360MW Mymensingh power plant gets state guarantee
Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
The government has granted state guarantee in favour of an export credit agency loan (US$280 million) for implementing a 360MW power plant in Mymensingh.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith last week gave his consent to a proposal in this regard.
State-owned Rural Power Company Ltd (RPCL) sought the state guarantee from the ministry through the Power Division last month.
Officials said, the guarantee has been given applying a set of condition including creation of a separate 'loan repayment fund' and full compliance of the public procurement rules.
"The government has extended the state guarantee to the export credit agency (ECA) loan to be used to fund the construction of the power project," Md. Abdus Sabur, Managing Director (MD) of RPCL, told The New Nation yesterday.
The sovereign guarantee was needed to secure the ECA financing, he said.
Md. Abdus Sabur said that the guarantee would cover 85 percent of the US$280 million ECA loan and the rest 15 per cent fund would come from the Palli Bidyut Samities (PBS).
"Now we will advance for floating international tender. The financing agreement is expected to be signed after selecting the contractor," he added.
Md. Abdus Sabur further said reputed global firms have already shown interest to participate in the bidding with proposal to arrange ECA loan.
When asked, the RPCL Managing Director said, "We moved for the ECA credit after facing a number of difficulties in securing a concessional loan from multilateral donor agencies". The duel fuel (GAS/HSD) combined cycle power plant is expected to come into commercial operation in January 2021. "Once the power plant comes into operation, it would ensure "stable power supply" and improve the economic opportunities for the Mymensingh Division," hoped Md. Abdus Sabur.
The plant will require 55mmcfd gas. The company will be able to receive the gas from imported LNG as the state-owned Petrobangla has initiated move to import it soon. It will be run by high speed diesel (HSD) until supply of LNG.
RPCL, the country's first Independent Power Producer (IPP), has already acquired 16.50 acres of land for the power plant and completed feasibility study for building the power project.