Preparation for inviting international tender for 1320 MW Rampal Power Plant is going on in full swing.
Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Pvt) Limited (BIFPCL), a joint venture company of Dhaka and New Delhi, will implement the country’s largest coal-fired power plant project at Rampal, a site very close to world heritage Sundarbans mangrove forest against vigorous opposition from the environmentalists.
According to official sources, German-based engineering and technical consultant Fichtner, which got the appointment as consultant for the project, is working on preparing documentation for inviting the tender.
Power Ministry’s joint secretary Anwar Hossain, who has been closely monitoring the project’s progress on Bangladesh part, informed that the consultant has been asked to complete the documentation within next three months.
“Once the documents are ready, the company has a plan to go for international tender and appoint an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor within this year,” he told UNB.
BIFPCL managing director VS Tamraker said the company has planned to float the tender for EPC contractor by September or first of October, giving two months time for submission of offer.
“We’re going on a tight schedule and the final submission of the tender will take place in November,” he told UNB.
Tamraker said that possibly, after scrutiny, the EPC contractor will be appointed by the end of the current year.
He also informed that the project will be implemented under the “bidder’s financing” model under which the contractor will arrange the international financing for the project from the Export Credit Agency (ECA) financiers.
Officials said the 1320 MW Rampal power plant project will require a total of US$ 1.82 billion (equivalent to Tk 145.84 billion) fund for implementation. Of this, Dhaka and New Delhi will bear 30 percent of the project cost as equity on 50:50 basis. The plant is designed to go into operation by 2019.
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India have been representing Dhaka and New Delhi respectively in the project having 50-50 share in the BIFPCL.
The rest of the fund will come from international financing, which will be arranged by the EPC contractor as a commercial loan under ‘bidder’s financing’. This might be an export credit agency (ECA) loan, said the officials at the Power Ministry.
As per the BIFPCL plan, the Rampal plant will be operated through imported coal from Indonesia, Australia or any African country.
Officials said the project will require some 12,236 tonnes to run the 1320MW power station.
They said the Rampal power plant is a part of the government plan to reduce its dependence on natural gas and costly fuel-based power generation, and shift its focus on the coal-based power station.
The government has already undertaken another 1,200MW capacity coal-fired power generation project at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar with the financial support of the Japanese government.
It signed another two deals (memorandum of understanding) with two separate Chinese companies to set up two coal-based power plants in Moheshkhali and Patuakhali, each having 1,320 MW capacity.