuclear power plant. On sideline of the 62nd General Conference of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) being held in Vienna Bangladesh and Russia signed the protocol on September 17. In a statement on Tuesday, Russian state atomic energy agency Rosatom said the protocol was signed to bring in some amendments in the intergovernmental agreement signed on November 2, 2010 on partnership in construction of a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. It also said Bangladesh can now involve Russia in developing physical protection systems for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. Architect Yeafesh Osman, Minister for Science and Technology, Government of Bangladesh and Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom signed the Protocol on behalf of their respective governments. The protocol provides for the possibility of involving a specialized Russian company in designing and installation of physical protection system for the main and auxiliary facilities of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. The Protocol also includes the clause saying that all the safety and security measures to ensure physical protection of the nuclear power plant to be taken in accordance with the requirements and guidelines of IAEA. Rooppur NPP with two VVER-1200 reactors, each of 1,200 MW capacity is being constructed by Atomstroyexport (ASE), Engineering Division of Rosatom under strict monitoring by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA).    Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP) with two VVER-1200 reactors, each of 1,200 MW capacity is being constructed according to Russian design, at Ishwardi of Pabna district, 160 km from Dhaka. In accordance with the General Contract signed on December 25, 2015 Atomstroyexport (Engineering Division of Rosatom) is implementing the project as the General Contractor. The Russian VVER-1200 reactors that is selected for the first NPP in Bangladesh, was successfully set up at Unit No 1 of Novovoronezh NPP-2, said the statement.
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GAS
The first LNG terminal under the initiative of private sector is likely to start commercially by March this year. The terminal is being constructed at Moheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar by the Summit LNG Terminal Company (Private) Limited, a concern of the Summit Group. Even though the terminal has the capacity to supply 500 million cubic feet of gas per day, it will be able to supply 250 million cubic feet because of the lack of installed pipeline, said a Petrobangla official. The new terminal of Summit is going to be launched six month after the first LNG terminal started supplying LNG to the national grid. ANM Tariqur Rashid, Managing Director of the Summit LNG Terminal Company Private Limited told energynewsbd.com that working on offshore location is always very risky and it is hard to envisage anything before the completion of the work. “We however hope to start our commercial activity in the terminal by March,” said Rashid. Summit Group signed two separate contracts with Energy and Mineral Resources Division and Petrobangla in April 20, 2017. As per the contracts, the Summit LNG Terminal Company Private Limited will construct the terminal along with a nine kilometer long pipeline under the sea. After operating the terminal for 15 years, Summit will hand over the terminal to Petrobangla. Under the LNG terminal project, Summit will supply gas to Gas Transmission Company Limited after converting the LNG into gas in the floating storage re-gasification unit (FSRU). Petrobangla will have to pay 45 cent (Tk 37) per million BTU to Summit. GTCL meanwhile will supply the gas to the national grid. The annual target of re-gasification in the terminal is 3.5 million ton. The initial estimated cost of the project is 500 million US dollar. Japan based Mitsubishi Corporation has already purchased 25 percent of the under construction terminal. The construction of the terminal started in the end of 2017. Earlier, for the construction of the terminal, Summit signed a 100 million US dollar turnkey contract with the marine contractor consortium Geocean SAS and MacGregor. Under the contract, the two organisations are working on the design, engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation and testing of the LNG storage and re-gasification terminal in Moheshkhali of Cox’s Bazaar.
