Vol. 5 Num 333 Fri. May 06, 2005  
Front Page

US energy company to invest $1.6b
MoU signed for gas-fired power project, coal mine, fertiliser plant

Global Vulcan Energy International (GVEI), a US-based company, yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh government for investing over $1.6 billion in power production, coal mining and fertiliser projects.

GVEI will invest $900 million for setting up gas-fired power projects, $375 million for a coal mine and a coal-fired power project, $200 million for two carbon-based organic fertiliser plants, and $150 million for a series of coal based projects in Bangladesh.

The US company will complete the feasibility study of the proposed projects within next six months, says the MoU signed by Nazrul Islam, executive member, Board of Investment (BoI), and Ford F Graham, president of GVEI.

Mahmudur Rahman, BoI executive chairman, and Showkat A Kazi, chief executive officer of GVEI, witnessed the signing at the BoI office in Dhaka.

The BoI executive chairman told reporters that the BoI signed MoU for more than $5 billion foreign investment during the last six months -- that included $2.5 billion from Tata Group of India and $1 billion from a Chinese company.

He said if everything goes smoothly the US company would formally start work of a few of their projects from next January.

The company intends to use coal for diverse purposes including carbon-based fertiliser project and coal-based methanol gas project, Mahmudur Rahman said.

Ford F Graham said they are very much impressed by observing the overall investment situation in Bangladesh. He expressed optimism that the Global Vulcan Energy group can start their project work by January next year.

"We feel the investment climate congenial in this country [Bangladesh] as you have four components -- rule of law, hardworking manpower, democracy and the opportunity to move profit from your country," Graham said.

GVEI is a US-based limited liability company registered in the State of Delaware. It is affiliated with Vulcan Capital Management, a New York-based private equity firm, which has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into power, energy, coal, oil and gas companies and projects worldwide.

Under the MoU, the company will set up a series of gas-fired power projects with the capacity of 1,750 megawatt and a 450 mw coal-fired power project. The carbon-based organic fertiliser plant will have an annual capacity of 140,000 tons.