Muhith says he does not care about ultimatum

September 30, 2013

Rampal Project
Muhith says he does not care about ultimatum
Cabinet committee okays eight more power plants
Finance minister AMA Muhith said Sunday that he didn’t care about the ultimatum from the National Oil and Gas Committee for dropping the coal-fired power plant near the Sunderbans. ‘I don’t care,’ Muhith told reporters at his office emerging from cabinet committee meetings on economic affairs and purchase, a day after the citizens’ oil and gas committee asked the government to drop the power plant plan by October 11 or face agitations.
Muhith called the oil and gas committee’s whole idea of ultimatum to drop the Rampal thermal power plant as ‘wrong.’
Hundreds of protesters took part in the just ended 400-kilometre protest march from the capital to the Sunderbans organized by the national oil and gas committee city to press seven demands, including dropping the Rampal power project to protect the world’s largest mangrove forest, home to Bengal Tigers.
Muhith said no matter what the long march organizer Anu Muhammad said, the country had no option other than building the coal-fired power plant.
‘Coal is the second cheapest source of power after gas,’ he said.
They have been opposing for long the government’s plans to extract coal from Phulbari, he said.
And now, they are opposing the Rampal power plant site, he said.
He said energy division had been asked to hold discussions with the green activists on the issue of Rampal power plant.
He said none could get pollution free energy from coal-fired power plants.
‘All you could do is to minimize the adverse impacts,’ he said.
The cabinet committee on purchase approved eight power plants, seven of them – coal fired and one — gas-fired, to be set up by private sector power suppliers.
Summit Group and S Alam bagged the contracts to set up two coal-fired power plants each and Orion Group –three.
The per unit power production cost has been set at Tk 6 to 7.
Liberty Power Consortium, owned by non-resident Bangladeshis, was awarded the contract to set up a 50 megawatt gas-fired power plant at Fenchuganj. Per unit production cost for it has been set at Tk 2.61.
Besides, the purchase committee approved the procurement of services worth $265 million from Russian state-run Rosatom for Rooppur nuclear power plant and also its appointment as consultants for clean air and sustainable environment for Tk 18.65 crore.

-With New Age input

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