The Indian company Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) will build the major transmission projects to carry electricity from Bangladesh's first nuclear plant, which is being constructed at Rooppur of Pabna.
Larsen & Toubro won the major packages of the transmission project as the lowest bidder among other Indian contractors, said sources at the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB).
The sources said L&T will set up the 400kV and 230kV transmission lines, which are the major work of the transmission project.
As per schedule, the transmission lines have to be set up a year before the completion of the first unit of the 2,400MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) for grid synchronisation and different tests. The first unit of the RNPP is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of 2023.
However, uncertainty looms large over the timely execution of the power transmission project as the bidding process for some packages of the project is yet to be completed due to a delay in clearance from project's financier, the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).
But the project implementing agency PGCB's Managing Director Golam Kibria hoped for a timely completion of the project.
He said, "We have received almost all the required clearances from the financier for the bidding process, although there were some delays in getting the nod from the financier. Now we are focusing on the implementation of the project."
"Another clearance is yet to be received from the financier to complete the tender process," he said.
As per work scope of the tender, L&T's Power Transmission and Distribution unit will design, supply, install, test and commission the extra high voltage transmission lines on a turnkey basis to carry electricity from the nuclear power plant.
The power transmission project will be implemented with India's Line of Credit (LoC) financing.
The estimated project cost is Tk10,981 crore, of which Tk8,219 crore will be financed by Exim Bank while the Bangladesh government will provide Tk1,527 and the PGCB Tk1,235 crore respectively.
According to the PGCB, the transmission project includes five major packages – the 464km long 400kV transmission lines, including a 13km river crossing, 205km long 230kV transmission lines, including 7km river crossing, 400kV five Bay extensions, 230kV four bay extensions and qualitative up-gradation of Bangladesh power system for frequency control and frequency drop protection, protection system, emergency control system and other associated tasks.
According to the Power Division and the Ministry of Science and Technology, the transmission lines have to be prepared by December 2022 in order to start the commercial production of the first unit of the RNPP.
India extends its investment in Bangladesh's power sector
India has been extending its business in Bangladesh's power and energy sector for the last few years under cross border power and energy exchange contracts.
Reliance Power Limited has won a project for setting up a 750MW gas-based power plant at Meghnaghat near Dhaka, while Adani Power Limited has signed an agreement to supply 1,600MW from its plant in Jharkhand to Bangladesh.
Besides, India's National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has been setting up a 1320MW coal-based power plant in the Rampal area of Bagerhat, joining hands with Bangladesh's state-run Power Development Board.
In addition, India is also exporting 1160MW electricity to Bangladesh through cross-border transmission lines.
L&T Limited, the latest Indian company that has taken up a project in Bangladesh, is engaged in engineering, procurement and construction projects, manufacturing, defence and services with over $21 billion in revenue. It has a presence in over 30 countries.