IFC to back 715MW Bangladeshi power programme

The organisation has offered a $170m loan to a local conglomerate via its own account, its asset management unit and other co-investors.

The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's private investment arm, has offered to provide a loan of up to $170 million to help a local conglomerate electrify Bangladesh. 

The convertible investment would be made from IFC's own account, the IFC Asset Management Company and potential co-investors to a Singapore-based holding company established by the Khan Family of Bangladesh, according to IFC’s project database. 

The holding company will be part of Khan Family’s Summit Corporation, one of Bangladesh's largest business groups, to undertake 715MW of new power generation projects over the next three years in the country. 

The new power developments will be located throughout Bangladesh in regions such as Barisal, Narayanganj, Kaliakoir and Meghnaghat. 

The project, which is pending board approval, aims to boost power availability in Bangladesh, where almost a quarter of the country's 159.1 million inhabitants lack access to the grid, IFC said.

“To expand access to reliable electricity, IFC is considering an investment that would help fund four new power projects. These projects include liquid fuel reciprocating engine and gas turbine plants. Potential co-investors to the project include a mix of international corporates and funds,” said Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

This wouldn't be IFC’s first investment into Summit Corporation. The organisation had previously financed the group’s Khulna Power Plant in 1999 and Bibiyana II Project in 2015. 

Nor is IFC stranger to Bangladesh, having invested $428 million in 13 projects in the country in 2014 in areas including agriculture, infrastructure, financial markets and energy efficiency. 

Established by Muhammed Aziz Khan, its current chairman, in 1972, Summit Corporation also has interests across the power, energy, trading, port operations, telecommunications and real estate sectors.