Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) on Wednesday inked an agreement with a private venture to purchase electricity for 22 years.
Unique Meghnaghat Power Limited (UMPL), a subsidiary of Unique Group, will implement the 584-megawatt gas-fired combined cycle power plant on build, own and operate (BOO) basis.
A combined-cycle power plant uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant.
As per the agreement, the plant will go into commercial operation within the next 36 months.
It will be built on 18.75 acres of land at an estimated cost of Tk4,395 crore.
Experts criticised the move to purchase more power from private sector, as about one third of the country’s existing power generation capacity, amounting to 5000MW, remains unused.
They further noted that there are another 51 power generation projects in the process of implementation in the private sector. When completed, the plants would add another 13,000MW.
In Wednesday’s event, UMPL signed two more agreements – the gas supply agreement with Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited, and implementation agreement with Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Limited.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister for the power, energy and mineral resources ministry, was present at the deal signing ceremony.
Welcoming the new investor, he said, the sector has been running in a professional way and every single finance in the power and energy sector is unique.
“Currently half of the total electricity comes from the private sector and it would be continued in future,” said the state minster.
Speaking on tax holiday, he said it has helped the country achieve this position. “The outcome of tax holiday in the country’s power sector is enormous.”
‘Don’t pay heed to rumours’
Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus called upon the countrymen not to pay heed to any rumour about a countrywide power outage when it has been spread some people will be killed for the Padma bridge as human sacrifice.
“We want to assure you that such an event will not happen and the power supply will remain as usual,” he said.
Among others, Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator (SDG Affairs) at the Prime Minister's Office, Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat, Managing Director of UMPL, and Md Ruhul Amin, chairman of Petrobangla, were present.