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PETROLEUM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were jointly inaugurating the construction of 130-km Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline between Siliguri in West Bengal and Parbatipur in Dinajpur on Tuesday. They opened the work on the oil pipeline through videoconferencing. Sheikh Hasina attended the videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban while Narendra Modi from his office in New Delhi, according to a report of UNB. About the pipeline, the Prime Minister said the 130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline from Shiliguri to Parbatipur in Bangladesh is a new milestone in the history of cooperation between the two countries. “This will be the first such pipeline through which refined diesel will be supplied to Parbatipur depot from Numaligarh of Assam in India,” she said. The Prime Minister mentioned that Bangladesh will initially receive 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel per annum and it will gradually be increased to 4 lakh tonnes. She also said the first consignment of diesel from India reached Bangladesh in March 2016 through rail wagons. Hasina expressed her gratitude to her Indian counterpart for his active role in implementing these projects. Referring to her inauguration together with Modi of the supply of 500MW electricity and two railway projects on September 10 and today’s joint projects, the Prime Minister said, “This intermittent contact between us, I believe, will further cement the ties of cooperation between Bangladesh and India.” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two countries implemented a number of projects within a short time which are the symbols of good relations between the two countries. Modi said these projects have initiated a new chapter in the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India. “It’ll play a significant role in Bangladesh`s development as fuel oil could be supplied to the northern region at a low cost,” he said. Currently, imported oil is stored in Chattogram depot after unloading it from the ship at Chattogram Port. Later, the oil is brought to Khulna Doulatpur depot through coastal tanks and carried to Parbatipur again through rail wagons. This requires additional time and money as well as transport. The pipeline will solve these problems. Through the cross-border pipeline, India will supply fuel oil from its Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL), located at Golaghat in the northeastern state of Assam, while Bangladesh will receive the oil at Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in Dinajpur. India will supply 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel in the first three years. The import of fuel through the pipeline will be raised further as per the requirements of Bangladesh. The NRL will distribute diesel for 15 years through the pipeline and the time could be expanded following the consent of both sides. Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushama Swaraj and Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Prodhan also spoke on the occasion.  
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LPG
Bangladesh and Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) agreed on Thursday to conduct a feasibility study on setting up a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal in the country, a Dhaka-based official said. “Today we held talks with the ENOC delegation and decided to conduct a feasibility study for a joint venture project to build an LPG terminal,” said Sayed Mohammad Mozammel Haque, a director of state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation. “This is a positive step. After the study, we will finalise the capacity for the terminal and other related things,” he told Reuters after the meeting in Dhaka. Bangladesh currently imports LPG mostly from Oman and Qatar, Haque said. Transport costs for LPG are now about $100 per tonne but once the terminal is built that cost could fall to $30 as it will allow big ships to anchor, which would translate into a 10 percent lower price for end-users, he said. The LPG terminal could be built at Matarbari on Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal, where the country’s first deep-sea port will be built, the official said. A shortfall in supplies of natural gas has prompted the government to encourage the use of LPG for households. LPG, a mixture of propane and butane, can be used for cooking and transport, as well as in the petrochemical industry. Bangladesh’s demand for LPG now stands at 1 million tonnes against a supply of 600,000 tonnes, the official said, adding the demand could go up to 2 million tonnes by 2022 as it will be a key source for cooking gas in Bangladeshi households. The south Asian country has also turned to liquefied natural gas to offset falling domestic gas output to feed industrial demand and electricity generation in the nation of 160 million people.
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    GREEN ENERGY
RENEWABLE
Bangladesh’s electricity generation from renewable sources has passed the 5 percent mark with the opening of a major new solar plant - boosting hopes the country might meet its goal of getting 10 percent of power from renewables by 2020, experts say. The new 28 megawatt solar power plant in Cox’s Bazar District is the largest yet opened in the country, following the earlier construction of a 3 MW plant. The solar plants come on top of the widespread use of solar home systems in the low-lying country, considered one of those most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Currently about 5.2 million small-scale solar home systems provide electricity to almost 12 percent of Bangladesh’s 160 million people, Dipal C. Barua, president of the Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He called the new plant “good news” for the country, saying the accelerating construction of solar power facilities “will build confidence among future investors”. The new 116-acre solar park will supply enough electricity to meet about 80 percent of power demand in the Teknaf sub-district where it is located, said Mahmudul Hasan, chief financial officer for Joules Power Ltd. That area has about 300,000 power users, though little in the way of industrial or large commercial users, he said. Nuher Latif Khan, managing director of Technaf Solartech Energy Ltd., a subsidiary of Joules Power that owns the plant, said the plant had begun operations ahead of schedule. In Bangladesh, “the future of solar power is very fantastic,” he said, noting that company “definitely” planned to invest more in renewable energy, including potentially wind power. Khan said the solar park can produce up to 28 MW of solar electricity at peak capacity and has contracted