Bangladesh Calls for Revision of Power Purchasing Deal With Adani

With Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s enterprise empire and practices coming beneath international scrutiny following accusations that he has been indulging in brazen inventory manipulation and accounting fraud schemes, South Asian nations the place the Adani Group struck offers are calling for revisiting of contracts.

Bangladesh, the place Adani Power (Jharkhand) Ltd signed a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) in 2017 has requested for a revision of the contract. “We have communicated with the Indian company seeking revision of the agreement,” an official of the state-run BPDB mentioned.

It was throughout his go to to Bangladesh in 2015 that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina to “facilitate the entry of Indian companies in the power generation, transmission and distribution sector of Bangladesh.” It culminated within the two sides inking offers value $4.5 billion for Indian government-run and personal firms to promote electrical energy to Bangladesh. This included a contract for Adani Power to construct a $1.7 billion, 1,600-megawatt coal energy plant in Godda in India’s jap state of Jharkhand, which might provide energy to Bangladesh.

Modi’s shut relationship with Adani is claimed to have facilitated the constructing of the coal-fired Godda energy plant and the PPA with Bangladesh.

Details of the contract have been shrouded in secrecy, however a December 2022 report within the Washington Post threw some mild on the settlement.

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Under the PPA, Bangladesh pays $450 million yearly for 25 years as capability and upkeep expenses, even when it doesn’t take any electrical energy from Adani Power Ltd. If Bangladesh needs to make use of electrical energy from Adani, it should pay a further quantity for coal.

The settlement offers for value fixing of coal by combining the Indonesian and Australian coal costs. Thus, every ton of Adani’s coal would value Bangladesh round $400. This is 60 p.c increased than the standard value of coal, in accordance with BPDB.

It is the Adani Group that comes out because the beneficiary of the deal. Adani’s coal would journey on Adani ships to achieve an Adani-owned seaport, and from there an Adani-built railway would haul the coal to Adani’s Godda Power Plant. Finally, the generated electrical energy could be transmitted from Godda to Bangladesh by way of Adani-built high-voltage traces.

The PPA handed all related prices of coal, together with delivery and transmission, to Bangladesh. This has made Adani’s electrical energy over 5 instances costlier that the market value of bulk electrical energy in Bangladesh.

Not solely was the facility from the Adani Group exorbitantly priced, but additionally this was a purchase order that Bangladesh didn’t want within the first place. Bangladesh’s power-generating capability exceeds its peak demand by over 40 p.c.

The PPA has been sharply criticized in Bangladesh. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has described the contract signed by Adani Group and BPDB as “unequal, opaque, and discriminatory.”

“It seems that the agreement has ignored the interests of Bangladesh and favored the interests of Adani Group in such a way that the electricity sector of Bangladesh can become a hostage in the hands of this company,” Dr. Iftekhar Zaman, TIB’s government director, mentioned.

It could also be recalled that in 2021, in response to mounting international concern over the environmental affect of coal-fired energy crops and the cheaper value of renewable power, Bangladesh canceled ten of 18 deliberate coal-based energy tasks. Adani’s undertaking was not amongst these canceled. According to the Washington Post report, B.D. Rahmatullah, a former director-general of Bangladesh’s energy regulator, had noticed then that “Hasina cannot afford to anger India, even if the deal appears unfavorable.”

Much has been written in regards to the shut relationship between Prime Minister Modi and Adani, and the advantages this has dropped at the latter’s enterprise pursuits, together with in Bangladesh.

Although the Indian authorities did promote Adani Power within the run-up to the PPA, it has distanced itself from the cope with Bangladesh. Responding to questions from the media relating to Bangladesh’s request for revising the settlement, Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, mentioned: “I don’t have anything on that. I understand you are referring to a deal between a sovereign government and an Indian company. I am not aware of it. I don’t even think we are involved in this.”

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The Adani Power-BPDB deal may have far-reaching results. Anti-India sentiment is rising in Bangladesh, the place there may be anger over anti-Muslim violence in India, New Delhi’s reluctance to finalize an settlement on Teesta River water sharing, blasphemous remarks by BJP leaders, and so on. The Adani deal will additional gasoline this anti-India sentiment.

This deal can even affect the Awami League authorities. Its proximity to India has earned it criticism from Bangladeshis who imagine that India helps the AL keep in energy. Hasina agreed to a profitable deal for Adani in return for New Delhi’s help to the AL authorities. The Adani deal stands testimony to the quid professional quo and can additional delegitimize AL’s politics in Bangladesh. This can be a severe blow to the federal government’s improvement methods, thereby empowering the opposition’s marketing campaign to choose holes in Hasina’s developmental efforts and techniques.

The excessive value of Adani’s electrical energy will add to rising costs and the price of residing in Bangladesh, which is already reeling beneath an financial disaster. With the IMF pressuring the federal government to chop subsidies, survival for the frequent folks might be significantly difficult. As Zaman noticed, the “burden” of the PPA “will have to be borne by the people of this country.”

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