The Bangladesh government has sought more support from the World Bank (WB) to achieve its targeted energy efficiency by increasing power and gas output and distribution.

An eight-member high-level state delegation sought this cooperation during a visit to the WB’s headquarters in Washington DC last week, an official handout said on Wednesday, news reports said.

The main purpose of the visit of the delegation, headed by the Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, was to conduct a strategic dialogue on Bangladesh’s energy sector with the multi-donor agency. The WB team was led by Julia Bucknall, sector manager, South Asia Sustainable Development Energy.

Bangladesh sought support from the WB in the generation, transmission and distribution of energy including gas, LNG, coal and hydropower. The WB’s cooperation was also solicited in achieving energy efficiency; widening the access to modern energy solutions; and developing renewable energy including solar and wind energy.

Other specific areas of suggested cooperation with the WB include the Bank’s investment in rural electricity, LNG terminal, wind and coal power plant based on ultra/super critical technology, regional arrangement regarding hydropower and exploration of gas. Possible additional financing for Siddhirganj Power Plant, repowering of Ghorashal Power Plant (Unit 4) and Bangladesh’s participation in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline were also on the agenda for discussion.

The delegation had a number of meetings with various departments of the World Bank Group (WBG). During the interaction, they had opportunities to underline the significant progress that Bangladesh made during the last five years in the power and energy sector. The World Bank was found to be very keen in investing in this particular sector.

The meetings enabled Bangladesh side to have a clearer understanding of the WB products and instruments, and the global best practices.

The Bangladesh delegation underscored that in order to achieve the goal of providing electricity to all the citizens of Bangladesh by the year 2021 as set out in prime minister’s signature policy commitment ‘Vision 2021’, the government is putting much efforts in diversifying the production of power by incorporating coal-based generation, importing hydro-electricity from neighbour countries, importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and enhancing current gas output through increased exploration and production activities.

It was agreed that the WB energy team will coordinate with WBG partners (MIGA, IFC, SEGOM, FSU) and deliver a response on the next possible course of action of the Bangladesh Government on different initiatives discussed during the visit.

Adviser to the prime minister, accompanied by the embassy officials and the other members of the delegation, also met with Congressman Wayne Edward Whitfield when both the sides discussed development of energy sector in Bangladesh and possible cooperation from the US side in this regard.

The Bangladesh delegation included Secretary of Power Division Monowar Islam, Economic Minister of Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington, DC Md. Wahid Hossain, Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain, Petrobangla Chairman Dr. Mohammad Hussain Monsur, Rural Electrification Board Chairman Brigadier General Moin Uddin, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission Member Dr. Salim Mahmud, and Deputy Secretary, Energy & Mineral Resources Division Dr. Syed Masum Ahmed Choudhury.


SOURCE: The Financial Express

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