US wants to be number one investor in Bangladesh: Ambassador Haas

US ambassador in Dhaka Peter D HaasFile photo

The United States wants to be the biggest investor in Bangladesh, US ambassador Peter Haas has said.

Speaking to reporters after visiting Meghnaghat 584 MW Combined cycle power project on Wednesday, he said, "The United States intends to be number one investor in Bangladesh."  

Peter Haas said that the US companies are excited by the market in Bangladesh.

Referring to his statement at the Bangladesh investment summit, he said the US companies are looking to invest in Bangladesh as the country has the eight largest population in the world.

"It's a fast growing economy and the government is trying to improve the governing environment. I'm optimistic the US will remain the number one investor in Bangladesh".     

Mentioning the power plant as an efficient one in terms of environment, he urged the government to provide gas supply to the Meghnaghat power plant as it will generate electricity consuming half of the gas required for similar capacity of the power plant.

"This power plant will serve 700,000 homes using half of the gas compared to other power plants".

He said Bangladesh now navigates the global current crisis in terms of energy supply, energy cost and the difficulty of monetary supply

"There is no better metaphor that the US companies and our people are with Bangladesh through rain or shine", he said while it was raining during his speech. 

Joseph Giblin, chief of the Economic Unit in US embassy, Dhaka, Chowdhury Nafeez Sararat, managing director, Mohd. Noor Ali, chairman, Mohammad Jahir Uddin Mollah, chief executive officer of the company and Deepesh Nanda, CEO of GE Gas Power, South Asia among others, accompanied him during the visit.

Unique Meghnaghat Power Limited (UMPL), a consortium of Strategic Finance Limited, Unique Hotel & Resorts Limited and General Electric (GE) of USA, has been implementing the 584 MW Gas-based combined cycle power plant as independent power producer (IPP) at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj under a contract with the government.

State-owned Power Development Board (BPDB) will purchase electricity from the plant over a period of 22 years.

Project officials said that about 92 per cent of the total project construction works have been completed and the plant will come into commercial operation in October 2023.

Mohd. Noor Ali, chairman of UMPL said that it is a symbol of the capabilities of the private sector of Bangladesh. This is a highly efficient power plant and it will surely take top position in the demand order or merit order from the off-taker (BPDB).

UMPL managing director Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat mentioned the contribution of US companies, including GE, in providing the latest technology gas turbines to Bangladesh's much-needed power infrastructure.

He also said that UMPL, a collaboration of international investors, including GE and Nebras, alongside lead investors from Bangladesh, has secured international debt financing from SERV, AIIB, DEG, and OPEC Fund. This financing will make it a world-class infrastructure project, providing cleaner, reliable, and affordable electricity to the people of Bangladesh.

Mentioning the project as a less carbon emitter he said the project will be a big contributor to the commitment of Bangladesh to achieve nationally determined contributions as per Paris Agreement.

In this plant, GE’s latest 9HA.01 Gas Turbine has been used which will operate at more than 62 per cent efficiency whereas the traditional gas turbine efficiency is around 30-40 per cent, he added.

Deepesh Nanda, CEO of GE Gas Power, South Asia said “GE Gas Power is committed to bring affordable, reliable and sustainable power generation technology to Bangladesh and has been contributing to transform the power sector in the country by offering advanced powering technology and power services solutions.