Saudi Arabian company ACWA Power has offered to build a gas-run plant capable of generating 3,600 megawatt electricity in Bangladesh which could potentially see the firm invest as much as $2.5 billion.
The Riyadh-based firm signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bangladesh Power Development Board for a feasibility study on the project.
It will search for a possible location of the project under the MoU signed in Dhaka on Thursday.
ACWA Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan and PDB Chairman Khaled Mahmud signed the MoU.
Prime Minister’s Adviser for Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu and Power Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus, among others, were also present.
The Saudi firm is eager to invest $2.5 billion in the Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas or RLNG-based combined cycle power plant, according to state news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
ACWA expects to start the investment within 2020, according to its Chairman Abunayyan.
The study on technical and financial feasibilities of the project will start ‘shortly’ and a power purchase agreement be struck within six months, he said.
ACWA will also co-build a $500 million LNG terminal in Bangladesh with Saudi oil giant Aramco, he added.
Prime Minister’s Adviser for Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman speaking at an event at a Dhaka hotel on Thursday marking the signing of an MoU between Bangladesh Power Development Board and Saudi Arabian firm ACWA Power for a 3,600MW power plant. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi
Salman Rahman said the investments were discussed with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Saudi visit two months before the last general election in December.
“The talks have come to fruition in a short time,” he said.
He advised the PDB and ACWA officials to start working on the MoU without limiting it to papers only.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu speaking at an event at a Dhaka hotel on Thursday marking the signing of an MoU between Bangladesh Power Development Board and Saudi Arabian firm ACWA Power for a 3,600MW power plant. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi
Nasrul said the MoU has taken Saudi-Bangladesh ties to a “new high”.
PDB is also signing a deal with Saudi firm alfanar for a 100MW solar power plant and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation will sign another deal with Aramco for energy supplies, he said.
“Now the largest firm in the sector, ACWA Power, has joined it (initiative),” he added.
ACWA Power is a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants currently with presence in 11 countries including in the Middle East and North Africa, Southern Africa and South East Asia regions.
The plants of the firm have a combined capacity to generate 30 gigawatt.