A consortium of Japanese Sumitomo Corporation and Parker Bangladesh is setting up a 200MW solar power plant in the Barapukuria coal mine area in the North-Western Dinajpur district, Bangladesh.
The plant is composed of a 50MW floating and a 150MW ground-mounted units. The floating unit will be installed in two reservoirs covering 109 and 95 acres, while the ground-mounted unit will be installed on 448.17 acres of land.
According to officials at the Power Division, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already approved the plant. As per reports, Sumitomo Corporation is also constructing a Japanese economic zone in Narayanganj. In addition, it has invested in the Matarbari coal-based power plant, phase 1.
The sponsoring company has proposed a tariff of $0.12 – equivalent to Tk13.14 – per kilowatt-hour (kWh) generated at the ground-mounted unit, according to a summary sent by the Power Division to the Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement, said the local reports.
In the case of the floating unit, the proposed tariff is $0.16 (equivalent to Tk17.52). According to the report, the government will purchase electricity from the plant at these rates for 20 years.
However, the proposed tariff rates are higher than those for the country’s largest 300MW solar power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat, which was approved by the cabinet committee last month.
As per the the Power Division, the sponsor company responsible for completing the Barapukuria solar power plant will look after arranging land resources, constructing transmission lines, and building sub-stations at its own expense and under its own management.
Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Deputy Managing Director (Project Planning and Monitoring) of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL), told local media, “ The Bangladesh Power Development Board has leased the land from us to set up this power plant, and they are handling the remaining aspects of the project.”
The sponsor company will build approximately 2.5km of a 132KV double-circuit overhead or underground line from the project area to the grid substation for electricity evacuation at its own cost.
According to a Power Division official, the technical committee has stated that the proposed tariffs are reasonable, considering the plant’s commercial, technical and financial aspects. The Board of Directors of the Power Development Board has also agreed to purchase power from this plant as per the proposed rates.
The Power Division will purchase electricity from the plant at a rate of Tk11.067 (equivalent to ¢10.20) per kilowatt-hour and will be required to pay power bills totaling Tk10,762 crore over 20 years.
The government has a target of 10% electricity generation from renewable sources, including solar, hydro, and wind, by 2025.
However, according to the Bangladesh Power Development Board, the country currently generates 2% of its electricity generation capacity from renewable sources. To reach the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ), requires at least 12% of electricity from these sources.