The government has put eight power sector projects on ‘fast track’ giving an allocation of Tk 11,416.74 crore in the 2016-17 fiscal year. The government’s budget document titled ‘Kathamo Rupantare Brihat Prokalpo: Probriddhi Sanchare Natun Matra’ (Large Projects in Transformation of Structure: New Dimension in Spreading Growth) revealed the information on the fast track projects.
According to the document, the 1320 MW Rampal power project which was named as ‘Moitree (Friendship) Super Thermal Power Project’ received the highest allocation of Tk 2540 crore. The total project cost was estimated to be Tk 15,000 crore. Bangladesh and India are jointly implementing the project at a location close to the Sundarbans mangrove forest which is being vigorously opposed by environmental groups. Dhaka, UNB News Agency Reported.
Indian power company Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has been selected as its EPC contractor to set up the project at a cost of about $1.5 billion. The BHEL has been issued notification of award (NOA) although there is no final contract with it. Of the cost, Indian Exim Bank is expected to finance the contractor while Bangladesh state-owned PDB and Indian state-run NTPC will provide 323.08 million for implementation of the project as equity investment.
Rampal power project achieved only 2.1 percent physical progress while only 1.74 percent in financial progress, said the government document. Rampal project is followed by 1200 MW Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal-fired Power Project which got an allocation of Tk 2,400 crore against its total project cost of Tk 35,984 crore. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing Tk 28,939 crore for the project while Bangladesh government Tk 7045 crore. So far, Matarbari project achieved only 1.18 percent progress in civil construction while one percent in financial sector. Two projects in the power transmission sector were picked as fast track projects. Of them, National Power Transmission Network received Tk 360 crore for the countrywide grid network while 400/230/132 kV grid network project received Tk 335 crore aimed at improving transmission system in Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong region. Aminbazar-Mowa-Mongla 400 kV transmission line project received Tk 3480 crore.
Three power plant projects–Ashuganj (North) 450 MW combined cycle power project received Tk 260 crore while Ashuganj (East) 400 MW project got 210 crore and Bheramara 360 MW combined cycle power project was given an allocation of Tk 745 crore. Two power distribution projects were undertaken as fast track ones. Of them, a project for rural electrification to provide connections to 1.8 million new consumers received Tk 727.54 crore while another similar project to provide 1.5 million new rural consumers got Tk 359.20 crore.