Chinese firm to build renewable power projects in Bangladesh: official

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh has set up a $400 million joint venture with a Chinese company to build renewable energy projects to provide a total 500 megawatts of power by 2023, a government official said on Wednesday.

The venture (JV) between China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) and Bangladesh’s North-West Power Generation Company (NWPGC) is the latest sign of Beijing’s growing role in Bangladesh’s energy sector.

The renewable energy generation projects included 50 megawatts of wind power projects, said Khurshedul Alam, managing director of NWPGC.

Bangladesh currently produces 25 megawatts from solar energy and has set a target to meet 10% of its power demand from renewable energy by 2021. Its main source of energy is natural gas, whose reserves are depleting fast.

“Bangladesh will implement a number of projects with China to produce 500 megawatts renewable energy with an investment of $400 million including $100 million equal equity fund,” Alam told Reuters on Wednesday.

China had proposed to set up at least a dozen dual-fuel run power plants in the country but so far only three projects costing a total $4.5 billion with 1,320 megawatts capacity each are near completion, he said.

Bangladesh’s total installed capacity is more than 20,000 MW and the nation aims to provide electricity to all of its more than 160 million people by 2020.

Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Nidhi Verma and Emelia Sithole-Matarise