Power sector investment stands at record $22 billion, says Nasrul Hamid
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh to set up a 3,600 MW LNG-based power plant.
As per the deal signed with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) on Thursday, Saudi private company ACWA Power will set up the power plant along with an LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal to facilitate fuel supply to the plant.
It will also set up a 2 MW solar power plant under the deal at an investment of about $3 billion. Of the total investment, $2.5 billion will be invested for the power plant while $500 million will be spent for setting up the LNG terminal, reports UNB.
Officials said this has been the first ever deal signed between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia regarding investment.
Addressing the deal signing ceremony at Intercontinental Hotel in Dhaka, ACWA Chairman Mohammad Abunayaan said they hoped the power plant would be an economic and efficient one.
He said the recent economic development has prompted the kingdom to come to Bangladesh to invest in power sector.
"Bangladesh has been a model for the Muslim world in the economic progress," he said adding that this is the beginning of Saudi investment.
"This is our beginning, and our journey and our relationship will last for a long time," he said.
Officials said the Saudi company would conduct a feasibility study within next six months and then it would decide upon the location of the power plant.
Prime minister's private investment and industry adviser Salman F Rahman, who was the chief guest at the function, said that through signing the deal, Saudi Arabia has fulfilled its commitment investing in Bangladesh.
He said the location of the power plant would be decided after conducting a feasibility study and there are a number of locations being considered for the proposed power plant, including Mongla and Chittagong.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the country's power sector has broken all records of investment as the total investment now stands at $22 billion from $2 billion in 2009.
He said many more foreign companies are showing interest to invest in the power and energy sector in Bangladesh.
Power Division Senior Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus said that some media is criticizing the surplus power generation.
"But such surplus power generation is part of the power system master plan prepared with the help of Japanese donor agency Jica."