The Power Division yesterday denied seeking financing from several French banks which reportedly declined to invest in the Rampal power project on environmental and social grounds.
The Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Pvt Ltd (BIFPCL) is setting up the 2 x 660MW Maitree Super Coal-fired Thermal Power Project in Rampal, Bagerhat. The mega plant, sited close to the Sundarbans, a Unesco World Heritage Site, has drawn strong opposition from environmentalists.
“The news of rejection by the French banks to finance Rampal project is irrelevant,” Mir Mohammad Aslam Uddin, senior information officer of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources said in a statement.
“Various newspapers have reported that three French banks, namely, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas would not invest in Rampal power plant.
“The fact is that neither the Power Division nor the Rampal project’s implementing organisation, BIFPCL, requested these banks to finance or invest in the Rampal project,” said the statement, a copy of which was sent by the Power Division to the Dhaka Tribune.
On the Unesco’s decision to send observers to the Sundarbans, it said: “The Power Division welcomes the Unesco decision to send a team of observers to the Sundarbans. The Power Division firmly believes that during the visit they will see the real position and after the visit their views on the Rampal project would change. They surely would carry a positive impression about the power project.”
On alleged non-compliance with provisos for the Rampal project set down by the Department of Environment, the statement said: “The Department of Environment on August 5, 2013, approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the 1,320MW Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant after stipulating 59 conditions [not 69 as alleged] for different stages of developing the power project.”
Among these, some conditions will be complied with during the project implementation period and the remaining stipulations, which are applicable after the project implementation period, will be given due importance.