ADB to finance large solar power and wind energy projects in Bangladesh

Power division officials said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$72 million funds to set up a 7.5-megawatt (mw) solar energy, wind turbines and oil-based hybrid power station at Hatya island, another 1.0 MW solar power based plant at Kaptai and install solar-based light on the city streets.

"The Manila-based lender ADB is set to finalise the loan. After approving the power generation schemes by the government, the loan deals with the lender will be signed," a senior power division official said.

Bangladesh generates electricity mainly out of natural gas, furnace and diesel oils, coal and water. It has a couple of small-scale windmills in costal area.

Besides, some government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have already set up solar home systems to light the house and small business establishments mainly in the remote villages where on-grid power is absent.

But the government is yet to set up any large-scale renewable energy-based power generation plants though the country has huge potential of solar-based power following availability of year-long enormous sunlight.

The Power Development Board (PDB) will set up 1.0 MW capacity solar-based power station at the existing Kaptai Hydro-based power plant site in Chittagong for supplying electricity to the national grid.

The power division official said the state-owned PDB will also set up 7.5 MW capacity hybrid power station at Hatya island where 1.0mw solar and another 1.0mw wind-based units will be installed.

The rest 5.5 MW capacity unit will be set up at the proposed diesel-based hybrid power station in Hatya, he added. "When sunlight and wind will not be available the diesel-run power unit will operate to light the Hatya island in the Bay of Bengal," a PDB official told the FE.

He said we thank the ADB for extending its financial support to us to set up the green energy-based electricity generation system in Bangladesh.

ADB has already assured Bangladesh of providing US$500 million funds for developing renewable energy, a power division official said.

Under the ADB’s $72 million fund, the Power Division will set up the low-energy solar-based Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs on 1000 kilometres streets in the six metropolitan areas replacing conventional streetlights to save power.

The Power Division official said the LED streetlights could save up to 80 per cent of energy compared to the traditional streetlights and slash maintenance cost remarkably. If the batteries are charged for eight hours daily in sunlight it can operate the LED bulb nearly 10 hours, he said.