The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday cleared the first revision of Matarbari 2X600 MW Ultra Supercritical Coal-Fired Power Project, raising its cost by Tk15,870 crore.
The cost of the project now stands at Tk51,854.88 crore
The approval came from the weekly Ecnec meeting held virtually with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The prime minister joined the meeting from her official residence Ganabhaban, while others got connected from the NEC conference room.
“The meeting approved ten development projects involving an estimated cost of Tk29,344.27 crore (only additional costs of revised projects counted),” said Planning Minister MA Mannan while briefing reporters after the meeting.
Also Read- Bangladesh signs $2.665 billion loan deal with Japan for implementing development projects
Of the total cost, Tk11,003.30 crore will come from government funds while the rest of Tk18,932.04 crore from foreign sources as loans, he added.
The minister also said of the approved projects, seven are new while three are revised ones.
The cost of the Matarbari project now stands at Tk51,854.88 crore against the original amount of Tk35,984.46.
The project deadline has been extended till December 2026 from June 2023.
Regarding the project, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said the prime minister suggested forming a development authority in Matarbari for the overall management since various development operations are being carried out there centering the coal-fired power plant.
About the additional cost involvement of Tk15,870.42 crore in the Matarbari coal-fired power plant, Planning Commission Member Sharifa Khan said the additional cost would mainly ensure deep seaport facilities there.
Around 98% of the additional cost there would be utilized for ensuring deep seaport facilities, she added.
She also mentioned there is no problem of coordination regarding implementation of the project while the power plant is expected to go into operation in 2024.
According to the project factsheet provided by the Planning Commission, the reasons behind the project’s revision include the rise of costs for the channel, jetty, land development and power plant construction alongside an increment of costs against other civil works like Turbine, Boiler, Coal & Ash Handling and Trial Run.
Besides, the costs against consultancy firm, VAT and import duty, rehabilitation and compensation, rural electrification and township construction and expansion of works are among other reasons.
Among the new projects, Ecnec approved the “Establishing Digital Connectivity” project involving Tk5,883.74 crore, aiming to transform the government services into e-services to render these easily and quickly for the people across the country.
Another objective of the project is to intensify the use of ICT by the construction of ICT infrastructure.
The big project will be implemented to establish broadband internet connectivity across eight divisions, 64 districts, all upazilas and unions and even up to village-level throughout the country by June 2025.
Of the cost, Tk2,505.16 crore will come from government funds, while the remaining Tk3378.58 crore from the Chinese government as project assistance.