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Bangladesh is developing its Matarbari and Maheshkhali islands in Cox’s Bazar to turn those into an energy hub of the country. According to the plan, the mega project, involving an investment of around Tk 52,000 crore, was supposed to accommodate several coal- and LNG-based power plants. A coal transfer terminal is being developed under the project which will be linked with a deep seaport off Matarbari through a channel (14.3-Km long, 350-meter wide and 18.5-meter draft) that is almost completed. The channel would facilitate large coal-carrying ships reaching the coal terminal. The government had to revise upward the project cost to that extent for widening the width of the canal to 350-meter from the initial plan of 250 meters. In the meantime, the government has dropped seven coal-based power plants from the initially planned 10. Moreover, The Japanese government has announced not to finance a second 1200MW coal-based power plant there. Under the circumstances, experts were considering that the huge investment in the coal terminal and other associated facilities would not be economically feasible and that the facilities would remain idle.
It would be better to review afresh the whole plan for the area and develop it accordingly so that the investment yields a return as much as possible.
Cover Photo: CPGCBL