DHAKA, April 30 (Reuters) - Bangladesh has entered into an agreement with a Chinese firm to set up a coal-based power plant on an island off its west coast at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion, a senior official at the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said on Wednesday.
The plant, with two units generating 660 megawatts of electricity each, will be set up in a joint venture with China Huadian Hong Kong Co Ltd at Moheshkhali island near Cox’s Bazar, south east of the capital Dhaka.
“The project will be completed by the end of 2019 under a joint-venture agreement,” said Mohammad Saiful Islam, a director at the state-run firm.
China will install ultra-supercritical technology at the plant to meet environmental standards, Saiful told Reuters.
Bangladesh and China will equally finance 30 percent of the project while the remaining 70 percent would be raised by loans from other sources.
The plant will use 11,000 tonnes of coal a day, which will be imported from Indonesia, South Africa, Australia and Mozambique.
“The coal will be with low-sulphur, low-moisture content and high calorific value,” Saiful said.
The government plans to acquire 5,000 acres of land in Moheshkhali to build more plants to generate 9,000 MW of electricity there, the official said.
The Bangladesh government has unveiled a plan to generate 39,000 MW of power by 2030. It achieved 10,000 MW of electricity generating capacity last year.
Around 80 percent of Bangladesh’s 160 million people live in rural areas. The World Bank estimated that nearly 75 million of them lacked access to electricity. (Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Sunil Nair)