Saudi Arabia on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh to set up a 3,600 MW LNG-based power plant.
As per the deal signed with Bangladesh Power Development Board, Saudi private company ACWA Power will set up the power plant along with a liquified natural gas terminal to facilitate fuel supply to the plant.
It will also set up a 2 MW solar power plant under the deal at an investment of about $3 billion. Of this $2.5 billion will be invested for the power plant while $500 million will be spent for setting up the LNG terminal.
Officials said this has been the first ever deal signed between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia regarding investment.
Addressing the deal signing ceremony at Intercontinental Hotel in the city, ACWA chairman Mohammad Abunayaan said they hope the power plant will be most economic and efficient one. He said the recent economic development has prompted the kingdom to come to Bangladesh to invest in power sector.
‘Bangladesh has been a model for the Muslim world in the economic progress’, he said adding that this is the beginning of Saudi investment.
‘This is our beginning and our journey and our relation will be for a longer time’, he said.
Officials said the Saudi company will conduct a feasibility study within next 6 months and then it will decide the location of the power plant.
Prime minister’s private investment and industry advisor Salman F Rahman, who was the chief guest at the function, said that through signing the deal Saudi Arabia has fulfilled its commitment about its investment in Bangladesh.
He said the location of the power plant will be decided after feasibility study and there are a number of locations being considered for the proposed power plant including Mongla and Chattogram.
State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said the country’s power sector has broken all records of investment as the total investment now stands at $22 billion from $2 billion in 2009.
He said many more foreign companies are showing interest to invest in power and energy sector in Bangladesh.
Power secretary Ahmad Kaikaus said that some media is criticising the surplus power generation.
‘But such surplus power generation is part of the power system masterplan prepared with the help of Japanese donor agency Jica.’
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