The plants, however, will remain on standby and the government will purchase power from them, when necessary.
Sylhet’s Kumargaon 50 MW power plant received a one-year extension, while the 50 MW plant in Fenchuganj and the 20 MW plant in Bogura received three years each. The government extended the tenure of Ashuganj’s 53 MW power plant by five years.
The prices of electricity to be purchased from these plants will decline in the new tenure, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said at a media briefing in Dhaka on Wednesday.
A cabinet committee also approved the installation of a 660 MW power plant at Mirsarai in Chattogram.
“The government will pay for electricity, only if it purchases from the plants, otherwise it does not need to pay anything,” said the minister.
After it returned to power in 2009, the Awami League government approved rental power plants in a bid to ease the power crisis.
Bangladesh introduced a law in 2010 to legalise the rental power plants, initially approving a two-year term and later extending it by five years.
The government faces criticism over the issue as it has to pay a hefty amount of subsidy to purchase electricity from these rental power plants.
The plants were scheduled to be closed by 2024, according to a report from the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. Later, the government decided to extend their tenure.