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Govt seeks $13.08 billion from China for power sector

The government will seek a fund of $13.08 billion from China to implement 14 power generation projects including a LNG terminal with a view to reaching power to the door step of every citizen of the country by 2021.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place the proposals of the projects to her Chinese counterpart during his upcoming visit to Bangladesh.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will tour to Bangladesh at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart, marking the 40th anniversary of the two country’s diplomatic relations.

Hasina has recently given her consent to go ahead with 15 projects proposed by the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said a power division official.

The Chinese firm Guangdong Power Engineering Co Ltd (GPEC) which is an affiliate of the China Energy Engineering Group, has expressed interest to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for three power generation projects during Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to Dhaka.

GPEC has expressed its interest to sign a MoU for setting up coal-fired power plants (2x600MW) at Dighipara, Parbotipur, Dinajpur or Pekua, Cox’s Bazar; coal-fired power plants (2x660MW) at Payra, Patuakhali (second phase); and natural gas or liquefied natural gas (LNG) combined cycle power plant (750 to 850MW) along with natural gas or liquefied natural gas combined cycle stations or terminals at Haripur, Megnaghat or Khulna or Chittagong.

In a letter sent to the state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid, GPEC said: “Our proposal is to construct these power plants on a government-to-government preferential export buyers loan.”

GEPC said it is a great opportunity for both nations to expedite bilateral trade and investment during the visit of the Chinese premier.

To take advantage of the visit, we have submitted an expression of interest (EOI) to build these power plants with the prior consent of our competent authorities in China, which has been registered in the Chinese embassy in Dhaka as well, said GEPC.

The expected interest rate will be less than 2% per annum with a long repayment period more than 20 years.

Bangladesh will not require its own funds to implement these projects except the land acquisition and construction of ancillary infrastructure on the sites.

GPEC ensured that the proposed projects will be implemented with the help of latest technologies of the world to reduce adverse impact on the environment.

The list of projects include: Payra 1,320 MW thermal power plant project (second phase) at cost $1,000 million; a coal-based power plant project at Pekua, Cox’s Bazar of 2x600 MW capacity or above at cost $3,339 million; Gazaria 350MW coal-fired thermal power plant at cost $450 million and a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant at suitable place at cost $1,573 million.

More projects are Mollahat 100 solar PV power plant at cost $155 million and 100 MW wind power plant at cost $255 million.

Another projects include pre-payment metering priority project for the Bangladesh Power Distribution Board’s (BPDB’s) six distribution zones (phase-2) at cost $105 million; reduction in system loss by replacing 5 million electro-mechanical energy meters with electronic meters at cost $468 million; expansion and strengthening of power system network in the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) area at cost $3,000 million; design supply and installation, testing and commissioning of 33/11 KV substations on a turnkey basis in the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO) area at cost $64.57 million and Extension and augmentation of power distribution system at cost $16 million.

Another project is the power grid network under Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd (PGCB) with the cost of $1,322 million.

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