‘Solar power plant in Hakaluki Haor area will be welcomed’

Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Mohammad Shahab Uddin said the government has set a target of generating 40 per cent of the total electricity using renewable energy by 2041 to curb environmental pollution. 

To this end, the government will welcome the proposal to set up solar power plants on non-agricultural lands in wetlands including Hakaluki Haor area. A delegation of ELERIS Energy for Asia led by David Taylor, President of ELERIS Energy Global, made the remarks while discussing the environment for the construction of a 200-megawatt solar power plant under construction at Sonadia Island in the office room of the Minister's Secretariat today.

During the meeting, David Taylor said his company was working on plans to build two 200 MW power plants at Sonadia Island and Bashkhali in Chittagong. If all goes well, the two power plants will be able to generate 1000 MW of electricity gradually. 

David therefore sought the assistance of the Minister of Environment to assist in conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of these two solar power plants. He added that they have plans to build more such solar power plants in coastal areas where strong sunshine is available.

During the discussion, the Environment Minister said the government would welcome any proposal to build a solar power plant in non-agricultural areas rich in wetlands, including Hakaluki Haor, as the coastal area is prone to disasters. 

The minister said the Bangladesh government, currently chairing the Climate Vulnerable Forum, is trying to move away from the power generation process by using fossil fuels. His government is gradually moving towards the policy of zero use of fossil fuels. Therefore, the Government of Bangladesh will seriously consider a proposal that is not harmful to the environment instead of conventional thermal power plants.

Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Ziaul Hasan NDC, Additional Secretary (Development) Ahmed Shamim Al Razi, ELERIS Energy for Asia’s Chief Operating Officer Jerry Price, Country Director Zakir Hossain Khan and others were present on the occasion.