Bangladesh-India Friend-ship Power Company Limited (BIFPCL), the implementer of the controversial 1320MW coal-fired power project in Rampal, has proposed to finance a pilot project for wildlife conservation in the Sundarbans.
“We have already made a proposal to the Forest Department to run a pilot project for wildlife conservation at Karamjal in the Sundarbans,” BIFPCL Managing Director Ujjwal Kumar Bhattacharya told daily sun.
He claimed that State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid is also aware of the matter.
“We are yet to get any response from the Forest Department,” he said.
BIFPCL has already chosen Indian Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) to construct the 1,320-megawatt coal power plant in Rampal close to the Sundarbans. The joint-venture firm was expected to sign an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with the Indian firm by now.
Bhattacharya said signing of the EPC contract with BHEL is being delayed for some quarries from the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
The EPC deal will involve an investment of $1.39 billion, which will be provided by EXIM Bank of India as credit.
“But the proposed EPC contractor has already started their work before signing the contract,” he said, adding that they will be able to sign the EPC contract anytime, subject to clearance from the NBR. BIFPCL has sought additional facilities for the Indian EPC contractor as per the arrangements for the Independent Power Producer.
For this, NBR would require to revise the existing SRO for providing the facilities to the EPC contractor, another official said. “So, the signing of the EPC contract was delayed”
Earlier, the UNESCO reactive monitoring mission requested Bangladesh for conducting a comprehensive strategic environmental assessment (SEA) in order to assess the indirect and cumulative impacts from the power plants and other developments in the vicinity of the property, including a specific assessment of the potential impacts on its property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).