Bangladesh, India sign Rampal power plant construction agreement

Bangladesh and India have signed an agreement regarding the main construction of the Rampal thermal power plant.

Published : 12 July 2016, 06:00 PM
Updated : 12 July 2016, 06:22 PM

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) was awarded the contract after being identified as “technically qualified and financially competitive” among the six bidders who participated in the international tender for the project floated by BIFPCL in Feb 2015.

The estimated cost of the project is $1.68 billion.

Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Ltd (BIFPCL)’s Managing Director Ujjal Kanti Bhattacharya and representative of BHEL Prem Paul Jadhav signed the agreement on Tuesday at a Dhaka hotel.

Prime Minister's Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, Indian Power Secretary Pradeep Pujari and Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla witnessed the signing.

The Main Plant EPC contract (Turnkey) package for the 2x 660 MW Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant at Rampal in Bagherhat was signed on Tuesday in Dhaka.

The agreement was signed amid criticism by an activist group, the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources, Power and Ports, that the plant near the Sundarbans would have an adverse impact on the heritage site.

The prime minister's adviser, citing Bangladeshi researches, said there would be no adverse impacts on Sundarbans for the project.

Milestone project

The Indian High Commissioner said the project represented “an important milestone” in power sector cooperation between the two countries.

“The success of our multifaceted and extensive cooperation in the power sector is increasingly being regarded as a new paradigm for mutually beneficial cooperation between two neighbouring countries,” he said.

The High Commissioner thanked the Bangladesh government for its “unflinching support and commitment” to the project.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made it clear that India stood committed to working “shoulder to shoulder” with Bangladesh in the latter’s plan of realising its vision of ‘power to all’ by 2021.

India is already transmitting power to Bangladesh on the Behrampore-Bheramara line.

The second grid interconnection from Agartala, India, to Comilla in Bangladesh was recently inaugurated jointly by the two Prime Ministers.

Several proposals in the power sector are under consideration of both sides.

The joint venture company BIFPCL was incorporated in Dhaka in 2012 pursuant to the signing of a MoU on operations in the power sector between India and Bangladesh on Jan 11, 2010.

On Jan 29 2012, the National Thermal Power Corporation of India and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed a Joint Venture Agreement to build a 1,320 MW coal-fired thermal power plant, known as Maitree Super Thermal Plant, at Rampal in Bangladesh’s Bagherhat district.

BHEL is India’s largest engineering and manufacturing company and one of the six elite Maharatna companies of India.

It is engaged in the design, engineering, manufacturing, construction, testing, commissioning and servicing of a wide range of products, systems and services in core sectors such as power, transmission, industry, transportation, renewable energy, oil & gas and defence.

The cumulative overseas installed capacity of BHEL manufactured power plants is approximately 10,000 MW, spread across 21 countries.

Financing for the project has been arranged by India’s EXIM Bank under the special financing package for strategic projects.