The government on Thursday signed another deal with a local-foreign consortium to buy pricy electricity at Tk 12 per unit or kilowatt-hour from a 200MW solar park to be installed at Latshal, Sundarganj in Gaibandha.
The government awarded the contract to the consortium under the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provisions) Act 2010 that indemnified officials concerned against prosecution for awarding contracts without tender, said officials.
Under the contract, Teesta Solar Limited, an 80-20 joint venture of Beximco Power Company Limited of Bangladesh and TBEA XinJiang SunOasis Co Ltd of China, will supply electricity from the solar park to state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board at 15 US cents per unit for 20 years.
The country’s average power generation cost, however, stands at Tk 5.50 per unit, said officials.
Besides Teesta Solar Limited, the power board also signed contracts with four private companies — Intraco Solar Power Limited, Southern Solar Power Limited, HDFC SinPower Ltd, HDISUN-Power Point & Haor Bangla-Korea Green Energy Ltd and Jules Power Limited — between February 2016 and august 2017 to buy solar electricity at 15-17 US cents per unit for 20 years.
State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid, Power Division secretary Ahmad Kaikaus, power board chairman Khaled Mahmud and Beximco Group’s vice-chairmen Salman F Rahman were present at Thursday’s contract signing ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Kaikaus said, ‘The government earlier signed several similar contracts with different private companies of which one was a US company. But none of them started power supply from their solar parks.’
He urged the consortium to maintain the schedule.
Salman hoped that they would be able to supply electricity from the solar park in 15 months although they were given 18 months for developing the facilities.
He said that they had already purchased 1,000 acres of land at the project site to build the solar park in Gaibandha.
Power board officials, however, said that a 200MW solar park required up to 650 acres of land.