Bangladeshi jute producers go solar

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Three Bangladeshi jute and textile producers will set up nearly 40 MW of rooftop and ground-mounted solar capacity to reduce their dependence on grid power and energy bills.

State-owned IDCOL will provide 80% of funds for the projects in the form of soft loans “We have approved loans for these companies to set up solar rooftop systems,” IDCOL Deputy CEO S M Monirul Islam told pv magazine.

He said the companies will save costs, while also decarbonizing their energy supply. “We have a sizeable pipeline of proposals in hand,” he added. “We are hopeful to achieve a milestone of 100MW from rooftop by the end of this year.”

One of the loans was awarded to set up a 12.6 MW solar project on the rooftop of Akij Glass Industries in Madhabpur, according to IDCOL officials. The project includes 8 MWh of storage capacity and is expected to come online within the next three months. It will be the first of its kind in Bangladesh.

“We want to use electricity from the project even after sunset. Thus, we are adding storage capacity there,” M R Jamil, executive director of Akij Glass Industries, told pv magazine. “Solar power will save our factory’s production costs significantly.”

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IDCOL has also approved a loan for Akij Jute Mills to set up 5.89 MW of rooftop solar systems in Jashore and Gopalganj districts. In addition, Karim Group has secured loans to set up 15 MW of rooftop solar and 6 MW of ground-mounted solar plant in its four textile and jute factories.

“As the loan has been approved, we will start construction and … bring the systems online by December,” said Nazrul Islam, general manager of Karim Group.

The main reason the company opted for solar is because it will help it save on production costs and provide uninterrupted electricity during the daytime, said Islam.

Bangladesh currently generates 1,310 MW of green electricity, including 1,076 MW of solar. Rooftop solar systems produce about 190 MW of electricity.

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