Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to set up a 1 gigawatt solar power plant in Bangladesh.
As per the MoU, ACWA Power will provide technological and financial support while the BPDB will extend administrative support for the 1,000MW (megawatt) solar power project.
The BPDB is the state-owned single buyer of electricity from public and private producers, while ACWA Power is a global leader in water desalination and power generation.
At the MoU signing event at Bidyut Bhaban in the city on Monday, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the investment and technology of the ACWA will help Bangladesh achieve its clean energy goal of 2041.
He said Bangladesh has been supporting renewable energy in different ways.
"The government has been working in a coordinated manner to promote renewable energy. The state-owned Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority [Sreda] is providing necessary technological support and consultations," he said.
Nasrul said the application of modern technology is essential to overcome problems related to land scarcity.
At present, Bangladesh has developed a capacity to generate 714.87MW solar power. Of this, 358.63MW is connected to the grid and the rest of the capacity has been developed in off-grid isolated areas.
With the grid connected solar power, the country's total on-grid electricity generation capacity now stands at 22,512MW.
Earlier in October 2019, ACWA Power had signed another MoU with the BPDB for a land-based LNG power plant and terminal in Bangladesh.
As per the agreement, ACWA Power was supposed to develop a 3,600MW gas-fired independent power plant representing an investment of approximately $2.5 billion, reads the company's digital portfolio.
However, the plan has not yet materialised.
BPDB Board Secretary Mohammad Selim Reza and ACWA Power business development department's Executive Director Ayad Al Amri signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.
With BPDB Chairman Md Mahbubur Rahman in the chair, the function was also addressed by Power Secretary Habuibur Rahman and Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Bin Yousef Al Duhailan.