The estimated construction cost of a power plant has shot up by Tk 665 crore before the state-owned Power Development Board could start its implementation because of the delay in fund arrangement by China.
The executive committee of the National Economic Council, chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, at a meeting on last Wednesday approved the upward revision of the cost proposal for the Chinese-funded project under the Bangladesh Power Development Board.
Planning minister MA Mannan, while briefing reporters at the planning commission, said that the revised cost of the 330mw power plant to be constructed in Khulna now stood at Tk 3,991 crore in place of the original estimate of Tk 3,254 crore.
The project implementation deadline expiring this month was also extended up to June 2022, he disclosed.
On November 17, 2016, the BPDB signed a deal with the Chinese consortium of Harbin Electric International Co. Ltd. (HEI) and Jiangsu Etern Co. Ltd. to set up the plant’s simple cycle unit within 15 months and the combined cycle unit within 30 months.
But the rate of implementation of the project until now was 0.04 per cent, according to Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division officials, because of the delay in fund arrangement from the Chinese Export and Import Bank.
The BPDB showed that the delay in obtaining the fund caused the prices of the construction materials to sharply go up, increasing the overall project cost by 20 per cent.
This is the first revision of the value of the project the government undertook ahead of two more plants in Khulna to generate around 1,130 mw power to meet the future demand in the south-western region of the country.
The ECNEC also made a revision of the establishment of an industrial park at Tangail and approved seven new projects at an overall cost of Tk 8,053 crore.
The newly approved projects include: Water Supply and Sanitation in 30 Municipalities of Bangladesh (Tk 1,751.50 crore), Development of Netrakona-Kendua-Atharobari-Ishwarganj District Highway (Tk 710.74 crore), Improvement of Security System in International Airports (Tk 59.62 crore), Development of Cumilla-Chandpur-Brahmanbaria Irrigation Areas (Tk 325.53 crore), Strengthening Poultry Research and Development (Tk 123.35 crore) and Construction of Chemical Warehouse (Tk 91.74 crore).
MA Mannan said that the PM gave a number of directives during the meeting.
The directives included preparing a master plan on waste disposal management down to the union level, facilitating rest rooms at certain intervals on highways and keeping the provision of dog squad in all airports.
She also gave instructions for developing a database on the districts coming out of poverty and for modernising slaughtering houses across the country.
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