Japanese company Marubeni Corporation will invest in a 100-megawatt (MW) solar power plant project at Sonagazi in Feni district.
Marubeni will implement the project on an equal ownership basis with the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh Limited (EGCB) – a domestic power generating company.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard on Thursday.
Kazi Nazrul Islam, company secretary of the EGCB and Hiroki Goto, general manager of Marubeni signed the deal on behalf of their respective companies.
Speaking to The Business Standard over phone, Engineer Arun Kumar Saha, managing director of the EGCB, said the project cost has been initially estimated at around Tk900-1,000 crore.
"Marubeni will have a 50% stake in the project. But, the cost of generating per unit of electricity has not been determined yet," he added.
EGCB earlier took up a 50-MW solar power project in the same area. The project will be implemented with the funding of the World Bank. The tender process for that project has already ended.
The EGCB managing director said an agreement would be signed with the construction company soon.
Apart from renewable energy projects, the EGCB currently has three power plants with a total generating capacity of 954 MW.
Marubeni Corporation, on the other hand, currently has power generation projects in 19 countries with a total capacity of about 12,000 MW.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, attended the virtual signing ceremony as chief guest.
Pointing out that solar power could not be produced on a large scale in the country due to scarcity of land, he asked for inventing technologies so that solar power generation takes less land.
He further said there is a need for diversification in energy mix for power generation. "The developed world is working on how to use hydrogen as fuel. It's time to rethink wind power, solar power, and ocean energy. Research for these works will be funded, if needed."
Power Secretary Md Habibur Rahman chaired the virtual event addressed, among others, by Ito Naoki, Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh; Engineer Md Belayet Hossain, chairman of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB); Engineer Sheikh Faezul Amin, chairman of the Board of Directors of the EGCB; and Sawada Mitsuru, managing director of Marubeni Asia Power Bangladesh Ltd.