Visiting Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Wencai Zhang on Thursday said the regional bank will support only renewable and gas-based power and energy development in Bangladesh, not any coal-fired or nuclear power plant project.
“Supporting nuclear or coal-based power plant is not part of our policy. We support clean energy development such as hydro, solar and wind and also the initiative for energy efficiency, human resource development that are required for Bangladesh,” he said. The ADB top official was briefing reporters on the outcome of his visit to Bangladesh at the donor agency’s resident mission office in the city.
Mentioning that he met Finance Minister AMA Muhith, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid and secretaries of different ministries during the visit, Wencai Zhang said he had discussions on various development issues.
He said ADB stands ready to support the regional cooperation for harnessing energy such as hydropower from Himalayan nations like Nepal and Bhutan.
“These countries have huge hydropower potentials. If there’s any move to cross border electricity trade, ADB will support it. We’re always ready to finance the hydropower generation, transmission and distribution projects,” he added.
The multilateral donor agency’s one of the top officials offered its continuous support to the energy sector, saying it is always supportive to any regional cooperation in regard to energy or communication.
He, however, said Bangladesh has set 7.2 percent target for GDP growth although ADB estimates it at 6.9 percent.
Wencai Zhang said the ADB has been discussing with the government about its support for the development in various sectors, including agriculture projects, under its 7th Five-year Plan.
He said ADB’s finance will increase in the coming years from the present amount of annual $1.8 billion.
The ADB vice-president said he was impressed with the progress of many educational projects. But progress of infrastructure projects is very slow while Bangladesh badly needs to implement such projects at faster pace. -UNB