Bangladesh’s leading private power producer plans to reach full capacity early next year at a 335-megawatt plant, a senior executive said on Saturday, as the country seeks to plug a shortfall in electricity supply.
The power unit of conglomerate Summit Group is implementing a $319 million project to raise electricity production from the current level of 210 megawatts.
“The combined cycle project is almost in its completion stage and we hope to produce with full capacity by the end of February,” A.N.M. Tariqur Rashid, deputy managing director of Summit Meghnaghat Power Co. Ltd (SMPCL), told Reuters.
Bangladesh’s current production capacity of 6,000 MW falls short of its demand of 7,000 MW, with only 65 percent of its 160 million population having access to the national power grid.
Summit has a 10 percent share in Bangladesh’s national power generation, however this is expected to rise to almost 15 percent, contributing around 1,200 MW in 2015, the official said.
The group, whose net worth is about $500 million with investments of $1.5 billion, has other businesses including port services, communications, hospitality and industrial parks.
“We look forward to our investments becoming $5 billion by 2020 and we intend to do this by investing in power plants, industrial and hi-tech parks and telecommunications,” Chairman Muhammed Aziz Khan told Reuters.
SMPCL is located in Meghnaghat, 35 kilometers (22 miles) South East of Dhaka. It is a dual fuel fired combined cycle power plant using natural gas, while it also has the capacity to generate 305 megawatts (MW) of power using liquid fuel.
The project will be financed through debt and equity. Germany’s DEG, Standard Chartered (STAN.L), FMO of Netherlands, OPEC Fund for International Development, Britain’s CDC Group and IDCOL-Bangladesh have participated in the debt issue, while Summit Group will provide equity worth $82.73 million.
“This financial close has brought a lot of confidence for the project as well as for Bangladesh,” Khan said.
Gas turbines and its related auxiliary parts have been supplied by General Electric (GE.N).
(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Clelia Oziel)