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Dhaka Tribune

BEN calls for cancellation of power import deal with Adani

Bangladesh Environment Network demands identification of vested groups who pushed for Adani deal at cost of national interests

Update : 02 Mar 2023, 09:21 PM

Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN) has said it is dismayed and concerned by the decision of the government to import electricity from India's Adani Group under conditions that “hugely favour Adani Power at the cost of Bangladesh.” 

In a statement issued Thursday, BEN said: “It is not clear why Bangladesh needs to import power when almost half the country's power generation capacity remains idle.”

“BEN, therefore, calls for the cancellation of the power deal with Adani. It also calls for the identification of the vested groups who pushed for this deal at the cost of national interests. BEN notes that the import of power from Adani is part of a greater scheme of increasing the volume of electricity import, envisaged in the Power Systems Master Plan (PSMP), drafted for Bangladesh by Tokyo Electric Company.”

BEN reiterates the call made earlier at a conference held by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) and BEN in January 2022, titled Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, to reject the PSMP and to formulate a new power-sector plan that is less dependent on imported electricity. 

According to media reports, BEN said, Bangladesh will start buying electricity commercially in the first week of March from the 1,600MW coal-based power plant of the Adani Group built at Godda in Jharkhand, India. 

“The conditions under which this power is imported are highly unfavourable to Bangladesh. No power company in Bangladesh enjoys the financial benefits that have been awarded to Adani Power.” 

BEN noted: “...the problems with the deal with Adani reflect a larger problem that Bangladesh has brought on itself by adopting the PSMP … which increases not only Bangladesh's dependence on coal but also its dependence on imported power. According to the PSMP, the share of imported electricity in Bangladesh's total electricity supply is to increase from 5% in 2016 to 15% by 2041.” 

It continued: “Bangladesh's current electricity import rate is higher than all other countries in South Asia except Afghanistan. The conference on Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development organized by Bapa and BEN in Dhaka in January 2022 criticized the PSMP and called for a new plan that would be less dependent on imported electricity, rely less on coal and make greater use of the country's renewable energy sources. The problematic nature of the Adani deal vindicates the call of the BAPA-BEN conference.”

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