Essar, GMR among eight bidders for PPP power project in Bangladesh

India’s Essar Power and GMR are among the global bidders for a 450-Mw dual fuel power project planned by the Bangladesh government at Sirajgonj, about 140 km from Dhaka.

If either GMR or Essar succeed, this will be among the first such projects by a private sector Indian power producer in Bangladesh. Recently, public sector NTPC Ltd had signed a deal with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) for setting up a 1,320-Mw power plant there.

The last date for giving pre-qualification of bids for Sirajgong ended yesterday and eight bidders have applied. It is a combined cycle gas or furnace oil-fuelled power station, according to the website of Power Cell, an agency of Bangladesh’s ministry of power, energy and mineral resources, to fast-track reforms and private sector participation in power projects.

Industry sources said the project, one among the first public-private partnership power projects coming up in Bangladesh, may require an investment of about Rs 2,000-2,500 crore. BPDB and its subsidiaries may take about 40 per cent stake.

Besides GMR and Essar, the other bidders are GDF SUEZ Energy Asia of Thailand, a local consortium of ERM Power and Shasha Denims, YTL Power International of Malaysia, Rupayan Power of Bangladesh, Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy Corporation and local Summit Industrial and Mercantile Corporation with Shenzhen Nanshan Power.

“As a group, we keep looking at growth opportunities in the businesses that we are in. However, it is not our policy to comment on any specific proposals,” said an Essar spokesperson. “The news about a Bangladesh power plant foray is entirely speculative and hence, as per company policy, we will not comment,” said a GMR spokesperson.

NTPC plans to set up a 1,320-Mw coal-based power plant in Bangladesh in a joint venture with BPDB, subject to techno economic viability. NTPC will also provide training and development to the human resources of BPDB and enhancement of productivity and efficiency of their existing power stations.

At present, electricity coverage in Bangladesh is only 43 per cent and per capita electricity consumption is about 140 kWh, one of the lowest in the world. The country hopes to offer power for all by 2020 and to provide electricity to 60 per cent of the population by 2012.

Earlier, the Tata Group had plans to build a power plant, steel mill and fertiliser factory in Bangladesh with an investment of $3 billion, but withdrew from the projects due to procedural delays and lack of local government support.

The Sirajgonj project site is located in the northwest of Bangladesh, on the west bank of the Jamuna river, adjacent to the Bangabandhu Bridge. The site area is developed land owned by BPDB and it will lease the site to the bid winner for a period equal to the term of the power purchase agreement. The winner of the project will set up the power project and the Bangladesh Electricity Board will purchase power from the producer.

Source – Business Standard



Executive at India Electron Exchange

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