DHAKA, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh is looking to China for help to build a 12-billion-U.S. dollar major power hub at Payra, 204 km south of capital Dhaka, Bangladeshi State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua recently, Hamid said the Bangladeshi government plans to develop the power hub which has a combined electricity generation capacity of about 9,000MW.
"We're thinking of generating at least 9,000 MW of power from here, investing 10-12 billion U.S. dollars in this area. China can be one of the big investors to make finance of this construction and take the advantage of this huge infrastructure."
In March 2016, Bangladesh signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with the consortium of two Chinese firms for the installation of some 1.56-billion-U.S. dollar coal-fired power plant in the Payra Power Hub.
The Chinese consortium has already started constructing the country's first eco-friendly power plant with ultra modern clean coal technology at the electricity hub.
Officials of the consortium of the Chinese firms -- China Energy Engineering Group Northeast No. 1 Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd. (NPEC) and China National Energy Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. (CECC )-- and the Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL), a joint venture of China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) and Bangladesh's North-West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGCL), had then signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.
The 1,320 MW Thermal Power Plant Project (1st phase will be eco-friendly with clean coal technology and have two units which are expected to be commissioned in April and October, 2019 respectively.
Hamid, while recently visiting the plant construction site, told Xinhua that "This is the first time I am visiting Payra. Actually the main concern of coming over here is to see how the Chinese good friends of ours are doing the construction."
He said there are several companies which are working with Bangladesh here. "Actually we have the government nominated company Northwest Power Plant which is actually the 50 percent shareholder with the Chinese company CMC."
He expressed his thanks and appreciation to China, saying, "Chinese companies were helping to build this power plant. This is a 1,320 NW power plant. Other power plants will be constructed over here."
"Also different (Chinese) companies are working with government side by side. So it's wonderful that Chinese workers are also working here. Main engineers already work here. And quality seem to be very world class."
He said, "I invite all other Chinese companies who already missing the train should be aboard in the train and come to Bangladesh for investment."
The first plant of the electricity hub which is being built on a 397-hectare piece of land is part of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina government's plan to set up a series of coal-fired power projects to generate 40,000 MW electricity by 2050.
Officials say the consortium has a schematic plan for implementing another mega project of the same capacity and technology, 50 MW solar and 50 MW wind power plants at the same location.