Bangladesh signed a loan agreement with Japan where the later agreed to lend Bangladesh $1.31 billion under the 40th official development assistance (ODA) loan package for the construction of the Matarbari ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant.
Earlier, Bangladesh signed a deal for over $1.2 billion with Japan for four projects, including the second metro rail connecting the capital’s airport and Kamalapur, during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Japan on May 28-31.
Now, the total assistance of Japan under the 40th ODA reached $2.51 billion, which is 38.67 percent higher than the 39th.
Monowar Ahmed, secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), signed the exchange of notes with Hiroyasu Izumi, ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, and the loan agreement with Hitoshi Hirata, chief representative of the Bangladesh office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The interest rate of the new loan is 0.09 percent for construction and 0.01 percent for consultation services while the front-end fee is 0.2 percent with 30 years of repayment period, including 10 years of grace period.
The objective of installing the 1,200MW plant at Maheshkhali upazila in Cox’s Bazar is to meet the growing electricity demand and ensure stable power supply. The project is scheduled to be complete by June 2024. The Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) will implement the project. The Matarbari coal-based thermal power plant project, involving Tk35,984 crore is one of the largest projects in the country. Of the project cost, JICA would give Tk28,939 crore and the government Tk4,926 crore, while the remaining Tk2,118 crore would come from the organization’s own fund.
Besides, the government signed two grant agreements, involving $15 million or Tk 126.55 crore. Of them, JICA will provide Tk 93.55 crore for the densification of global navigation of tidal station in Bangladesh. Through the project, survey and mapping work will be done in the country. The project will be implemented during the period from January 2019 to December 2020.
Agreement was done for Tk 33 crore for a project of “human resources development scholarship”. The project began in 2001 and will continue till 2020. Under the project, BCS cadres and first class officers of Bangladesh Bank will be given scholarships for Masters Degree in various Japanese universities.