(MENAFN - Arab News) For the construction of a 225-megawatt power plant at Shikalbaha, near Chittagong, in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia will provide SR 199,740,000 (53.33 million).
Bangladeshi expatriates in Saudi Arabia hailed the Kingdom's gesture to help their country end severe electricity ordeals.
Without Saudi's support it wouldn't be possible in the near future to execute such a power project, said Muzamil Fakir, an administrative assistant.
When leading regional and global financial players such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank were reluctant to finance the project, Saudi Arabia stepped up to assist with soft loans, said architect Alam Sarder.
Bangladesh planned to build the power plant more than four years ago. The absence of funding delayed its implementation.
Apart from government-to-government level, Bangladesh also woos Saudi business organizations into its power sector. A leading Saudi energy company is in the process to build its own electricity plant with capacity of 225 megawatt (MW) in Bibiyana.
Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank also provided a loan of 380 million (SR 1.425 million) to Bangladesh for the construction of two power projects. IDB will lend 200 million (SR 750 million) for the Ashuganj Power Station Efficiency Improvement Project and 180 million (SR 675 million) for the construction of Bhola 225MW Combined Cycle Power Plant Project.
Only 47% of the total population of Bangladesh is enjoying the electric facilities. At present, the average production is only 4,000MW against a demand of about 5,500MW. Bangladesh has initiated a Power and Energy Sector Development Roadmap (2010-2021), which is targeted to produce 8,500MW by 2013.