Energy Bangla

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Dhaka Thursday,  May 13, 2021

Power sector returns to normalcy

Shamim Jahangir

The country’s power sector has returned to normalcy after four months of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a top official said.

“Even last month, we were worried about loan repayment for the ECA-funded projects having a combined capacity to produce 2,285 megawatts of electricity,” Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Chairman Engr Balayet Hossain told the Daily Sun.

He also said BPDB overcame the issues as the collection of revenue soared to over 90 per cent in the power sector.
The demand for electricity has increased to average 11,700MW now from 8500MW in April and 10,000MW in May during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are now getting back our capacity to repay any loans or payment after revival the sector from July 2020,” the BPDB chief said.

BPDB is now implementing seven power projects with funding from the HSBC, ICBC and Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.

The projects include Khulna 330MW Power Plant, Bibiyana unit-3 Gas Based Combined Cycle Power Plant Project, Shahjibazar 330MW CCPP Project, Chapainawabganj 100MW HFO based Peaking Power Project, Ghorasal 365MW CCPP Project, Re-Powering project of Ghorasal 3rd Unit and Extension of Barapukuria Coal Fired Thermal Power Station by 275MW unit-3. The Power Cell, a wing of the Power Division, has already asked BPDB if it will be able to repay the loans of the ongoing projects or use the majeure provision options to avoid the obligations and liabilities due to circumstances beyond their control.

“We only have to make payments for only two power projects of Tk 4 billion each. So we don’t have any problem in continuing the repayment,” BPDB chairman said.

He added the BPDB has a plan to seek force majeure measures for delaying the payment amid the COVID-19.
BPDB has borrowed $1.5 billion to implement the seven power projects.

Of the projects, five power projects have so far stated electricity production.

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