Two top state-run entities of Bangladesh and India have signed a deal in New Delhi that would immediately pave the way for joint venture for a 1320 MW thermal power project in Khulna, with scopes open for another with equal capacity in Chittagong.
The Memorandum of Understanding, signed on Monday between Bangladesh Power Development Board and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, is intended to give a push to bilateral cooperation for development of power sector in Bangladesh.
An official statement issued by the NTPC stated that the MoU paved the way for the Indian public sector undertaking to have a joint venture with BPDB and set up a 1320 MW coal-based power plant in Bangladesh, subject to techno economic viability.
The coal-fired power plant is likely to be installed on a 50:50 equity basis to be run on imported coal and operated by the NTPC.
Official sources in New Delhi that though the NTPC was entering into a joint venture with BPDB for one of the two coal-fired power plants proposed to come up in Khulna and Chittagong, the two might consider cooperation for the other project too in future.
P Umashankar, the secretary of the India’s Ministry of Power, said the MoU will boost bilateral cooperation between the two friendly neighbours.
Umashankar was present in the MoU signing ceremony, so was Bangladesh high commissioner to India Tariq A Karim. The deal was signed by Md Abdul Quasem, chief engineer (Generation) of the BPDB and A K Sharma, general manager of the NTPC’s consultancy wing.
R S Sharma, chairman and managing director of the NTPC, and the BPDB chief A S M Alamgir Kabir were present on the occasion.
“The NTPC will also provide training to the BPDB officials and help the latter develop its human resources and enhance productivity and efficiency of the existing power stations in Bangladesh,” said the official statement issued by the NTPC.
During prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January this year, India and Bangladesh had signed a MoU for cooperation in power sector. India had agreed to provide Bangladesh with 250 MW power from its central grid initially and the two countries were now discussing aspects of grid inter-connectivity.
The joint technical team of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) and BPDB and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) estimated that an investment of approximately Indian rupees 8.69 billion, roughly Tk 12.86 billion, would be required for grid inter-connection.
While rupees 7.08 billion, Tk 10.50 billion, would be required for works in Bangladesh, an investment of rupees 1.60 billion, nearly Tk 2.37 billion, would be spent in India. The PGCIL will finance the works to be done in India and might also offer its consultancy service to PGCB for works to be done in Bangladesh for grid interconnection.
The NTPC may carry out technical assessment for the BPDB’s old thermal power stations for efficiency improvement, renovation and modernisation. It may also take up operation and maintenance of some power stations in Bangladesh.