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Dhaka Tribune

50MW Kaptai Lake solar project awaits ADB fund approval

As per the primary plan, official sources said, a 50MW floating solar project will be implemented on a pilot basis on the Kaptai Lake in the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT)

Update : 10 Jan 2019, 07:40 PM

The Power Division is waiting for the fund approval from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to implement a 50MW floating solar project in the Kaptai Lake, a Power Division's official said.

"We have heard the executive board of the donor agency [ADB] has approved a financing proposal in this regard. But, the government will move for feasibility study of the project once it receives the official letter from the ADB on the issue," said Mohammad Alauddin, joint secretary (Renewable Energy) to the Power Division.

As per the primary plan, official sources said, a 50MW floating solar project will be implemented on a pilot basis on the Kaptai Lake in the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) area with Tk400-500 crore, reports UNB.

They said, if the Kaptai Lake solar project comes out successful, similar projects will be implemented both in public and private sectors.

Besides, the government is considering implementation of another 30MW floating solar project in the canal of the Teesta Water Barrage area, they mentioned.

According to the official sources, the recent success of Japan, China, India, Germany, France, China, and other countries in floating solar projects prompted the Power Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR) to move for such green projects.

Japan was the first country to install a floating solar power plant in 2006 in Chiba by a French firm, while China is now the leader in setting up the largest floating solar power plant of 40MW capacity in Huainan city of its Anhui province.

So far, the officials said, a number of floating solar power plants have been set up in 12 countries and the idea is gaining popularity because of land scarcity.

Among the Asian nations, India and China have taken up aggressive moves to set up floating solar plants.

Mohammad Alauddin said that installing floating solar projects might be a very suitable concept for Bangladesh as it faces land scarcity problem for implementing solar scheme.

The Power Division senior official said the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) will implement the proposed Kaptai Lake floating solar project.

The Kaptai Lake was created through embankment to supply water to the Karnaphuli hydropower project, and the huge water body is now only being used for small scale fisheries.

Alauddin said the irrigation canal of Teesta Barrage is another perfect place forsetting up another floating solar power plant.

But it upto the Water Development Board (WDB), which owns and operates the project, he said, adding that the Power Division will pursue the idea with the organization through its line ministry.

"If they agree, the Power Division will move forward with the project for implementation through private sector entrepreneurs who are interested to invest in such projects," he said.

The Teesta Barrage is located on the Teesta River at Duani in Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat, with a discharge capacity of 12,750 cusec of water.

Power Division officials said the move to allowing Independent Power Producer (IPP) solar plants has been part of the government's plan to generate 24,000MW of electricity by 2021, the sources added.

A special emphasis has been given to power production from non-conventional sources. It aims to increase the total solar power production by 10% by 2020 (2,000MW). 

The total solar power production in Bangladesh has not crossed 250MW yet.



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