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360MW power plant in Mymensingh

RPCL processing ECA loan under state guarantee

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11th-Jan-2018       
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Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
State-owned Rural Power Company Ltd (RPCL) has sought state guarantee in favour of an ECA loan for implementing its proposed 360MW power project in Mymensingh.
Officials said, the duel fuel (GAS/HSD) combined cycle power plant will be built under Export Credit Agency (ECA) backed financing that requires a sovereign guarantee by the government.
RPCL has already acquired 16.50 acres of land for the power plant and completed feasibility study for building the power project at an estimated cost of Tk 2,400 crore (US$280 million).
 "We have already sought the guarantee from the Finance Ministry through the Power Division. The sovereign guarantee is needed to secure the ECA financing," Md. Abdus Sabur, Managing Director of RPCL, told The New Nation yesterday.
He said that they went to the Finance Ministry after getting External Relation Division's (ERD's) clearance to avail of the ECA financing.
 "The Finance Ministry has already prepared a summary for the Minister for his consent in this regard. Hopefully the issue will be settled in a week or two," he added.
Md. Abdus Sabur also said that they would invite international tender soon after getting the state guarantee.  
 "It may take three months to complete all the formalities relating to bidding process, selection of a competent bidder and signing deal with contractor and the credit agency. Later, we will go for site development work and complete EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) process for the power plant," he added.
As per the official timeline, the project is supposed to be completed by December 2020.
 "The power plant is expected to go into commercial operation by January 2021. The Mymensingh Division will completely get rid of power crisis once the power plant starts electricity production," hoped Md. Abdus Sabur.   
Md. Abdus Sabur said, the plant will require 55mmcfd gas. The company will be able to receive the gas from imported LNG as the state-owned Petrobangla has initiated move to import it soon. It will be run by high-speed diesel (HSD) until supply of LNG.   
Regarding the project financing, he said, "About 85 percent equity for implementing the power plant will come from ECA and the rest 15 per cent (Tk 400 crore) will come from Palli Bidyut Samities (PBS).
When asked, he said, "The ECA financing will bear very low interest rate (three per cent). We choose ECA financing in order to mobilise low cost capital and keep power tariffs at manageable level."  
RPCL, the country's first Independent Power Producer (IPP), has made a net profit worth Tk 111 crore in the last fiscal year. It has deposited Tk 69 crore tax in the national coffer and provided Tk 34 crore cash dividend to its shareholders last year.

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