Adani Group and Awami League Nexus Costs Bangladesh Dearly

The power purchase agreement between Bangladesh Government and Adani Power (Jharkhand) Limited (APJL) is grossly unfair and goes against Bangladesh’s interests. Despite widespread condemnation in the domestic and international arena, the government is steadfastly refusing to address the core allegations against the deal by maintaining a policy of secrecy. One of the most shocking parts of the deal reveals that Bangladesh will pay APJL three times as much for power as is now being paid to other power suppliers from India, and twice as much as paid to domestic suppliers. BNP political leaders have strongly condemned the anti-national deal and demanded its scrapping.

The Power Distribution Board and the Adani Group struck a power purchase deal in 2016. According to that agreement, Adani will construct the Godda power plant in Jharkhand, India, and Bangladesh will purchase this electricity for the subsequent 25 years. Two units of 750 MW each will make up the center’s total installed capacity of 1500 MW. The centre’s power transmission line construction is currently in its final stages. Bangladesh is anticipated to begin making commercial electricity purchases from this power project on March 26. The price of electricity will be 17 taka per unit.

Bangladesh agreed to pay Adani Power almost twice the price for coal needed in power generation, and the coal will be mined from an Adani-owned mine in Australia. Bangladesh is not yet ready to import electricity from the Godda plant because transmission lines are not constructed. Yet, Bangladesh is required to pay a capacity fee without importing an MW of power. According to the 2017 agreement, Godda Power Plant’s capacity charge is Rs 3.26 paise per unit while for a typical Bangladeshi plant, the fee is Tk 2.83 per unit. Adani Power will provide 1,496 MW of electricity starting in December 2021 for 25 years, in accordance with the contract. Throughout the course of the 25-year deal, Bangladesh will be required to pay the Adani coal power plant more than Tk 1 lakh crore as a capacity charge. The money is equivalent to the cost of three Padma bridges. At the same time, there is now overcapacity in power generation in Bangladesh. The country may not be able to use the costly power from Godda for many years to come.

Meanwhile, uncertainty is growing about the electrical supply from Godda to Bangladesh. A 95-kilometre transmission line from Jharkhand to the Bangladesh border must be built by Adani Group. 30 farmers from West Bengal have brought a lawsuit against the transmission line of that Adani power project before the Calcutta High Court. They complain that the line is destroying agricultural land. The villagers have also clashed with the police over this issue.

The whole deal is a prime example of the government’s lack of concern for safeguarding the economic interest of the country in pursuit of the regime’s self-interest. The regime is presenting Adani Power with this incredible gift because Adani enterprise is very close to BJP leadership.  On September 7, 2022, in New Delhi, Gautam Adani personally met Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh.

The energy sector, a vital element of our daily life, has been thus given out to an Indian conglomerate at a high price for the regime’s own interest. The government must be held accountable for its recklessness with the national economy and for damaging the nation’s future through such one-sided anti-national deals with foreign companies.