The Financial Express

Khulna 330-MW power plant: BPDB seeks 20pc higher fund, three more years

| Updated: June 21, 2019 13:21:05

Picture used for illustrative purpose Picture used for illustrative purpose

The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has sought 20 per cent higher fund for constructing the Khulna 330-megawatts (MW) power plant, as the entity has failed to start its work even within the project deadline, officials said on Monday.

The BPDB has also requested for extending the China-funded project's tenure by three more years, up to June 2022, from the current timeline of June 2019, they also said.

The Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) has identified massive "project management weakness" in it.

The government's monitoring agency has also recommended strong monitoring of project work by the line ministry - Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

In December 2016, the government approved the "Installation of Khulna 330-MW dual-fuel combined cycle power plant project" for implementation between January 2017 and June 2019.

A senior official said the BPDB appointed a Chinese contractor for the project, which has so far failed to start any physical work of the power plant construction in Khulna.

Until March 2019, the BPDB has spent only Tk 11.93 million or 0.04 per cent of the total cost of Tk 32.54 billion of the power plant project.

The BPDB selected the Chinese contractor - Consortium of Harbin Electric and ETERN China (joint venture) - for building the plant, where the bidder would finance the project.

As per the deal, the contractor proposed the EXIM Bank of China for funding the project as the Export Credit Agency (ECA).

When asked, a senior official of the BPDB said loan confirmation by the tenderer was delayed, which affected the power plant construction work.

He said due to internal problem of the EXIM Bank, the loan confirmation was delayed.

"At last we were able to sign the loan deal with the ECA in December 2018," the official also said.

"As the loan deal was delayed, and prices of different materials have increased over the years, we have sought higher fund and time extension for completing the power plant installation work," he added.

Meanwhile, a team of the IMED has recently visited the project site for monitoring the work. It has recommended strengthening project management capacity of the implementing agency.

It has also suggested strong monitoring by the line ministry/division (the Power Division) on work of the project executing agencies, officials said.

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