National Committee for Saving the Sunderbans on Saturday demanded that the planned expensive coal-fired power plant construction Rampal be abandoned.
Speaking at a news conference in the capital, the committee leaders said that the planned project would cause disastrous both to the environment as well as the economy of Bangladesh.
They unveiled a study by Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, in short IEEFA, an American research group based in Cleveland.
The study report is entitled Risky and Over-Subsidised: A Financial Analysis of the Rampal Power Plant.
The study report says that financially the Rampal power plant would be risky proposition for both Bangladesh and India.
The study report reveals that it would cost Bangladesh $3 billion in ‘subsidies’ by way tax waivers and other heads.
Low interest credit from Indian EXIM bank would also be a subsidy burden on the Indian people, says the report.
Taking various hidden costs into account, IEEFA estimated that the cost of electricity generation from the Rampal coal-fired power plant would be 62 per cent higher than current average generation cost in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited, a 50-50 joint venture between Bangladesh Power Development Board and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation, is building the 1,320MW coal-fired power plant near the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Dhaka University economics professor MM Akash read out the summary of the study report.
Quoting the report, he said, that the power plant would be risky and expensive for the nation.
Akash said this power plant would bring no good to the nation.
National Committee for Saving the Sunderbans Sultana Kamal said that the proposed coal-fired power plant would adversely affect Sunderban’s unique biodiversity.
As a result, she said, the Sunderbans will lose its ability to protect the coastal areas from natural disasters.
Jahangirnagar University economics professor Anu Muhammad said that the government was hiding the actual cost of the controversial Rampal power plant.
Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekharuzzaman said that it was the constitutional responsibility of the government to keep the nation fully informed about the proposed power plant.
The report said that the Rampal power plant would increase the burden of power supply subsidy on the people of Bangladesh.
The report says that the power project was designed using obsolete supercritical technology.
BIFPCL managing director Uzzal Chakraborty said that Rampal power plant’s electricity generation cost would be much lower than the report projects.