A joint venture company is being formed to build the much-talked about 1,350 MW coal-based twin power plants at Maheshkhali in Cox's Bazar. A committee has been formed chaired by Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith in this connection.
The Power Development Board (PDB), China Huadian Hong Kong Company, Tenaga Nasional Berhar, Powertek Energy and Malaysia will jointly form the company. Power Division will sign an agreement at a date convenient to the Finance Minister.
In this connection a letter has been sent to the Finance Minister signed by Deputy Secretary Shawkat Ali.
Under the joint venture two coal-based power plants (660x2) =1,320 MW will be set up at the same premises. The Power Division is yet to arrange fuel for these plants, in this case coal, as yet.
Power Secretary Monowar Islam told the daily Observer recently, "We have already visited Indonesia, Australia and China to discuss coal import for the projected plants. We hope it will be arranged on time."
According to the deal the project will be set up by using ultra-super-critical technology which does not affect the environment of the site.
The Chinese company will be responsible for the financing. Some 70 per cent of the fund will come from loan and the rest 30 per cent will be arranged by the government.
The coal-based Maheshkhali plants are the prioritized projects of the Prime Minister. In the last seven years no big plants have been implemented. Now the government is planning to implement the long-term base-load plants for ensuring sustainable power supply.
A PDB official said that the government has undertaken nine mega coal-fired power projects during the period between 2012 and 2015 but none has been implemented yet.
Earlier the government formed Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Ltd (BIPCL) for generating electricity. The company is going to set up the most controversial Rampal coal-based power plant near the Sundarban.
The plants will begin electricity generation by 2019.
The government also has a plan to set up an 11,000 MW capacity LNG-based power plant at Maheshkhali.