Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), an New Delhi based engineering and manufacturing company, is all set to seal a contract to build a USD 1.6 billion coal power plant in Bangladesh, beating the Chinese rivals in the latest business tussle between the Asia’s two dominant powers.
Reportedly, BHEL has been competing with Chinese engineer firm, “Harbin Electric International” for the Maitree Super Thermal power station, a 1,320MW coal-fired plant, situated at Rampal Upazila of southern Bangladeshi District in Khulna, Bangladesh.
A Bangladesh official told sources, that China’s ‘Harbin Electric International‘, which possesses power projects in various other nations like, Iran, Turkey and Indonesia, lost the bid on technical grounds.
The recent development is said to provide PM Modi’s `Make in India’ initiative a huge boost and a writing down a reference for the similar projects worldwide, especially, after recent success of China in launching development projects in Sri Lanka.
As per sources, a breakthrough in Bangladesh would be welcome news for Indian officials who have been distressed over Beijing’s invasion on the territory, it considers its own back yard. Moreover, the Indian think-tanks believes, that Bangladesh is a part of a “String of Pearls” China is building across the Indian Ocean that stretches from Gwadar port in Pakistan to Djibouti on the African coast where it is constructing a naval base.
In addition, the station is to be built on a turnkey contract, and is indexed to begin generating electricity using ultra-super critical steam from two 660MW units around December, 2018.
An Indian government official told that the government’s external finance lending arm, the Exim Bank, has backed up BHEL’s offer with a loan for 70% of the project cost at 1% above the Libor rate (currently set at 1.1% over 12 months). It is said to be another factor behind BHEL’s victory.