|Govt to seek ADB funds for three power units|
|Tuesday, 11 March 2008|
The government will seek Asian Development Bank funds to install two more 50MW units at the Karnaphuli hydroelectric plant and a 125MW unit at the Barapukuria plant, Power Division officials said.
The power secretary, M Fouzul Kabir Khan, who left Dhaka for Manila Sunday night to attend the ADB’s third Asian Development Fund-X donors meeting in March 12–14, will seek the funds from the bank for the three power units and 20 other projects for transmission and distribution networks, they said.
The only hydroelectric power plant in Kaptai Lake has five 50MW units, but it generates around 200MW–230MW of electricity as some of the units are very old. The coal-based Barapukuria plant has two 125MW units in operation.
‘We are planning to install two more units at the Karnaphuli plant as the generation cost of hydropower is low and Kaptai Lake has the water level required for the unit installation.
We have already sought government approval for a project to set up the third unit at the Barapukuria plant,’ said a division official. He said the power secretary would present a picture of the current state of power sector and related plans to the donor countries and the Asian Development Bank on the sidelines of the meeting and seek funds.
The division has planned to increase the existing power generation capacity to 8,000MW from the current capacity which hovers between 3,500MW and 4,000MW by setting up a large number of plants, including three big independent power plants, seven public sector power plants and four power plants funded by lending agencies.
‘We will seek more funds this time from the lenders for transmission and distribution networks as a number of power plant projects are in the pipeline,’ said the official. The division has estimated that around Tk 7,000 crore would be required for the upgrade of the transmission and distribution networks by 2012 if power generation reaches 8,000MW by then.
‘We will place before the lenders and donor agencies our needs and try to get whatever the amount they can give for the upgrade of the transmission and distribution systems,’ he said. From the Asian Development Bank, the Power Division is looking forward an amount similar to what the bank provided in 2007 under the Sustainable Power Sector Development Programme, he said.
The bank is providing around $465 million under the programme to set up the three power plants — 2x120MW in Siddhirganj, and 150MW each in Sirajganj and Khulna.
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