The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh on Thursday signed agreements for $500 million in loans to develop a state of the art 800-megawatt (MW) power plant in Khulna, along with associated connections to natural gas and power transmission facilities, reports UNB.
Muhammad Alkama Siddiqui, additional secretary (ADB wing) of Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Manmohan Arkash, country director, ADB, signed the loan agreements on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively, at a ceremony in the city.
“This mega project builds on ADB’s strong and sustained presence in the power sector of Bangladesh, and it will use the latest proven combined cycle technology, which offers the highest efficiency to convert gas to electricity,” said country director Manmohan Parkash.
“ADB places higher importance on introducing new and high-impact technologies to benefit member countries. This will be a state-of-the-art power plant using the latest zero-liquid discharge technology, making it the first of its kind in Bangladesh.”
Highlighting benefits of the project, Parkash said it will provide additional electricity supply to about 300,000 consumers, create new jobs, and stimulate business expansion in Bangladesh.
This environment friendly project will significantly improve energy security and enhance availability of efficient and cleaner energy, said ADB.
To supply gas to the Rupsha power plant, the project will construct 12 kilometres (km) of gas distribution pipelines, and finance construction of a 230-kilovolt switchyard and 29-km of high capacity transmission lines to transfer generated electricity to the national grid.
The project will also help in institutional strengthening of the executing agency, the North-West Power Generation Company Limited, by implementing a modern enterprise resource planning system, and providing training for implementation and operation of the system.
Grant financing of $1.5 million will also be provided from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, funded by the government of Japan, to improve living standards in nearby communities.
Focusing on vulnerable households and women, activities will include increasing awareness on safe and efficient use of electricity, training on livelihood and job opportunities, and providing school laboratory facilities.
The total cost of the project is $1.14 billion, with the Islamic Development Bank contributing $300 million in cofinancing and the government contributing $338.5 million.
The project is due to be completed by the end of June 2022.
ADB said it is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members from the region.
In 2017, ADB operations totalled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.