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Govt to renegotiate tariff for Teknaf solar park

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SunEdison fails to make any progress
UNB Report
As US firm SunEdison has failed to make any progress in implementation of the 200 MW Teknaf Solar Park project, the government has decided to renegotiate with the company the tariff for buying power from the plant once it is completed.
According to an official document, the Power Division took the decision at a review meeting on the implemen-tation of renewable energy-related projects held on January 23.
The high-powered meeting found that there was no progress in SunEdison's Teknaf Solar Park Project even in the last one year although Southern Solar Power Limited, a special purpose company of the US firm, signed a contract on January 8 last year to set up the 200 MW grid connected solar park within 15 months.
As per the agreement, state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) is supposed to pay Southern Solar Power Limited 17 US cents (equivalent to Tk 13.26) for each unit or kilowatt-hour electricity from the solar park.
The government estimated that it would buy approximately 6482.4 million units of electricity from the company over a 20-year period at an estimated cost of Tk 8,595.66 crore.
The government has, however, decided not to purchase electricity at the present rate and instead it would rene-gotiate the tariff with the company.
"SunEdison's failure is very much frustrating. The US firm obtained the project on an unsolicited basis with much higher tariff compared to other similar projects, but it couldn't prove its efficiency," a top Power Division official told requesting anonymity.
SunEdison has been struggling with the project since it received the Cabinet Purchase Committee's approval on October 1, 2015.
Officials said the company became bankrupt in the USA in 2016 which plunged it into big financial crisis and even it failed to purchase required land in Teknaf of Cox's Bazar for the project. Some local firms came in the rescue of the US firm arranging 700 acres of land for the project, they noted.
Even though, the US firm failed to make any progress in its project implementation.
As per the deal, the US firm will set up the park as independent power producer (IPP) investing about $300 mil-lion.
Officials said IPP solar plants have been part of the government's plan to generate 24,000MW of electricity by 2021, of which a certain portion will come from renewable energy.
The said special emphasis was laid on power production from non-conventional sources like solar photovoltaic and wind.
The government has aimed to increase the total solar power production by 5 percent by 2015 (meaning 800MW) and 10 percent by 2020 (2,000MW). But the total solar power production in Bangladesh has not crossed 200MW yet.