Two giant Indian conglomerates, which have already indicated their willingness to make sizeable investments in Bangladesh's power-and-energy sector, are now on a fast move to implement the projects in the country, officials said.
Of the duo, Adani Group last week urged the Board of Investment (BOI), the government investment-promotion agency, for giving some 250 acres of land to Adani Power Ltd for undertaking a 500-megawatt solar power project in Bangladesh.
The BOI officials have already contacted four district authorities of Jessore, Satkhira, Patuakhali and Laxmipur for tracing out suitable areas for the proposed solar project.
Technical experts from Adani Group are likely to arrive in Dhaka within a couple of days and visit the areas for site selection.
Another delegation from Reliance Group, led by its president Anthony Jesudasan, arrives in Dhaka on February 17 to discuss the progress on their proposal for setting up an integrated LNG-based combined-cycle power plant in Bangladesh with a capacity of 3000 MWs along with LNG facility.
The Reliance Group president will be accompanied, among others, by its Vice Chairman Sateesh Seth and Reliance Power Ltd Vice President Sameer Kumar Gupta.
Both the conglomerates unveiled their plans to invest
US$11.2 billion in Bangladesh's power-and-energy and infrastructure sectors at an investment summit recently held in Dhaka.
Top bosses of Reliance Power Ltd and Adani Power Ltd made the investment pledges as the Bangladesh government laid out plans for tapping potentials of the two vitally important fields of the country's growing economy that need huge funds.
To materialise their investment portfolios, which include construction of power plants, LNG terminal, grid interconnection and port and other logistic facilities, they also demanded strong government backing especially for land acquisition, approval and clearances.
Adani Power will also set up two power plants - one in Bangladesh at Moheshkhai and another at Dhamra in Orissa in India - for exclusive power supply to Bangladesh, with a capacity of 1,500 megawatts each.
They will also set up an LNG terminal at Dhamra Port. The company plans to establish a gas pipeline from the Indian state of Orissa to Mongla in Bangladesh to feed the industries in the country's northern region.
"These capacities will add to the current 12,000-MW capacity of Bangladesh to significantly help mitigate power-supply shortages," said an official of BoI.
He added: the company will invest about 5 billion US dollars initially.
Moves are also underway for import of power from India through construction of a new grid interconnection on the western side of Bangladesh.
These transmission inter-linkages between Bangladesh and India will ultimately add to a much-needed larger regional Power
Trading System in South Asia. Building these infrastructures and logistic supports will also involve another amount of 3.2 billion dollars.
"Once started, it will take about one and a half years to complete the projects," said BoI Joint Secretary Tauhidur Rahman Khan, who maintains the foreign investment communications, quoting Adani Group's initial projections.
Khan also said Reliance Group top officials are also coming to Bangladesh to implement their investment proposal of about $3.5 billion.
Reliance Power also plans to set up an LNG terminal with a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), besides the 3,000-megawatt power plant, making it the largest foreign investment in Bangladesh.
The delegation will discuss the overall issue with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) which will provide land for the project to be taken up at Maheshkhali Island in Cox's Bazar.