Two giant Indian conglomerates — Reliance Power Ltd and Adani Power Ltd – at an investment summit on Sunday made commitment to invest as much as US$ 11.2 billion in the country’s power and energy and infrastructure.
To materialize their projects, which included construction of power plants, LNG terminal, grid interconnection and port and other logistic facilities, they also demanded strong government backing especially for land acquisition, approval and clearances.
Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani and Vice chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, India Samir K Gupta made the announcement while addressing the inaugural session of the two-day Bangladesh Investment and Policy Summit 2016 that kicked off in Dhaka on Sunday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the summit at hotel Radisson Blu Water Garden in the city.
The Adani Power will set up two power plants –one in Bangladesh and another in India for exclusive power supply to Bangladesh, with a capacity of 1,600 MW each. “These capacities will add to the current 12,000 MW capacity of Bangladesh to significantly help mitigate power supply shortages,” said Gautam Adani adding that it would cost an investment of about 5 billion dollars.
In addition, Adani said, efforts are also underway for additional import of power from India through construction of a new grid interconnection on the western side of Bangladesh. These transmission inter-linkages between Bangladesh and India will ultimately add to a much needed larger regional Power Trading System in South Asia. Building these infrastructures and logistic supports will also facilitate another 3.2 billion dollars, said the Adani group chief.
In absence of Reliance Group chief Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, its vice-president
Samir Gupta made the announcement about its investment in the largest integrated LNG based combined cycle power plant in Bangladesh with a capacity of 3,000 MW along with LNG facilities. Anil Ambani was supposed to make the announcement but he failed to attend the programme as the aircraft carrying the Indian business tycoon failed to land in Dhaka due to foggy weather this morning.
Both the conglomerates signed separate deals with Bangladesh Power Development Board in June last to invest $5.5 billion to generate 4,600 megawatts of electricity. But, according to ministry sources, there is no visible development in implementation of their investments so far.
“Inspired by the investment opportunities provided by the government of Bangladesh, we at Reliance Power have proposed to invest in integrated LNG based power plant in Bangladesh along with LNG facilities,” said the Reliance vice-chairman. The project will be an important milestone in Bangladesh’s quest for energy security by delivering clean, green and reliable power and will create more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“I seek your blessings, and the continued support and cooperation of all your esteemed colleagues, to ensure that all project contracts are closed by March 2016 which will enable us to move to project execution. We are committed to deliver the first phase in just 30 months,” said Sameer urging the Prime Minister to their ways clear for investment.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who inaugurated the summit as the chief guest, also urged the foreign entrepreneurs as well as the world’s big conglomerates to invest in Bangladesh. She reassured the investors of her government’s highest level of commitment to quickly facilitate their pragmatic proposals and simplification of investment procedure so that they can make the best use of their money.
The Board of Investment (BoI), the apex investment promotion agency of the government, BUIL (Business Initiative Leading Development) and prime minister’s office (PMO) are jointly organising the two-day summit with a view to showcasing private invest opportunities in key sectors and demonstrating opportunities for potential value addition in those sectors for a sustained economic growth.
The inaugural function was also addressed among others by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Industries Minister and vice chairman of BoI Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Chief Minister of Indian State of Meghalaya Dr Mukul Sangma, South Asia Region CEO of Axiata Limited Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, Director of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group Sujoy Bose and FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmed.
PM’s Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad made opening remarks while BoI Executive Chairman Dr SA Samad gave vote of thanks.
A huge number of local and foreign participants from more than two dozens of countries including UK, Japan, China, India, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Kuwait and Qatar attended the programme. Last year (2014), some 600 local and foreign investors from about 21 countries attended the International Investment Forum-2014.