4 years ago

Chinese loans: Govt to drop coal plant project

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The government has proposed replacing two of its projects in the list of China-funded projects.

In a recent letter to the Economic Relations Division, or ERD, the Power Division said it intends to include system-loss reduction by replacing five million electro mechanical energy meter with electronic energy meter and replacement of overloaded distribution transformer for providing reliable electricity in rural electricity system.

It also said these two projects will replace the two schemes, which were included in the memorandum of understanding between Bangladesh and China signed during the visit of president Xi Jinping to Dhaka in 2016.

The two projects to be excluded are: Metering for BPDB's distribution zones and Gazaria 350 mega-watt coal-fired thermal plant.

Rural Power Company Limited (RPCL), which planned to implement the power plant project, said that it had to drop the idea to set up a coal-fired power plant in Gazaria.

In a letter to the Power Division, the RPCL said they had acquired 252.56 acres of land for implementing the coal-fired power plant project at Imambari union under Gazaria upazila.

But in the wake of massive protest from the local people against the coal plant in their locality, the RPCL backed out.

Now, it is planning to implement a gas-based combined cycle power plant in the same area.

The RPCL proposed withdrawing the project from the Chinese MoU, saying completing fresh negotiations on the gas-based power plant would be time-consuming.

Similarly, the metering project for Power Development Board's distribution zones will be excluded.

In its letter to the ERD, the Power Division said that the project was supposed to be implemented by REB and the target area was Rangpur and Rajshahi.

But recently, a separate agency named the Northern Electricity Supply Company Ltd was formed and they had similar projects in the area, said the letter asking for dropping the project from the list.

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