to provide 20 MW to the government grid. Barua said several other large solar plants are in the pipeline in Bangladesh, after receiving government approval, with a few at advanced stages of construction. MORE COST - THEN LESS While solar plants need a large amount of initial investment to set up, he said, they have very small operational costs afterward, unlike plants that need ongoing sources of coal or other fossil fuels. The government has supported the construction of rooftop solar plants on factories and other commercial buildings, he said, with some facilities on large plants expected to generate a megawatt or more each. With such solar plants, thousands of factories in Bangladesh should be able to meet their own electricity needs, and contribute surplus power to the national grid. “I think one day we will see every building has a rooftop solar power system,” Barua said. However, finding available land to set up ground-level solar plants is a major challenge in densely populated Bangladesh, he admitted. Sheikh Reaz Ahmed, director of the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), said the country’s 2008 renewable energy policy calls for generating 10 percent of electricity from renewables by 2020. With the country expected to generate 20,000 MW of electricity in total by the date, renewables would have to reach 2,000 MW to hit that target, he said. So far Bangladesh generates just over 530 MW from renewables, nearly half of that from hydropower plants, he said. But the country is set to put online another 600 MW of renewable power in 2019 alone, he said, with another 1,100 MW rolled out in 2020 and 2021. Altogether, plants now in the pipeline should bring the country’s renewable energy generating capacity to 2,235 MW by 2021, Ahmed said. Not all the construction is progressing smoothly, however, with some plants tied up in problems with land acquisition and other issues, he said. Meanwhile, energy generation from fossil fuels also is rising to meet soaring demand for energy in Bangladesh, he said. Last year, Bangladesh’s cabinet committee on public procurement approved a proposal to construct 10 new oil-fired power plants, capable of generating 1,800 MW of electricity. In January, construction also began on a 1,200 MW coal-fired power plant in Cox’s Bazar, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. That means boosting Bangladesh’s percentage of renewable energy above 10 percent won’t be easy, because “each year total power generation from traditional sources will go up” too, Ahmed noted.  
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EFFICIENCY & CONSERVATION
Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) has organised a CEO roundtable to promote energy efficient technologies in the textile and RMG sectors across Bangladesh. The CEO roundtable, has organised by IDCOL at its Head Office on March, 18 showcased the technology interventions related to energy efficiency measures in the RMG and textile sector of Bangladesh, said a press release. Top executives of the major textile and RMG companies were present in the roundtable. The roundtable has provided the participants with greater insights on emerging energy efficient measures implemented in Bangladesh as well as those considered as global best practices. The participants of the roundtable has opined that the growth of Bangladesh’s economy relies heavily on the RMG and textile industry, which employs around four million people. To compete successfully, firms must control their costs – while meeting ever stricter requirements for working conditions and environment friendly practices defined by international buyers. With rising cost of energy and depleting natural resources, the growth trajectory of Bangladesh textile and RMG industry can only be sustained by investing in smart energy efficient technologies. Adopting energy efficient technologies will also create quality jobs, attract important new investments, create new business opportunities and improve the quality of life. IDCOL, a development finance institution, is promoting energy efficiency initiatives in Bangladesh by offering low-cost long-term financing to eligible entrepreneurs up to 100% of the equipment value.
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TECHNOLOGY
High-efficiency, low-emission (HELE) coal-fired electricity generation technology will play a critical role in South-East Asia’s future economic prosperity and climate policies, according to a new report from ASEAN Centre for Energy and the World Coal Association (WCA). The new report confirms that HELE coal technology will provide affordable and reliable electricity to more than 600 million people in the region while dramatically reducing emissions. The report conducts a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of climate, energy and sustainable development policies in ASEAN nations, which are set to increase their electricity demand significantly in coming years. It finds that if ASEAN shifts its coal-fired power generation capacity to a modern, low emissions fleet by 2035, the region would reduce its cumulative emissions by 1.3 billion tonnes, equivalent to the annual emissions of the US, China and the European Union combined. The new report is consistent with other projections by leading energy analysts. A recent report from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies concluded that based on current national power plans, South East Asia’s coal capacity will reach 148 GW by 2025, a 139% increase on 2015. Coal will pass gas as South East Asia’s number one energy source before 2025, the OIES report concluded. ASEAN is one of the fastest growing regions in the world with economic growth forecast to increase by over 6% per year.  Growth has already lifted millions from poverty and seen the number of people in the region without access to electricity halved over the past 20 years. The International Energy Agency predicts ASEAN’s energy demand will increase by 80 per cent over the period to 2040. To meet this demand, secure reliable electricity is required and the report confirms that low emission coal will be the generation of choice.  With the IEA forecasting coal to provide 50% of electricity generation by 2040, ASEAN nations are looking to utilise low-emission coal technology to deliver growth while also reducing emissions. The report confirms that all forms of coal generation will be the lowest cost option for ASEAN nations in 2020 and 2035.  The levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) figures show that even ultra-supercritical coal generation will cost less than all renewable options and gas-fired power generation options. The report notes that “HELE reconciles international commitments to reduce carbon with the economic priorities of generating affordable and reliable electricity.”
