The Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase has approved the import of electricity from the 1600MW power plant being set up by Adani Group in Jharkhand, India, at prices higher than the norm.
The proposal was approved at a meeting of the Cabinet committee on Wednesday, presided over by Alternative Chairman Tofail Ahmed at the Cabinet Division.
After the meeting, Cabinet Division Additional Secretary Mostafizur Rahman told reporters the government had decided to import the electricity from Jharkhand at a price of 8.6 US cents or Tk6.89 for the next 25 years.
He said the total cost will be around Tk1,90,975 crore for import of the electricity from Adani Group.
Adani Group will provide electricity to Bangladesh’s power grid after the Jharkhand coal-based power plant is set up, he added.
According to the Power Division’s analysis, S Alam Group’s proposed 1,320MW coal-based power plant in Chittagong will supply electricity to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) at 8.25 US cents per kWh for the next 25 years, resulting in a total cost of Tk1,58,000 crore .
Also Read- Power imports from Jharkhand to cost Bangladesh dear
In addition, the local Orion Group will sell power from its 635MW coal-based power plant in Gazaria, Munshiganj, at 8.37 US cents per kWh to the PDB. Furthermore, the controversial 1,320MW coal-based plant in Rampal, Khulna, will be able to generate power at only 8 US cents per unit, said Power Division sources.
Adani Group’s coal –based power plant in Jharkhand will be operational within four years, according to the Power Division proposal.
Currently, 640MW of electricity is imported from India. Contracts have been signed for import of 5300MW from India by 2020. Reliance Power will provide 3000MW of it.
Founded in 1988, Adani Group is one of India’s leading business houses with revenues over $12 billion.
Usually, Bangladesh imports electricity from Indian at Tk2.79 per kW under the government to government agreement, while the import of 100MW from Tripura is priced at Tk6.30 per kW. During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, Bangladesh signed an agreement to import another 60MW of electricity from Tripura at the same cost of Tk6.30.
The Power Division has taken consent from Sheikh Hasina for construction of 90km of power lines from Jharkhand to the Bangladesh Border, and the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd (PGCB) will also construct 145km of power lines to the national grid under the Special Speedy Supply of Power and Energy Act 2015.
The Power Division proposal said the PDB had already sought permission from Indian authorities regarding immunity or protection in case of changes in law or political events in Indian territory.
The PDB has also requested that Indian authorities waive electricity import taxes and duties.