• Bangladesh and India sign agreement for joint coal fired power plant

    Bangladesh and India today signed a landmark deal for the construction of a 1,320 megawatt coal fired power plant, the biggest project under bilateral cooperation that would mark the transition from electricity export to generation level.

    Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Pvt) Limited (BIFPCL), the joint venture enterprise inked the deal with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), which was selected under an open international tender for constructing the super thermal plant at Bangladesh’s southwestern Rampal near the Sundarbans.

    India’s Exim Bank will provide $1.49 billion for the project, scheduled to start generating power in 2019.

    “This ceremony marks the beginning of the biggest project under Bangladesh-India cooperation,” state minister for energy and power Nasrul Hamid said.

    The deal came amid concerns by environmental groups that the the plant could affect the delicate ecosystem of the world’s largest mangrove forest, spreading over both Bangladesh and India.

    Speakers, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s energy affairs adviser Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and her principal secretary Abul Kalam Azad negated the environmentalists concerns saying the world’s most efficient and environment- friendly technology was being used to set up the plant.

    “We have a coal-powered plant at (northwestern) Barapukuria in a crowded location which is not affecting the environment while the technology being used for the Rampal plant is far more modern and most environment friendly (than that of Barapukuria),” Azad said.

    BIFPCL managing director Ujjwal Kanti Bhattacharya said, “We respect the concern of the people of Bangladesh, we are set to maintain the maximum environmental standards for the plant”.

    Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Bangladesh’s power secretary Monowar Islam and his Indian counterpart Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman M Shamsul Hasan Miah and BHEL’s general manager Prem Pal Yadav also addressed the ceremony.

    Bangladesh earlier earmarked Maitree Super Thermal Power Project as one of its fast-track projects, which was started under a bilateral agreement signed during Prime Minister Hasina’s India visit in 2010.  Willie Roaf Womens Jersey

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