Bangladesh has begun the construction of one of its largest power plants in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the work on Sunday via video-conferencing from her official residence in Dhaka.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, is financing the project to construct the 1,200MW coal-fired plant at the island Upazila of Moheshkhali’s Matarbari.
The estimated cost of building the plant on 1,414 acres is around Tk 360 billion.
Japan is providing around Tk 290 billion in loan support for the project while the government will fund over Tk 70 billion.
Bangladesh plans to turn Matarbari into a major economic hub, where it is also building a port, which will be gradually converted into a deep-sea port.
The project area is some 40 nautical miles from the port in Chittagong.
The government cleared the Matarbari project in August 2015, but the tender process suffered a delay after the 2016 Dhaka cafe terror attack, when 17 foreigners, including Japanese engineers, were killed.
State-owned Coal Power Generation Company or CPGCBL finally signed the deal with Japanese consortium of Sumitomo Corporation, Toshiba Corporation and IHI Corporation on July 27 last year to build the plant.
CPGCBL Managing Director Abul Quasem told bdnews24.com on Saturday that they aim to finish the project by December 2023.
Toshiba Corporation, however, said in media release last year that the constructions will finish by July 2024. It also said the project would cost around Tk 400 billion.