Matarbari plant: Japanese firm Sumitomo won’t bid for phase-2
Japan's Sumitomo Corporation, a member of the consortium building the Matarbari coal-fired power plant under phase-1, has announced it will not participate in the second phase's bidding process because of its revised policy on decarbonisation.
Sumitomo, which is currently working in 65 countries across the world, announced the decision on its website on February 28. The development came amid the global campaign for reducing carbon emissions.
Talking on the matter, Hasan Mehedi, general secretary of Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt, said the revised policy made it clear the corporation would not join the EPC (Engineering, Procurements and Construction) bidding for the phase two of the project in Cox's Bazar's Moheshkhali.
"It's a huge decision by Sumitomo Corporation. We have long been requesting it to leave coal and switch to renewable energy," he told The Daily Star yesterday, adding that Japan must provide Bangladesh with technological support and funds to help it use renewable energies.
Contacted, Nasrul Hamid, state minister for energy, said there was possibilities that the government itself might not continue the second phase of the coal project. If it does, it will be a liquefied natural gas-based power plant, he said.
"Sumitomo's decision won't have any impact on us," he said.
Scheduled to go into operation next year, the plant is expected to produce 1,200 megawatt of power every day under phase-1.
Currently, preparatory survey for the second phase is going on, according to the information available on the website of the Coal Power Generation Company Limited.
Meanwhile, five Tokyo-based environment organisations, including Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society, Kiko Network, 350.org Japan, and Mekong Watch, have welcomed the decision of Sumitomo Corporation.