Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will sign a joint venture deal with the Indian National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Sunday to build a 1,320 megawatts (mw) coal-fired power plant in Khulna, officials said.

A five-member high-level team of NTPC arrived in the capital on Saturday to sign the agreement with the BPDB) for setting the coal-fired power plant.

Indian power ministry secretary P Uma Shankar is leading the NTPC team.

The agreement will be signed at 11.30am (local time) at Biddut Bhaban in the capital Dhaka which is expected to be attended by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury, Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Mashiur Rahman and State Minister for Power Mohammad Enamul Haq.

A new joint venture firm between the BPDB and the NTPC will implement the power plant at a cost of around US$ 1.5 billion. The joint venture (JV) firm will float an international tender subsequently to build the plant, said a top government official.

The BPDB and the NTPC had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in August 2010 to set up two thermal power projects, having the generation capacity of 1,320 mw each in Chittagong and Khulna, to alleviate the country’s nagging electricity shortage.

The proposed JV plant is likely to be installed on a 50:50 equity basis. It will have six to 10 directors, including a chairman from Bangladesh and a managing director from India.

The NTPC has already carried out a feasibility study over implementation of the Khulna coal-fired power plant.

Currently Bangladesh has only one coal-fired power plant, having the generation capacity of 250 mw at Barapukuria in Dinajpur, which is being run by local coal, extracted from the adjacent coalmine.

Bangladesh-India Joint Steering Committee on the power sector formed during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January 2010 decided to set up the joint-venture 1320mw coal-fired power plant in Khulna.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between Bangladesh and India during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January, 2010.

BBN/SSR/AD-29Jan12-10:20 am (BST)