The Exim Bank of India has invited engineering, procurement and construction contractors to participate in pre-qualification checks in relation to the planned construction of a 100 MW solar plant in Bangladesh.

Indian contractors are eligible to apply for the pre-qualification bid. The bank will conduct a pre-qualification exercise and will provide a list of pre-qualified bidders to the borrower, the Bangladeshi government, for bids for specific contract packages.

India will provide Bangladesh with $131 million to set up a grid-tied solar power plant that will be built by state-owned Rural Power Company Ltd. (RPCL) on 325 acres of land. The company has already secured a long-term land lease from the government.

The Indian loan will be soft in nature, but according to Indian foreign credit rules, Bangladesh will have to buy 75% of the goods and services for the project from India. The EPC contractor will also be selected from India as a part of its loan conditions.

The Bangladeshi government will provide about $40 million, while RPCL has to provide $5.9 million for the power plant, which is expected to come online by December 2023. The selected engineering, procurement and construction contractors will build the power plant and its related facilities, including a 33/132kV substation, an office building, a guest house, a dormitory, a workshop, a warehouse, internal roads, drainage systems, water supply systems, and firefighting systems.

In addition, they will have to prepare the site by cleaning and leveling 325.6536 acres of land, and developing a 6.5.kilometer concrete embankment around the periphery of the plant. They will also set up 6.5 kilometers of chain link fence with barbed wire around the project.

The EPC contractors will also be responsible for setting up a 132 kV double circuit transmission line. It will extend 50 kilometers up to the interconnection point at the Ghatail grid substation. Indian EPC service providers can either apply as single entities or as joint venture companies.

Any applicants that have been blacklisted or sanctioned by any multilateral development agencies or any authorities in India will not be eligible to participate in the prequalification bidding process. EPC contractors have to submit their application by July 6.

Bangladesh plans to generate 40% of its electricity from renewables by 2041. The nation’s cumulative solar installations were estimated at 329 MW at the end of 2021, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).