The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a deal with Spectra Solar Park Limited (SSPL) to invest $17.7 million (~₹1.33 billion) in a 35 MW utility-scale solar project in Bangladesh. This is the beginning of a new era in Bangladesh as it is one of the first private sector solar projects in the country financed by a multilateral institution.
Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), a subsidiary of the KfW Group, is co-financing the project with the ADB.
The project is going to support the country’s efforts to attain long-term energy security and meet climate goals by adopting clean technologies. Once operational, the project will provide 50 GWh of clean power to the national grid and offset 33,200 tons of carbon annually.
Commenting on the private participation in the solar sector, Shantanu Chakraborty, Director of Infrastructure Finance, South Asia, Central Asia, and West Asia at ADB, said, “This project strongly demonstrates that the solar energy sector in Bangladesh is an attractive destination for private sector engagement. This is a landmark project that will also incorporate specific and important design features to empower women and ensure a gender-inclusive workplace.”
The funding for the project includes a loan from the ADB and a loan from the ADB-managed Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II (CFPS II). The CFPS also provided a technical assistance grant to help in the preparation of the project and to catalyze the loans. The CFPS and CFPS II were established by Canada to help the growth of renewable energy projects in Asia and the Pacific region.
Speaking on the development, MD of Spectra Solar Park Limited, Mohammad Aftabuddin, said, “Bangladesh is committed to combating climate change and increasing energy access from renewable energy sources. The Spectra solar power project establishes important precedents for the solar energy sector in Bangladesh by adopting international best practices. We are grateful to ADB for their commitment and assistance on this project.”
ADB was established in 1966 and had 68 members, out of which 49 are from Asia and the Pacific. The development of this project is in line with Bangladesh’s vision of reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and expedite the growth of renewable energy in the country.
In January this year, the Government of Bangladesh awarded a 55 MW solar power project to a consortium led by Metito Group together with Jinko Power and AlJomaih Group. The project will be developed on a build-own-operate basis under a 20-year concession agreement.
Earlier, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank, joined hands with the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) of Bangladesh to develop a 35 MW solar project.
Previously, it was reported that ADB had announced that it would give a $20 million (~₹1.5 billion) loan to Bangladesh under its Power System Efficiency Improvement Project for the expansion of off-grid solar solutions in the country.
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.