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BD Govt eyes Japanese investment in power sector

powerTo attract Japanese investors to invest in Bangladesh’s power projects, especially coal-fired power projects, the Power Division will hold a “Japanese investors’ seminar??? in Tokyo on April 24-25.

“A 10-member Bangladesh delegation, led by state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid, will visit Japan from April 20-26. The delegation will discuss with Japanese investors and manufacturers, and invite them to invest in Bangladesh’s power sector,??? Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain told The Independent yesterday (7 April 2014).

According to the Power Division, the Power Development Board (PDB) has failed to implement any single coal-fired power project over the last four-and-half-years, although it signed around 3000-MW capacity projects during the period.

“The World Bank and the ADB will not fund any coal-fired power project. We did not get any local investor or any bank to finance these projects.

Because of this, the government would fail to implement its plan to scale down the cost of power production, which would finally benefit consumers to get power at a lower cost,” he said.

According to the PDB, it has five big coal-fired power projects, including 1320-MW capacity Rampal (joint venture of Bangladesh-India), 522-MW capacity Munshiganj and Chittagong and Khulna projects, with 282.67 MW capacity each, and a 250-MW capacity Barapukuria in the pipeline.

The other power projects facing serious fund crisis are– Siddhirganj (450 MW), Bheramara (360 MW), Bhola (225 MW), Sylhet (150 MW), Chandpur (150 MW), Sirajganj (150 MW) and Khulna (150 MW) plants. These plants have already missed their deadline and added additional costs to their installation, according to the PDB.

According to the Power Division, the government has formed a high-powered committee to tackle fund crisis as it needs about USD20 billion to instal 13,000-MW power projects. Most of the 13 big power stations with a combined capacity of 3210 MG have been delayed due to fund shortage, the PDB officials said.

The PDB has inked a USD1.4 billion mega-power deal with local conglomerate Orion Group to set up three coal-fired independent power producer (IPP) plants last year. The PDB also signed a USD 3-billion project with India last year, but failed to manage funds.

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Source: Daily Independent

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