The World Bank (WB) assured Bangladesh Sunday to release US$150 million for establishing two power plants at Shiddhirganj on condition that the government would ensure transparency in the tender process in setting up large and small power plants, reports BDNEWS.
"We have finalised the modalities for establishing two power plants with 120 megawatt (mw) capacity each at Shiddhirganj under the WB assistance," State Minister for Power Iqbal Hasan Mahmud said after a meeting with a WB team, led by its Country Director Cristine I Wallich, at the Secretariat.
The minister said the WB is also expected in future to assist in setting up a steam turbine for increasing the capacity of the power plants.
"We are expecting to float the tender by April this year," he said, adding, the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB) will execute the project.
"The most important challenge here is to ensure transparency in the tender processes. We have emphasised the need for ensuring transparency in tender and procurement processes for establishing both large and small scale power plants," said Wallich.
She said the WB wanted to assist to enhance power generation in Bangladesh with special emphasis on both eastern and western zone of the country. Wallich also emphasised increased investment in northern region of the country to meet the increased demand.
On the transparency in tender process, the state minister said, "We have appointed the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the WB Group, as consulting firm for providing technical assistance to bring transparency in tender and procurement processes."
He said that the IFC would help evaluate the applications in establishing 10 mw to 30 mw small power plants (SPPs) in the private sector and independent power producers (IPPs).
Asked on delays and continuous shift in decisions regarding SPPs, he said, "There was nothing secret. There were some deficiencies in previous tenders. We have examined various issues relating to the SPPs."