DHAKA, March 30 (Reuters) - Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL) will invest $1.56 billion in a coal-fired plant near a proposed sea port south of Dhaka to produce 1,320 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2019, the head of the joint venture (JV) said on Wednesday.
Two units with a capacity of 660 MW each will be set up at Dhankhali in Patuakhali district, 319 kilometers (199 miles) south of Dhaka and close to the proposed Payra sea port, said A.M. Khurshidul Alam, BCPCL’s managing director.
BCPCL is a 50:50 JV between China National Machinery Import and Export Corp and Bangladesh’s North-West Power Generation Co Ltd.
“To implement the project, both signed an agreement late on Tuesday, with equal ownership and 20 percent equity,” Alam added. BCPCL will fund 80 percent of the investment by a loan from Chinese banks and raw material coal will be imported from Indonesia, China and Australia, Alam said.
The new project will require 12,000 tonnes of coal daily.
Bangladesh needs to produce 24,000 MW daily by 2021 to meet its demand for power that is growing 10 percent annually. At present, it produces 8,500 MW a day and has the capacity to produce 11,000 MW per day.
The first unit of BCPCL’s planned project will come online in April 2019 and the other one six months later, Alam said.
“The Payra power plant will not only provide power, but also create a host of coal-based infrastructure projects, creating decent paying jobs,” he added. (Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Himani Sarkar)