The Daily Star/Asia News Network
The World Bank is providing an additional US$177 million fund to the Siddhirganj power project to boost its production capacity and lower gas consumption. The plant will account for 6 percent of the total electricity delivered to the national grid, the WB said in a statement Dec. 27. Kazi Shofiqul Azam, additional secretary of the Economic Relations Division, and Iffath Sharif, acting country director for the World Bank’s Dhaka office, signed a loan agreement. The fund will be used to complete the construction of a 335 megawatt combined cycle power plant at Siddhirganj near Dhaka. “This financing will contribute to the World Bank’s current support to the energy sector, raising it to over US$1.5 billion,” Sharif said.
“In the last few years, the country has increased its power generation capacity significantly. But, at the same time, the demand for electricity has gone up,” said Azam. The combined cycle technology allows the plant to produce higher energy with lower gas consumption, and reduces carbon emission. The plant will start commercial operation in 2016. In 2008, the World Bank provided US$350 million to build a 300 megawatt gas turbine power plant in Siddhirganj. In the face of increasing power demand and gas shortage, the government decided to convert it to an energy-efficient 335 megawatt combined cycle power plant. The credit, with 38-year maturity and a six-year grace period, and a 0.75 percent service charge, is coming from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessional lending window.