Biggest US investment in Bangladesh for power generation
US company General Electric (GE) and the government of Bangladesh on July 11 announced two major power generation deals, with GE part of joint ventures involving power plants along with oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.
Bangladesh is investing in energy infrastructure to reduce its reliance on imported LNG for energy production. About 30% of the country’s residents do not have access to electricity. About 70% of the country’s power generation comes from natural gas, and gas supply is struggling to keep up with power demand.
GE, Japan’s Mitsubishi, and Bangladesh-based Summit Group will invest $3 billion to build a 2,400-MW thermal power plant along with related oil and LNG terminals, the companies said in a statement Wednesday. Summit will hold a 55% stake in the venture. Mitsubishi will own 25% and GE will own the remaining 20%.
Russell Stokes, GE Power’s president and chief executive officer, at today’s memorandum of understanding signing in Dhaka said, “In partnership with Summit Power, our HA (gas turbine) technology enables unprecedented levels of efficiency to strengthen Bangladesh’s power generation.”
The project includes four 600-MW gas-fired units, a 380,000-cubic-meter capacity LNG terminal, and oil terminals with capacity of 100,000 metric tons.
Muhammad Aziz Khan, chairman of the Summit Group, said construction is expected to begin next year, with the project coming online in 2023. “The project will be using the world’s most efficient and environment friendly technology,” he said.
Tetsuji Nakagawa, senior vice president of Mitsubishi, said, “We have joined in this tripartite agreement with the widest experience in infrastructure and energy.”
GE Power and the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) on Wednesday also announced a joint venture for a 3,600-MW LNG to gas-based combined cycle plant. The project also includes an associated LNG import terminal and related infrastructure.
Saiful Hasan Chowdhury, a BPDB director, said, “This will cost $2.8 billion and BPDB as lead partner will invest 51 percent while GE will invest 30 percent and the remaining 19 percent stake will be invested by a strategic partner.”
“Over the years, GE has demonstrated a strong willingness to partner with both the private and public sector here in Bangladesh to boost power generation,” said Marcia Bernicat, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh, who noted the U.S. is Bangladesh’s largest foreign direct investor.
Bernicat, who talked to reporters after meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque in Dhaka on Wednesday, said the U.S. is committed to building a strong commercial relationship with Bangladesh.
“We have a deep ongoing partnership. The U.S. continues to value that partnership,” Bernicat said.