The Power Development Board (PDB) has entered into an agreement with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to build a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant in Bagerhat’s Rampal district of Bangladesh.

Under the terms of the agreement, a joint venture (JV) company will be formed to install and operate the plant, while PDB and NTPC will implement the $1.5bn project.

PDB chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir said Bangladesh and India will have equal partnership in the plant’s production. "We hope to supply electricity to the national grid by 2015," he commented. "Coal will be imported to run the plant from Indonesia, Australia and South Africa to run the plant…we’ll use local coal if we get supply as per the demand of the plant."

Of the total project cost, 70% will be arranged through loans and the rest will be equally shared between the JV partners.

Bangladesh finance minister AMA Muhith said that the plant will employ new technology and help Bangladesh minimise its growing need of electricity.

The JV partners will provide 30% of the project cost while 70% will be arranged through loans.

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In addition, the Bangladeshi cabinet gave final approval to build seven more power plants with a combined generation capacity of 570MW, which will be set up in the private sector.

The Power Division said it has approved the work order for the gas-based power plants on condition that 70% of the investment will be foreign.

A consortium of SNPC-Kushiara-DBPL, a consortium of Rupali Engineers & Traders of Bangladesh and Priamanaya of Indonesia won contracts to build the plants; while the consortium of Samuda Chemical Complex, Samuda Power and ASM Chemical Industries is pending PDM approval, reports