US-based Eleris Energy Global has proposed to set up a solar power project at Hakaluki haor in Moulvibazar.
The proposal was placed during a courtesy call with Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin by President of Eleris Energy Global David Taylor on Sunday.During the meeting, David Taylor said his company was also working to construct two separate power plants having capacity of 200 MW each at Sonadia Island and Banshkhali in Chattogram.
Taylor, however, sought the assistance of the Environment Minister to assist in conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of the two solar power plants. “If everything goes well, the two power plants will be able to generate 1000 MW of electricity gradually,” David Taylor told the minister.
Md. Shahab Uddin said the government had set a target of generating 40 percent of the country’s total electricity from renewable energy sources by 2041 to curb environmental pollution. “To this end, the government will welcome the proposal of solar power plants on non-agricultural wetlands like Hakaluki haor,” he said.
The minister added that the government had plans to build more such solar power plants in coastal areas where the strong sunshine was available.
The environment minister said the government would welcome any proposal to build a solar power plant in non-agricultural areas having vast wetlands, including Hakaluki haor, as the coastal areas are prone to natural disasters.
“Bangladesh, as the president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, is currently trying to move away from the power generation process that uses fossil fuels,” the minister said.He said the government was gradually moving towards the policy of zero use of fossil fuels and so would consider a proposal “that is not harmful to the environment instead of conventional thermal power plants.”
Among others, Environment, Forests and Climate Change Secretary Ziaul Hasan, Additional Secretary (Development) Ahmed Shamim Al Razi, Eleris Energy for Asia Chief Operating Officer Jerry Price and Country Director Zakir Hossain Khan were also present during the meeting.