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    ENERGY WORLD
REGIONAL
India has a target of 100 gigawatt (GW) installed capacity of solar energy by 2022, of which 40 GW is projected to come from rooftop solar systems, an energy expert said on Thursday. Former Senior Scientific Advisor in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Dr Bivek Bandyopadhyay said the World Bank and Global Environment Fund (GEF) had launched a large financing program in 2016 to support clean energy. “Rooftop Solar photovoltaic technology is rapidly emerging as a solution for de-centralized renewable energy generation globally due to the plummeting cost of the technology,” he said while addressing a seminar. He said the rooftop generates electricity from solar power beyond the limit of land availability, enabling higher penetration of renewable energy in the power system, leading to more reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and climatic change mitigation. He further said that along with hydroelectric projects in the state, the Rooftop Solar PV will enable to create ‘Green Nagaland’. While introducing Sustainable Partnership for Rooftop Solar Acceleration in Bharat (SUPRABHA), the team leader, Yuvaraj Dinesh Babu Nithyanandam said to help each state, the northeastern region has been given to the World Bank to look after the capacity building. He said that the target given to Nagaland is about 50MW for RTS. SUPRABHA’s proposed engagements with Nagaland are development of an exclusive solar rooftop policy, capacity building, training of utility engineers, entrepreneurs, bankers, unified web portal for online subsidy and interconnection modules. Advisor to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Mmhonlumo Kikon voiced confidence that the engineers of the state will find the best solution in implementing the solar rooftop plan. Kikon said the Nagaland government has proposed smaller size solar parks with a capacity 23 MW but faces funding problems in infrastructure development. “Northeastern region requires a different approach. So, the funding pattern needs to be looked at seriously by an independent body,” he said.
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OTHER COUNTRIES
Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices eased slightly over the past week as healthy supplies going into the northern hemisphere’s autumn season countered upward pressure from a bullish oil market. Spot prices for November delivery LNG-AS dipped by 10 cents to $11 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), industry sources said. That slip came despite an extremely bullish crude oil market which has seen benchmark Brent futures surge by 20 percent since mid-August ahead of U.S. sanctions against Iran’s petroleum sector that kick in from November 4. While a major oil exporter, Iran sells no LNG, and traders said Asian gas markets were well supplied. “Oil markets may be volatile and bullish at the moment. In LNG, things are a bit more quiet at this stage,” said a Singapore-based trader. “Sure, demand is strong ahead of the winter heating season across North Asia, but supply is also pretty decent,” he said, declining to be identified as he was not authorised to speak with media. The well-supplied market is reflected in the price curve, in which Brent-indexed LNG prices show a slight rise over the coming peak winter months, but with the curve easing after that into the second-half of 2019. Japan’s Inpex said this week it shipped its first condensate export cargo from the Ichthys LNG project in Australia. Inpex said in August that it expected the $40 billion Ichthys project to start shipping condensate, LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in that order from around end-September to end-December. LNG demand tends to rise in the second-half of a year as utilities in the demand centres of Japan, China and South Korea prepare for the peak winter consumption season. The weather outlook for North Asia is for average conditions in the next 45 days, with Tokyo expecting slightly above average temperatures and Seoul expecting slightly cooler conditions, according to data in Refinitiv Eikon. Beijing is expected to experience temperatures around the seasonal norm, the data showed. Strong overall demand has returned the gas industry to good health after years of spending cuts and project cancellations between 2014 and 2017. Royal Dutch Shell, which has the world’s biggest LNG portfolio, this week announced it would go ahead with the 14 million tonnes per annum LNG Canada project, at a cost estimate of $31 billion. The project is expected to deliver its first LNG cargo in 2025.  
