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Chinese firm helps Bangladesh enhance power infrastructure, promote local employment

(Xinhua)    13:19, November 08, 2019

DHAKA, Nov. 8 -- "From the beginning they taught me everything. So I think that if I get a better chance at this company in the future, I would stay with this company all the time," said Mosammat Farzana Khatun, a local documentation controller of the Chinese firm SEPCOIII.

SEPCOIII, headquartered in east China's Shandong Province, has recently completed Bangladesh's first foreign investment joined public-private partnership power plant--S4 power plant.

And the mega plant for which more than 3,000 people from Bangladesh, China and Singapore worked hand in hand for nearly two years, has successfully commenced full commercial operation.

Speaking highly about her Chinese colleagues who were always supportive of her causes, Khatun, a documentation controller in the Engineering Dept., said that "I love working in this Chinese company" and with utmost dedication and sincerity, they worked here to complete the project.

"I think the pay structure here is good and I'm feeling really great being able to work at an international company -- SEPCOIII -- from my village home."

Located in Bangladesh's Sirajganj district, 134 km northwest of the capital Dhaka, the state-of-the-art plant has a contractual capacity of about 414 megawatts, and is primarily gas-fired, with high-speed diesel as its backup fuel.

It is developed, owned and operated by Sembcorp North-West Power Company, a joint venture owned by Sembcorp Utilities of Singapore and Bangladesh's state-owned North-West Power Generation Company.

The main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project was SEPCOIII, the leading Chinese electric power construction company.

"Our company is the EPC contractor of the power plant. We're proud of our achievements." said Song Xiaoming, the project manager of SEPCOIII whose staff and engineers together with Bangladeshis to complete the project on time.

"Our work has been done quickly as both Chinese and Bangladeshis worked together. That's why we're all very happy," said Mohammad Sabuj, a SEPCOIII guy who has been working with the project since its inception.

The local staff said they are very happy for working with Chinese colleagues. "I'm fine with the salary I'm getting here," said Sabuj who has been working with the Chinese company for about 29 months.

Echoing almost a similar view, local Safety Officer Mohammed Ali said they have completed the entire task without an unpleasant situation.

"The Chinese company SEPCOIII is very good. Chinese engineers have taught us (local staff) how to work well. We followed carefully instructions of the manager to avoid workplace hazards."

Cui Xueda, a SEPCOIII official, said almost 3,000 people from Singapore, China and Bangladesh worked together in the peak hours. "Finally, we've a successful result, and now all the machine and equipment run successfully."

He said they developed a wonderful relationship with their local and Singaporean colleagues.

"We arrange donation for schools and local people and also supply some food and living materials. We hope in the future, we can build a new power plant again and work together and run successful."

Tang Shaojun, director of the project from the Singaporean company, said this is the first foreign investment joined public-private invested project in Bangladesh.

"We started this project in August 2016. With EPC contractor SEPCOIII from China. We finished the project and began the plant's commercial operation since April 2019. We've a long term power purchase agreement with Bangladesh' BPDB (Bangladesh Power Development Board)."

He said the project was successfully done ahead of the schedule thanks largely to the Chinese firm SEPCOIII.

He termed the power plant project role model in term of the cooperation among Singapore, China and Bangladesh companies-- Sembcorp, SEPCOIII and BPDB and expressed the hope that they will have opportunity in the future to work together again not merely in Bangladesh but elsewhere in Southeast Asia under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

"SEPCOIII is a very much experienced and professional, and well trained, and also first class in the world for the power industry as EPC contractor."

He said this is the second time Sembcorp worked with SEPCOIII for building a power plant.

"So I think we two have a future for another opportunity. We would like to work with SEPCOIII for another power plant."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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