4 major private power deals signed | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 21, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 21, 2011

4 major private power deals signed

Orion Group, Solarium to generate 1,105MW from coal, sunlight

The government yesterday signed deals with two companies on setting up coal-based and solar power plants of total 1,105MW capacity, as part of its efforts to diversify energy sources.
As per the agreements with the Power Development Board, Orion Group will build three coal-fired power plants while Solarium Power Ltd, a solar power plant.
Of the coal-fired power plants, one will be in Chittagong with a capacity of 282.67MW, one in Khulna of 282.67MW capacity and one in Mawa of Munshiganj of 522MW, said Obaidul Karim, chairman of Orion, at the signing ceremony in the capital's Bidyut Bhaban.
The projects will be completed between 36 and 45 months at a total cost of $1.4 billion.
"We have bought the required land and began development works," said Obaidul Karim, adding that the plants would be using imported coal.
Solarium Power Ltd will set up its power plant in Mymensingh with a capacity of 18MW. The plant is expected to come into operation in two years.
The World Bank will provide financial assistance in building the solar plant which will cost Tk 235crore, said Nazmul Abedin, managing director of Solarium. The plant will be built on 120 bighas of land and will run 24 hours a day, he added.
The government will buy electricity from the Mawa plant at Tk 4.095 per KWh, from the Chittagong plant at Tk 3.795, and from the Khulna plant at Tk 3.785. Solarium will charge Tk 5.50 per unit.
This is for the first time the private sector will build coal-based power plant. The country at present has one state-run coal-fired power plant in Dinajpur.
PDB Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir, meanwhile, said the Solarium project is a milestone for Bangladesh, as the country has not installed a solar power plant with such a high capacity before.
State Minister for Power Muhammad Enamul Huq said, "We have to go for energy diversification," adding that Bangladesh cannot rely on gas and furnace oil only to produce electricity.
At the signing ceremony, Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury explained why the government delayed taking up projects of high-capacity power plants.
"When we assumed power, there was a severe power crisis. The government took various steps to produce electricity to cope with the situation.
"Now, we are taking up mid-term projects as part of the government's master plan. Of the 20,000MW electricity set to be generated by 2020, about 8,000MW will come from coal," Tawfiq said.
He added that Bangladesh's electricity price at the retail level would be lower than that of West Bengal of India, even if the government raises the current power tariff to Tk 4.5 per KWh.
Power is sold at Tk 6.5 per unit in West Bengal.
Bangladesh relies largely on gas to produce 5,000MW electricity on an average a day. Gas accounts for 82.83 percent of the electricity produced, diesel 6.82 percent, furnace oil 4.71 percent, hydroelectricity 3.56 percent and coal 2.59 percent.
10 GAS WELLS DIGGING OKAYED
The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved digging of 10 gas wells in the existing gas fields with the assistance of Russian national company Gazprom at a cost of $193.52 million.
The approval came at a meeting chaired by Finance Minister AMA Muhith.
Of the 10 wells, four will be dug in Titas gas field, one in Rashidpur gas field and five in the gas fields under Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (Bapex), sources in the energy division said.
The cost of digging a well in the fields under Bapex has been estimated to be $18.64 million while it is $20.06 million per well in Titas and Rashidpur gas fields.

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