ADB awaits govt move on Phulbari coal mine

Dispelling a rumour that it has pulled out from financing the Phulbari coal mine project, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it would wait for a government decision in this regard.
“ADB will continue to monitor the situation on the ground with full sensitivity to local conditions and we'll also wait for Bangladesh government's decision on how to proceed in harnessing the rich energy resources, including those of Phulbari,” the Manila-based international funding agency has said clarifying its position about the project.
The statement said, “In the interim, we think, it is premature for ADB to continue dialogue with the private sector under the current circumstances. So, at this stage we're completely open to the suggestions of GoB, civil society and other stakeholders and prepared to review our engagement in this project to ensure that all sensitivities, including concerns relating to safeguard issues are fully considered.”
Sources said a number of NGOs, who are opposing the open pit Fhulbari coal mine project and demanding its developer UK-based Asia Energy to go, have spread the rumour that the ADB has decided to withdrew from the project.
The NGOs have also been carrying out a campaign internationally and pursuing the ADB to abandon its project financing plan.
According to sources, the ADB was keen to finance US$ 300 million, about 10 percent of the total fund requirement, to implement the project.
The Asia Energy conducted a feasibility study on its plan to develop the Phulbari project through an open cast mining method.


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