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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka, Delhi to sign deals Saturday to set up power plant

Update : 19 Apr 2013, 08:35 AM


Dhaka and New Delhi will sign three agreements here on Saturday to implement the proposed 1320-MW coal-fired power plant project in joint venture at Rampal, a location close to the Sundarbans.

The deals are Implementation Agreement (IA), Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Supplementary Joint Venture Agreement (SJVA).

A five-member Indian delegation, led by Power Secretary P Uma Shanker, is due to arrive in Dhaka to sign the deals, reports UNB.

Indian National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) have already formed a special purpose company, ‘Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Pvt) Ltd’, to implement the power plant project.

Both the state-owned companies will set up the power plants on 50:50 equity basis, which will cost approximately US$ 1.5 bn. The project’s lion portion of the fund will be arranged from lending agencies.

Earlier, Bangladesh and India signed a number of initial agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs). Both the neighbours agreed to take up such joint venture power plant projects during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s New Delhi visit in 2009.

Initially, both nations have planned to implement the project by 2013. After a long exercise for about four years, now they are going to sign the final agreement to implement the mega project.

“We hope the signing of these deals will give a real boost to the project’s work. Now, we believe, this will create the actual pace to the project,” said Power Ministry’s Joint Secretary Anwar Hossain.

Power Ministry sources said the project’s timeline was rescheduled and targeted to complete the project implementation by 2018.

They said Bangladesh has been eagerly looking for signing the three agreements much earlier. “But the Indian side set new conditions one after another which finally delayed the signing of the deals,” said a top official at the Power Ministry. 

He informed that finally Dhaka accepted all the conditions of New Delhi. Two of the main such conditions are that the Indian side will be allowed to take their profit without any tax.   

Besides, if Indian side relinquish the power project, Bangladesh will have to take over the project without any argument, said the official.

Bangladeshi environmental groups have been vigorously opposing the move for setting up the coal-fired power plants near the world’s longest mangrove forest the Sundarbans as they believe it would immensely destroy the ecology as well as flora and fauna of the country’s main forest.  

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