Dhaka– The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Bangladesh on Thursday signed agreements for $500 million in loans to develop a state-of-the-art 800-megawatt (MW) power plant in the country’s Khulna region, along with associated connections to natural gas and power transmission facilities.

Additional secretary (ADB Wing) Muhammad Alkama Siddiqui, Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division and ADB Country Director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash signed the loan agreements at a ceremony in Dhaka.

“This mega project builds on ADB’s strong and sustained presence in the power sector of Bangladesh and it will use the latest proven combined cycle technology, which offers the highest efficiency to convert gas to electricity,” Parkash was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

“ADB places higher importance on introducing new and high-impact technologies to benefit member countries. This will be a state-of-the-art power plant using the latest zero-liquid discharge technology, making it the first of its kind in Bangladesh.”

Highlighting benefits of the project, Parkash said it will provide additional electricity supply to about 300,000 consumers, create new jobs and stimulate business expansion. This environment friendly project will significantly improve energy security and enhance availability of efficient and cleaner energy.

To supply gas to the Rupsha power plant, the project will construct 12 km of gas distribution pipelines and finance construction of a 230-kilovolt switchyard and 29 km of high capacity transmission lines to transfer generated electricity to the national grid.

According to an ADB statement, the project will also help in institutional strengthening of the executing agency, the North-West Power Generation Company Limited, by implementing a modern enterprise resource planning system and providing training for implementation and operation of the system. (IANS)