China backs 50pc Bangladesh coal-fired projects: report

Emran Hossain | Published: 01:20, Nov 21,2019 | Updated: 01:22, Nov 21,2019


A new report released globally on Wednesday revealed China is financing over a quarter of all coal-fired plants being established around the globe and many of them are proposed in Bangladesh.

‘Combined with domestic proposals, Chinese financing is behind over half of all global coal power capacity currently under development,’ said a report of the Global Energy Monitor, a San Francisco-based collaborative research initiative.

The report pulled data from different sources to paint a global picture on the use of fossil fuel to fire power plants.

Referring to data published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in January, the new report said most coal power capacity under development in Bangladesh is financed by China.

Other countries developing coal with Chinese finance included Pakistan and South Africa, said the report. 

The IEEFA data shows Bangladesh was the country with the most proposed coal-fired capacity and funding from China, totalling $7.05 billion for about 14GW of capacity, which represent half of coal capacity under development in Bangladesh, said the report titled ‘Out of Step: China is driving the continued growth of the global coal fleet’.

‘China’s continued expansion flies directly in the face of the UN secretary general’s statement at the Climate Action Summit in September that no new coal plants should be built after 2020,’ said Ted Nace, executive director of the Global Energy Monitor, said a release of the organisation.

The IEEFA said 8GW of 14GW capacity would be joint ownership coal plants with Chinese state-owned-enterprises, which will be involved with operation and management of the plants.

The report said from January 2018 to June 2019, countries outside China decreased their total coal power capacity by 8.1GW due to steady retirements of coal power plants and an ongoing decline in the commissioning of new coal plants.

The report said that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found keeping warming well below 2°C requires a 58 to 70 per cent reduction in global coal power generation by 2030 below current levels, ramping up to between 85 and 90 per cent by 2035.

On November 7, a report, jointly published by an Australian and a US non-government organisations, said that China was among six countries turning Bangladesh a carbon bomb.

It said that China invested in 15 out of 29 coal power projects to produce 18,000 MW power, and UK and Japan are involved in three projects each to produce 4700 MW and 3600 MW of power in Bangladesh.

The research, after evaluating 15 of the proposed 29 coal power projects, said majority of the engineering, procurement and construction contracts are won by Chinese state-owned companies and their subsidiaries.

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