Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith today expressed his hope that development work at Moheshkhali Island will increase financial and job security with the construction of a 1,200-MW Matarbari power plant.
“The government has undertaken initiative to construct the coal-fired plant having 1,200-MW generation capacity alongside development of Moheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar,” he said while addressing a post-contract event in a city hotel as the chief guest.
Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury said the Moheshkhali would be a developed area like Singapore because the government is implementing many projects there.
The state-owned Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) finalised a major deal with Japanese firm Sumitomo Corporation, Toshiba Corporation and IHI Corporation on July 27 for constructing the country’s largest ever coal-fired power plant in Matarbari.
According to the contract, the lead contractor, Sumitomo Consortium, would construct the power plant by December 2022. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide $4.56 billion for the project when the government would arrange necessary additional funding.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid stressed for taking rehabilitation programme for local people, adding, “We have to accommodate salt traders and local people by providing jobs and other scopes.”
He said the government has identified Moheshkhali island in the Bay of Bengal as an energy hub by implementing there a cluster of projects including power plants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to boost the country’s overall economy.
It has also a plan to build a deep sea port near Moheshkhali at Sonadia island in the Bay.
“We are eyeing to have a master plan to utilise the potential of Moheshkhali island by building a number of power plant projects, LNG terminal and deep sea port,” Nasrul said.
A number of countries and multinational firms have already shown interest to invest in projects to be implemented near Moheshkhali island, he said.
Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) to the Prime Minister’s Office M Abul Kalam Azad, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Masato Watanabe and JICA, Chief Representative in Dhaka Takatoshi Nishikata also spoke on the occasion.