The country's largest rooftop solar power plant with a capacity of 16 megawatts (MW) was inaugurated at Korean EPZ Chattogram's Anwara on Sunday.
The solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant has been installed at the expense of $16 million in the first phase of a project to commission a 40MW rooftop solar power plant in three phases costing an estimated $40 million at the KEPZ – owned by Korean global business conglomerate Youngone.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, and LEE Jangkeun, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Bangladesh inaugurated the plant. Kihak Sung, chairman and CEO of Youngone Corporation and the KEPZ, was also present on the occasion.
The vision of the project is not only to harness the power of the sun to meet its increasing energy needs in a sustainable manner but also to provide the surplus renewable energy (in any) to the national grid, demonstrating the KEPZ authorities' commitment on social responsibilities, says a press release issued by the EPZ.
Speaking on the occasion Nasrul Hamid said, "I'm really impressed by the fact that Korean EPZ – the first-ever EPZ of the country developed by a foreign entrepreneur – is one of the best EPZs in the world. It is even more encouraging that Youngone Corporation has installed a 16MW rooftop solar power plant under the government's net metering scheme. This is the largest rooftop solar system established so far in the country."
"We have set a national target to get 40% of electricity from renewable energy by 2041. As Bangladesh is a densely populated country, scarcity of land poses a significant challenge to such a big target. However, rooftop solar offers a feasible application to scale up solar power generation," added Hamid.
The minister thanked the KEPZ as well as Youngone for implementing such a "timely" initiative to promote green energy. "Under the purview of the Net Metering Guidelines formulated by the Power Division, electricity consumers can connect their rooftop solar system to the distribution grid. Thus, any surplus electricity generated from rooftop solar is supplied to the grid to ensure financial benefit of the consumers," said Hamid.
"Korean EPZ's commendable initiative will motivate others with similar facilities to install rooftop solar systems, thereby contributing to our green growth journey," he added.
Lee Ho-jun, first secretary at the Embassy of Korea; Rokon Ul Hasan, deputy secretary to the power, energy and mineral resources ministry; officials of the Bangladesh Power Development Board, managing director of Karnaphuli Gas and Eastern Refinery, among others, attended the inauguration ceremony physically, while distinguish guests and other guests attended virtually.
The KEPZ has so far completed 40 state of the art green factories with a floor space of over 65,00,000 sq ft. Endeavours are also made to construct large factory buildings in the textile zone having a total floor space of about 20,00,000 sq ft, of which 60% have been completed and rest are in progress.