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    ENVIRONMENT
 
Twenty-sixteen saw a "dramatic" decline in the number of coal-fired power stations in pre-construction globally. The authors of a new study say there was a 48% fall in planned coal units, with a 62% drop in construction starts. The report, from several green campaign groups, claims changing policies and economic conditions in China and India were behind the decline. However, the coal industry argues the fuel will remain essential to economic growth in Asia for decades to come. Rapid swing Between 2006 and 2016, India and China together accounted for 85% of the coal plants built around the world. But according to the Boom and Bust 2017 report, put together by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and CoalSwarm, there has been a huge swing away from coal in these two countries in just 12 months. The main causes of the decline are the imposition of restrictive measures by China`s central government - with the equivalent of 600 coal-fired units being put on hold until at least 2020. The Indian go-slow was prompted, according to the authors, by the reluctance of banks to provide funds. Work at 13 locations is currently not going ahead. However, there have also been significant retirements of coal plants in Europe and the US over the past two years, with roughly 120 large units being taken out of commission. "This has been a messy year, and an unusual one," said Ted Nace, director of CoalSwarm. "It`s not normal to see construction frozen at scores of locations, but central authorities in China and bankers in India have come to recognize overbuilding of coal plants as a major waste of resources. "However abrupt, the shift from fossil fuels to clean sources in the power sector is a positive one for health, climate security, and jobs. And by all indications, the shift is unstoppable." The study comes as other groups analyse the potential for investments in coal to become stranded assets if governments continue to restrict CO2 emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that hundreds of billions of dollars could be at risk. "The decline in new coal plants in Asian countries is truly dramatic, and shows how a perfect storm of factors is simply making coal a bad investment," said Paul Massara, now of North Star Solar but a former CEO of RWE npower. "Growing awareness of the air pollution problems coal causes, the impact of policies to tackle climate change, and the rapid growth and cost-competitiveness of renewable sources of energy, along with emerging battery technologies, are making new coal plants redundant before they are even built," he said. However, the World Coal Association vehemently disagrees. It says the complexity of large infrastructure projects means that until they break ground, it`s no surprise if they don`t go ahead. "Yes, China, is reducing the number of coal-stations but not because it`s transitioning away from coal. Instead, the new dynamics is a signal of a more developed economy," said Benjamin Sporton. "Contrary to the picture being portrayed by certain quarters, China`s climate pledge suggests that coal will continue to be central to its energy solutions, albeit through efficiencies including the use of new coal technologies. "In India`s case, it`s simply not true that renewables are displacing coal. The International Energy Agency has said that India`s coal demand will see the biggest growth over next five years with an annual average growth rate of 5% by 2021. "For these countries, excluding coal from the energy mix is not an option; it is essential for economic growth and critical in securing energy access." According to the authors of the study, the slowdown brings the possibility of keeping global warming under 2 degrees C since pre-industrial times "within feasible reach." However, the study says that much more progress needs to be made to reduce the number of coal-fired plants under development in Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey, Japan and elsewhere.
