Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Ltd (CPGCBL) received two bid prices ranging from US$ 4.5 billion to $ 4 billion for implementing 1,200 MW Matarbari Coal-Fired Power Project at Moheskhali under Cox’s Bazar district.
“Evaluation of those tenders is not over yet. So we can’t say the exact quoted prices. But in the primary evaluation, it seems Marubeni may have submitted the lowest price. After final evaluation we will contact the selected company in a short time,” a high CPGCBL official, preferring anonymity, told on Wednesday.
He said, “This power plant will be made after considering environmental issues. There is a description in the submitted proposal as to what will be done to keep the environment safe. We are investigating the issues including the hidden price (which the bidder did not mention in the bid document) of this project.”
Matarbari power project is a top priority government scheme implemented by the CPGCBL with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). But uncertainty was cast over its implementation following the aspirant Japanese bidders’ reluctance to submit bid following the terrorist attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery at Gulshan on 1 July that killed 22 people, including seven Japanese nationals.
Power Division officials said the two Japanese firms submitted both technical and financial offers in two-envelop tender process. The CPGCBL authority first opened the technical offers of the two firms. Later, the financial offers were opened.
“It may take few weeks to complete the evaluation and approval process,” a senior official of the Power Division said.
In February 1, two short-listed Japanese bidders submitted tender documents for the implementation of 1,200 MW coal-based power plant at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar. The two Japanese bidders-Marubeni and Sumitomo-had been shortlisted, following their submission of expression of interest (EoI).
“Marubeni asked for $ 4 billion and Sumitomo wants $ 4.5 billion for implementing the project,” according to the official sources.
CPGCBL will borrow $ 3.7 billion from JICA, at an annual interest rate of 0.1 per cent over 30 years, with a 10-year moratorium period. The remaining money will come from government funds.
The company is eager to sign the contract with the selected contractor to award the contract by May this year and start the project’s physical works by June.
With this delay in tender submission process, the project ultimately got delayed by six months. The original plan was to award the contract by January this year. CPGCBL Managing Director Md Abul Quasem also noted that the project has now been rescheduled to complete the construction work by December 2022.
“The company would award the contract in six months after evaluating the technical and financial proposals of the two bidders,” Abul Quasem said.
Site development and dredging of a canal to facilitate transportation of heavy equipment and machinery to the project site was at the final stage. Later the canal will be used to transport imported coal from a mini deep-sea port, according to him.
The Matarbari plant will have an installed capacity of 1,200 MW, with two units producing 600 MW each. It will use imported coal to meet the rapidly rising power demand. The government is building the Matarbari coal-fired power plant to ease the electricity shortage in the country. The project also includes a deep-sea port near the plant for handling coal imported for the plant.
Officials said Japan has been funding the project line with its South Asian strategic plan titled “Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B).” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the funding during his Dhaka visit in 2014. JICA is providing the loan at an annual interest rate of 0.1 per cent over 30 years with an initial ten-year grace period.