Two British companies have arrived with an investment plan of $1 billion, a heartening development for the government which has ramped up its efforts to woo in foreign investors.
The two companies are IM Power, an independent power producer with more than 50 years of experience in the industry, and TenBroekeCo, an independent international advisory company focused on the delivery of major infrastructure projects.
They intend to set up a 1,000 megawatt plant in Bangladesh to generate electricity by using imported liquefied natural gas at Payra port.
A portion of the power generated would be used for electrification of a railway track between Payra and Dhaka. Moreover, they would also establish a transmission line between Payra, Dhaka, Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.
Elena Baranova, chief executive officer of IM Power, and Paul E Tweedale, managing director of TenBroekeCo, shared their interest in a meeting with Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), in November last year. Although Islam could not inform exactly how much they plan to invest, a high official of BIDA told The Daily Star that it would be nearly $1 billion.
The complete investment proposals would turned in this month, Islam said.
In the April to June quarter of 2019, the gross foreign direct investment of over 200 British companies, which currently have operations in Bangladesh, stood at $97.56 million, of which $7.72 million went to the power sector.
In fiscal 2018-19, foreign direct investment amounting to $3.8 billion came in, which is rather low when compared with peer countries.
Bangladesh advanced 8 notches in this year’s global ease of doing business ranking of the World Bank, its ranking at 168 is lower than all its Saarc neighbours save for Afghanistan and competitors vying for foreign direct investment and exports like Myanmar, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Cambodia.