Bangladesh builds power plant with World Bank loan

DHAKA - The World Bank has approved a $350 million credit to Bangladesh to build a 300 megawatt capacity power plant, the bank said in a statement on Thursday.

By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 23 Apr 2009, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:41 AM

The Bangladesh government would provide the rest of the funding for the $470 million plant in Dhaka, work on which has already started and will finish in 2011, officials said.

The plant, Bangladesh’s first integrated gas-to-power project, will greatly ease the country’s nagging electricity shortages, which have often triggered protests by frustrated consumers.

As the supply dropped further during this summer, leaving much of the country including the capital Dhaka, in darkness for hours each day, the Home Minister has ordered stepped up security around all power stations in the country to avert feared attacks by protesters.

The World Bank-funded project includes a 60 kilometre (38 miles) gas pipeline, and an 11 kilometre 230 kV power transmission line.

Three state-run companies in the power and energy sector of Bangladesh are responsible for implementing the project, the World Bank statement said.

Bangladesh needs an estimated $1.5 billion annual investment for power generation and transmission, and natural gas exploration, production, and transmission, the bank said.

Besides funding the ongoing Dhaka power project, the World Bank also finances $220 million for two projects for rural electrification and for renewable energy development.

Currently Bangladesh faces up to 2,000 MW electricity shortages, officials said.

The prevailing power crisis has affected industrial production, commercial and domestic operations and hampered water supply acutely over the last few weeks.

City dwellers say said they had been facing load-shedding (power disruptions) every alternate hour while schools have been unable to conduct classes and examinations on schedule.

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