November 6, 2023
DHAKA – The government has given the nod, in principle, to conduct a detailed feasibility study for establishing the first offshore wind energy plant in Bangladesh.
In addition, approval was granted for completing the first phase of site development within the next three years, the company said in its statement issued yesterday.
Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Copenhagen Offshore Partners (COP), in association with Summit Group, had placed the $1.3 billion investment proposal in July earlier this year, according to a press release from Summit Group.
The Power Division then gave approval by the end of October, said an official of the government agency.
Once complete, the 500-megawatt wind energy project located off the coast of Cox’s Bazar in the country’s southwest will directly supply electricity to the national grid via an onshore substation.
In particular, this project presents a unique opportunity for Bangladesh to maximise the utilisation of coastal resources and support the development of its blue economy, Summit said.
The country’s largest private sector power producer also said even though Bangladesh has ambitious clean energy targets, it remains heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
Besides, importing fossil fuels has become comparatively costlier given the recent price hikes amid global inflationary pressure.
Therefore, Bangladesh needs to rapidly develop utility-scale renewable energy projects and adapt with climate resilient technologies to support its continued economic growth and eliminate poverty by 2041.
Citing a projection of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis that Bangladesh needs $1.7 billion annually for its green transition, Summit said their project with the CIP and COP may kickstart a new wave of foreign and domestic investment.
The offshore wind power project will be the first of its kind in Bangladesh and possibly South Asia, enabling a technology-transfer that would accelerate the learning curve for a nascent industry and reduce technological barriers for the entry of future projects.
Summit also said the preliminary findings suggest that hundreds of direct and indirect jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project.
Later on, dozens of high-skilled permanent positions for the 30-year operational phase will become available, it added.