Indian Shapoorji Pallonji group on Monday struck a 22-year power sales contract with Bangladesh Power Development Board without competitive bidding.
Shapoorji’s subsidiary, Nutan Bidyut (Bangladesh) Ltd, will supply electricity from its 220MW power plant at 3.9830 US cents or approximately Tk 3.19 per unit or kilowatt-hour when it would run on natural gas and $16.9621 US cents or Tk 13.57 per unit when it would run on diesel.
Nutan Bidyut will set up the dual-fuel power plant at Bhola by December 2019, according to a handout distributed at the contract signing ceremony.
The power plant will run at 220MW capacity if gas supply is available and it will run at 212MW capacity if it would run on diesel in case of non-availability of gas supply.
State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid, power division secretary Ahmad Kaikaus, power board chairman Khaled Mahmud, Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah and Shapoorzi’s top officials were present at the contract signing ceremony.
The power board awarded the contract to the Indian company under the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provisions) Act 2010 that indemnified officials concerned against any prosecution for awarding contracts without any tender.
Using the benefit of the much-talked-about ‘indemnity’ act, the government also awarded contracts to Indian Adani Group to supply electricity from a 1,600MW coal-fired power plant and Reliance to set up a floating re-gasification unit and supply 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Reliance has also been allowed to supply electricity from at least three large power plants with 3,000 MW combined capacity.
Shapoorji was given the chance to have the contract with the power board after an Indian private company
Lanco Infratech Limited, which won the contract through bidding, failed to install the power plant at Bhola, said Kaikaus.
He also said that the price of electricity was the same as price quoted by Lanco for its power plant.
Nasrul Hamid said that Shapoorji was the first Indian company which came up with 100 per cent investments in a power sector project in Bangladesh.
He said that the government would consider positively about new projects of Shapoorji if it could install the power plant ahead of the schedule.
In 2014, Shapoorji initially planned to relocate its power plant from Uttarakhand province of India to Bhola as the company was denied supply of natural gas by Indian authorities to the plant after its installation in 2013, said officials.
Following a visit to the power plant in Uttarakhand in 2015, a technical team of the power board reported that the engineering design and specifications of the plant was not suitable for Bangladesh’s standards at which gas is supplied to the plant and electricity is supplied to the power grid, they said.
When contacted, the power board chairman said Shapoorji group would set up a new power plant at Bhola.
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