Fund for Matarbari power plant’s link road project blocked
Hasan Azad || BusinessInsider
Photo of Matabari coal-fired power plant COLLECTED
The finance ministry has blocked the fund of Tk 15 crore allocated to Matabari coal-fired power plant’s link road construction project.
The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) wrote to the ministry to release the fund last week, said an official.
“The corona pandemic held back the progress of construction work of the power plant,” RHD Additional Chief Engineer and project director AKM Manir Hossain Pathan told Business Insider Bangladesh.
The pace of work was 15 percent slower than the usual due to the pandemic, he said.
The road construction project is expected to be completed by December 2022, according to him.
In the current financial year, the government allocated Tk 150 crore for the project. Of the figure, the government is financing Tk 30.35 crore from its coffer and JICA is financing the rest.
In a letter on May 31, the RHD said the finance ministry blocked the Tk 15 crore of the government’s financing.
Under the project, a 43.47-km road and 680-meter long bridge over Kohelia river from Ekotabazar to Matarbari will be constructed on Chattagram-Cox's Bazar Highway.
The government included the 2X600MW ultra-supercritical coal-based power plant at Matarbari project in its "fast-track" list aimed at expediting the execution.
The construction work of the power plant project started in 2014. Bangladesh's second-largest bilateral development partner Japan is bearing the lion's share of the project cost.
Out of the Tk 35,984 crore originally estimated cost, Japan is providing Tk 28,939 crore while the rest will come from the government's internal resources.
The project was expected to be completed by June 2023 but the implementing agency already sought three and a half years more up to December 2026 to finish the project, sources said.