Symbior Solar, a PV developer for the Asian market, and Paragon Group, a Bangladesh-based agro, poultry breeding and feed manufacturing company, have secured an order for approximately 10 MW to be installed in Bangladesh’s northern province of Tetulia.
The power purchase agreement has already been signed with the Power Development Board of Bangladesh, the country’s major electric utility, for a period of 20 years, and construction is expected to start as soon as the final negotiation for the PPA and project financing are concluded.
This will be the first joint project of the two companies, and one of the first utility scale solar PV projects to achieve commercial operation against the backdrop of expanding the national grid, and taking the advantage of rapidly declining global solar PV prices.
Previously, more development had been seen on the residential scale. Aiming for its 2021 target to provide electricity to all residents, the Bangladeshi government has focused on adding solar home systems with the financial support coming from international agencies, including the World Bank, which was later channeled through Infrastructure Development Company, the state-run developer of renewable energy projects.
Commenting on the new solar joint venture as a remarkable achievement for the company, Moshiur Rahman, Managing Director of Paragon Poultry Ltd. and Parasol Energy, noted that Paragon has been dedicated to providing grid-quality electricity to rural and remote households and small commercial users with no access to the national grid also by investing in chicken manure biogas plants.
“This is Symbior’s first project in Bangladesh,” stated Florian Bennhold, CEO of Symbior Solar, adding that Symbior’s strategy is to expand in Asia’s frontier solar markets and establish one additional pillar market for the company as part of its regional solar PV pipeline of more than 200MW altogether.
As stated by Symbior, the 10 MW Tetulia power plant fits this strategy, while it also acknowledges the scarcity of land in one of the most densely populated countries on the planet – the obstacle that already came in the way of some previous projects in this country.
In parallel, Symbior and Paragon are preparing a second phase of a 30MWp project in Bangladesh, which is expected to break ground in 2018.