Coal News of Phulbari – Bangladesh

News on coal resources & coal basins of Bangladesh

Power, Coal Plants-Road shows mulled to woo investors

Posted by phulbarinews on November 2, 2009

Star Report

The government plans to stage road shows in London, New York and Singapore in early December to attract investors for several of its large power projects including 2,000-megawatt coal-fired power plants. The Power Development Board (PDB) sent a proposal in this regard to the power ministry earlier this month suggesting the show may be held in mid-November. “But now it looks like the shows cannot be held before early December,” said a top PDB official.

The power projects include four 500 MW coal-fired projects, Meghnaghat phase two 450 MW, Bibiyana phase two 450 MW and Bhola 150 MW projects. Officials at the shows would inform prospective investors about the government’s plans to set up more plants in the proposed Savar leather processing zone and Jaidevpur high-tech park. These plants would require more than $3 billion investment.

“The road shows in December will be the power sector’s largest overseas shows ever. Previously the government held a road show in Dhaka for the 450 MW Meghnaghat-1 plant back in 1996-97,” said the official. The road show will give prospective investors information about the government’s financial incentives for foreign investment, tax benefits and how their investment would be secured.

Power plant equipment price has come down to the decade’s lowest right now. So, it is a good time to push through the bids to bag cost effective deals involving high quality machinery, the sources pointed out. These projects represent a vital part of the government’s planned mid-term solution to power crisis beyond 2011. In the next five years, the government plans to implement 7,000 MW new power projects along with transmission and distribution lines. These would require around $10 billion investment.

The government aims at raising one fourth of this investment from local banks, and getting the rest from international financiers. Four study groups of the PDB have been working out details of the coal-fired and other power projects. So far the country has focussed on gas-based power projects. Implementing coal-fired projects demands that the PDB work out how coal would be purchased, supplied, transported and stored.

The PDB proposed that the coal should be of high quality to ensure least possible pollution. Such high quality coal may be imported from Indonesia. The PDB rules out Indian coal as it contains high level of sulphur. It is primarily estimated that the country would need one lakh tonnes of coal each month to generate 2,000 MW power. Such a huge quantity of coal would be imported through ships and transported through waterways.

Consequently, the sites selected for the plants– Khulna, Chittagong, Zazira and Rajshahi– are all located by major rivers and seashore. “We will need adequate environment and infrastructure support to ensure sound implementation of these projects,” said a PDB source.

The coal plants should be equipped with efficient and least pollutant machines like those currently used in India and Germany. We do not have ready-made knowledge about it. That is why we need to have a consultant to guide us through this process,” he said.


Date: 25 October 2009, Bangladesh


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