The 1,320 MW coal-fired power station is under construction in Rampal, Bangladesh

India and Bangladesh have agreed to expedite work on the 1,320 MW Maitree Power Project and to ensure the timely commissioning of the first unit in December this year.

The progress of the project was reviewed at a meeting between the Power Secretaries of India and Bangladesh on Tuesday.

Bangladesh’s Power Secretary assured of the necessary support for completion of the project in time and appreciated the progress made by the project so far despite the COVID constraints since last year.

The Maitree super thermal power project is a 1,320 MW coal-fired power station under construction in Rampal, Bangladesh.

It is being developed by Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (BIFPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between India’s state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).

The project is an environmentally friendly supercritical technology based thermal power plant, and the first unit of this project would be commissioned in December 2021, coinciding with the Golden Jubilee celebration of Victory Day of Bangladesh, according to a statement from the Ministry of Power.

The second unit is expected to be commissioned matching with the implementation of associated transmission system, it added.

The COVID situation since March 2020 has presented enough challenges to the people of both the countries and has affected the implementation of the Maitree project and both sides are putting the best effort to complete the project in time, said the statement.

The Bangladesh side was assured that BHEL and BIFPCL are confident to meet the timelines, with the support of Govt of Bangladesh in the matter of Entry Permission and VISA approvals for Highly skilled ex-pat manpower from India, Customs related Issues / Imposition of Advance Income Tax (AIT) after latest SRO 126, Court Case against BHEL employees posted at Maitree Site & in offices in India and Vaccination of work force, it mentioned.

This meeting was convened shortly after the 8th High Level Monitoring Committee meeting held on 17 June during which certain critical issues were identified that required to be addressed for timely commissioning of Unit 1 in December 2021.

The meeting was attended by senior officials including those from the Ministry of Power (MoP), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh, Department of Heavy Industries (DHI), Central Electricity Authority (CEA), NTPC Ltd. BHEL and BIFPCL.

Both sides also discussed about the date of the meeting of the next JWG /JSC for the India-Bangladesh Cooperation in Power Sector. It has been decided to hold JWG/JSC meeting in the 3rd week of September 2021.