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Dhaka Sunday,  Jun 24, 2018

Proposals on the Table ahead of Modi Visit

Two Indian cos seek to invest in power sector

EB Reporter

Two proposals from Indian entrepreneurs to invest in the power and energy sector of Bangladesh are being tabled ahead of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Bangladesh next month, reports UNB.

According to officials at the Power and Energy Ministry, they are now looking into the two proposals from the Indian private sector.

One is from the Reliance Group, India’s largest conglomerate, seeking to invest $3 billion in Bangladesh to gradually set up four LNG-based (liquefied natural gas) power plants with a combined generating capacity of 3,000 megawatt electricity.

The other proposal is from Mumbai-based Shapoorji Pallonji Group (SP Group), seeking to set up a 220 MW gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Bhola.

“We’ve received these two proposals from the Indian private sector and are now examining their nitty-gritty. These two projects may come up for discussion during the Indian PM’s visit,” a senior official at the Power Division told UNB.

The official, who preferred not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter at this stage, said that these two groups have expressed their interest to implement the projects on unsolicited basis.

They sought government’s assurance to facilitate the projects with confirmation to buy the gas to be imported and produce electricity for the national grid, he noted.

It is mentionable that during the recent Bangladesh-India joint steering committee meeting on power sector cooperation, the issue of more involvement for the Indian and Bangladeshi private sectors in energy projects had been broached.

The Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi recently raised the Reliance Group proposal at a press conference, telling reporters that initially the group will invest $1.5 billion and it would be gradually doubled.

Reliance Group has offered to initially set up an LNG- based power plant with 750-MW capacity in the first phase and also set up another LNG-based power plant with the same capacity in the second phase.

There are two proposed locations for the Reliance project—one in Moheshkhali and another in Meghnaghat—to set up the power plants.

Power Division officials said Reliance is directly maintaining relations with them about the project while a local entrepreneur, who is also an adviser to the Awami League president Sheikh Hasina, is pursuing the Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s power project.

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