State-run Indian firm Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) is poised to seal a contract to build a $1.6 billion power plant in Bangladesh, beating out a Chinese competitor in the latest commercial tussle between the region’s two dominant powers.
After China’s recent success in pushing development projects in Sri Lanka, a breakthrough in Bangladesh would be welcome news for Indian officials who have long fretted over Beijing’s encroachment on to territory it considers its own backyard.
India believes Bangladesh is a part of a “string of pearls” China is building across the Indian Ocean that stretches from Gwadar port in Pakistan to Djibouti on the African coast where it is building a naval base.
After years of negotiations, BHEL will sign a contract to build a 1,320-megawatt (MW) thermal power station in Khulna in southern Bangladesh on February 28, officials in New Delhi and Dhaka said.
China’s Harbin Electric International Company Ltd, which has power projects in Iran, Turkey and Indonesia among others, lost the bid on technical grounds, said a Bangladesh official, speaking on condition of anonymity since he was not authorised to talk to journalists. Read More