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BUSINESS
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $20 million as a long-term loan in Omera Petroleum, a subsidiary of MJL Bangladesh Limited, to help the company double its capacity and increase the availability of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), especially in rural areas. Omera, whose parent MJL is majority owned by the Bangladeshi conglomerate, East Coast Group, is the second-largest player in Bangladesh’s LPG market by volume, said the IFC in a statement on Thursday. The IFC loan is part of its project to double its capacity and make LPG available in nearly all sub-districts of the country. This will expand access of LPG to 350,000 additional households (around 12 percent of the total market potential) over the life of the loan. It will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by substituting kerosene, wood, and other hazardous cooking fuels, and allow the limited reserves of natural gas to be diverted to power generation and industries. Declining natural gas supplies have prompted the Government of Bangladesh to promote LPG as a major source of primary energy. The government aims to supply LPG as cooking fuel for 70 percent of households within the next three years. It has also been promoting LPG usage in vehicles as an alternative to compressed natural gas CNG) and bulk LPG for industrial purposes. “IFC is committed to delivering clean energy to all people in Bangladesh,” said Wendy Werner, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. “Omera’s expansion will enable businesses and families across the country to switch from biomass energy to clean LPG fuel for cooking and commercial activities. LPG makes positive development impact in Bangladesh’s energy mix. We laud the Government’s stance to promote privatization of LPG sector to create a resilient energy sector.”  Bangladesh is a low-income International Development Association (IDA) country. IFC`s country strategy for 2017-21 – while addressing other key development gaps – focuses on increasing access to electricity, and diversifying energy sources. This project will enable the end users to switch to a much cleaner and efficient fuel. “Omera has made great socio-economic contribution across Bangladesh by delivering the largest volume of LPG using our state-of-the art infrastructure across urban & remote areas”, said Tanzeem Chowdhury, Head of Corporate Planning and Business Development. He said this is the beginning of a long term partnership between IFC and East Coast Group to finance and build larger projects that will help achieve our Group objective to provide easy access of green fuels and clean energy to every district of Bangladesh. Access to energy and diversification of fuel are two critical bottlenecks in the growth trajectory of Bangladesh. In the last five years, IFC has invested about $800 million to remove these obstacles. This is IFC’s first investment to promote LPG in Bangladesh, said the statement.
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OTHERS
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhit on Thursday said Bangladesh Infrastructure Finance Fund Limited is playing an important role in taking the energy sector and Public Private Partnership forward. The minister was inaugurating the three-day Green PPP Convention and Expo-2018 as the chief guest at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka from October 4 to 6 and in Chattogram from October 5 to 7 organised by BIFFL. BIFFL, a leading financier of infrastructure projects in the country, is organising the event as part of its nationwide awareness campaign for sustainable Infrastructure development in Bangladesh. The event includes three national seminars followed by plenary discussions to be participated by the experts, development partners, bankers and regulators. Considering the global context, the Finance Minister said infrastructure deficit is very important because this may hold up the growth process in the Asian region. He noted that deficit in infrastructure is a matter of concern for the whole world. Besides, the Finance Minister said the impact of climate change is a matter of serious concern for the whole world and unfortunately for Bangladesh, it’s much more of a concern, because Bangladesh is not one of those who are generating difficulties for the climate change. “But, we are a big sufferer of climate change and are being affected by other nations. So, we have to care for green development in a very special manner…I think in green development, we are the leader in the world as we began attending to this problem well before the new fund or new sort of institutions that came into existence,” he said. Muhith, however, said only good performance in this sector is not sufficient “because, we also need the cooperation of the global activists in the green sector.” In order to save lives on earth, he said, one needs to be extremely conscious of green development. In terms of operationalizing the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives, he said, Bangladesh can be proud of the record in the PPP sector, as the emphasis that the government has put on this particular sector has been quite fruitful. Turning again to the issue of infrastructure, the Finance Minister said except the power sector, infrastructure is still an area of deficit in the country and much more work is needed in order to materialize the objectives of being a prosperous, peaceful and developed country by 2041 as envisioned by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He also that the country’s power generation capacity would reach 30,000 MW by the year 2024 and this would have a positive impact on the economy. “Now the power generation capacity is substantially more than the demand of the country… we should have a power generation capacity of 30,000 MW by 2024 and I do not think that the energy requirement of the country would be anywhere near 30,000 MW by that time. So, it’s a matter of great satisfaction for us and also for the economy,” he said. The exposition, third of its kind, is aimed at promoting green and energy efficient technology and Public Private Partnership (PPP) for sustainable infrastructure development in the country. Secretary in Charge of the Finance Division Abdur Rouf Talukder, BIFFL executive director and CEO SM Formanul Islam, Finance Division additional secretary Md Ekhlasur Rahman, Power Division additional secretary Rahamat Ullah Mohd. Dastagir, Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Hitoshi Hirata, Senior Financial Sector Specialist AKM Abdullah among others, were present at the inaugural session of the convention. SM Farmanul Islam handed over Tk 64 crore as last year`s profit in the hand of Finance Minister Muhit during the inaugural ceremony. This year around 100 organisations from Germany, Japan, China and host Bangladesh will display technologies and products including green brick, energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building or industry materials, waste treatment technology. The expo will be open for trade and public visitors from 10 am to 6 pm.
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