Bangladesh and China will jointly set up a 1320-MW coal-fired power plant in Chittagong, official sources said.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed during a Bangladesh delegation’s visit to China which lasted December 2-10.
Chairman of the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) ASM Alamgir Kabir led the 6-member delegation comprising senior officials of the power ministry.
According to sources, PDB and Chinese state-owned Huadian Corporation will implement the project through a joint venture company. The Bank of China will finance the mega project.
Ministry officials said the MoU was signed following an approval by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This will be the second government-to-government joint venture project, they added.
Earlier, a similar MoU was signed between the PDB and Indian state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to build a similar 1320MW power plant in Khulna near the Sundarbans.
But there has been little progress in the last two and half years since the signing.
Official sources said the Chinese government is very keen to implement the joint venture project and its embassy in Dhaka played a vital role in arranging the deal between the PDB and the Beijing-based Huadian Corporation.
The Huadian Corporation is one of the five largest state-owned power generation companies in China.
Out of total 960,000 MW power generated in China, the Huadian alone produces 80,000 MW, said an official who visited the company’s power plant in China’s Shandong province.
The Huadian Corporation also has overseas projects in different countries, including Indonesia, Russia and Cambodia.
The officials, however, said though a MoU was signed between the two state-owned companies, still there are some unresolved issues, which would be addressed through further negotiations.
“Particularly, the Chinese side wants to execute the project by appointing an EPC contractor of their own choice. They want this in order to implement the project in a faster pace and also to secure their investment,” said an official.
“But we haven’t yet given our decision as it needs the go-ahead from the highest level,” the official added.