A group of companies led by Metito Utilities and JinkoPower has won a bid to build a 45-55 MW grid-tied PV array in Rangunia, in Bangladesh’s Chittagong district.
The consortium’s winning bid of $0.0749/kWh, submitted to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) on Aug. 4, is the lowest ever recorded in Bangladesh’s nascent solar industry. Previously, the average price for solar electricity was hovering around the $0.10/kWh range.
The BPDB launched the tender to build, own and operate the PV project. The government will buy electricity from the plant for 20 years. Antonio Cuccarese, head of renewable energy at Metito Utilities, told pv magazine that the company wants to commission the project by the second half of next year. He added that this will hinge on the speed of negotiations.
The second lowest bidder — a consortium led by Joules Power, WAC Logistics and Jiangsu Zhongtian Technology — offered $0.0875/kWh, followed by $0.1013/kWh by a joint venture under Toma Construction and Kinus Co. Meanwhile, Scatec Solar offered $0.1060/kWh and Canadian Solar offered $0.1313/kWh.
Cuccarese said Metito Utilities looked at different technology options for the project in Bangladesh. But now that JinkoSolar is a part of the consortium, it will use the Chinese group’s equipment and draw on its experience.
However, one participant in the tender told pv magazine on condition of anonymity that the low winning bid would not be viable. “They have not taken into consideration the corporate tax, withholding tax for dividend repatriation, and the embankment construction cost, which is an integral part of the tender requirements,” the person said.
Bangladesh’s total installed renewables capacity reached roughly 601.88 MW by the middle of 2019, including 367.95 MW of solar PV, according to statistics from Bangladesh’s Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA).