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Country’s largest rooftop solar project inaugurated at KEPZ

Youngone Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of outdoor/athletic clothing, textile, footwear and gear, has business operations and manufacturing units in 14 different countries of the world with a workforce of about 85,000. Currently, Youngone Group’s annual turnover is $2.3 billion.  

The inauguration ceremony of Bangladesh’s largest Rooftop Solar Power Generation Project was held today on 20 June at Korean Export Processing Zone (Korean  EPZ).

kepz_solar
Figure: (Anti clockwise) Nasrul Hamid, MP, State Minister for Power, Energy & Mineral Resources, Bangladesh and HE LEE Jang- keun, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Bangladesh thanked Kihak Sung, Chairman & CEO of Youngone Corp and Korean EPZ for his milestone ‘rooftop solar power generation project’.

Korean EPZ started implementing a 40 MW rooftop solar power generation project. It is believed to be the largest single rooftop solar power project within the industry worldwide. The vision of the project is not only to harness the power of the sun to meet its increasing energy needs in a sustainable manner but also to provide any surplus renewable energy to the national grid, demonstrating its commitment on social responsibilities.

The power plant is connected to the national grid and is eligible for exporting excess power to the grid under the net metering system. The project costing an estimated $40 million will be executed in three phases and will cover all the rooftops of the buildings in the EPZ. In the first phase, 16MW has been installed at the expense of $16 million, which was inaugurated today. Rest 24 MW will be completed in phases as soon as possible.

The Project was jointly inaugurated by Nasrul Hamid, MP, State Minister for Power, Energy & Mineral Resources and  HE LEE  Jang- keun, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Bangladesh with the presence of Kihak Sung, Chairman & CEO of Youngone Corp and Korean EPZ, according to an immediate release issued by the Youngone Corp.

The ceremony was also physically attended by  Lee  Ho-jun  1st   secretary Embassy of Korea, Deputy Secretary Rokon Ul Hasan, Member distribution PDB,  Chief  Engineer  PDB,  Ctg,  Managing  Director of  Karnaphuli  Gas and Eastern Refinery among other distinguished guests and other guests attended virtually.

KEPZ-rooftop-solar-project

Speaking on the occasion, Nasrul Hamid MP, said, “Korea is one of the earliest partners of development of  Bangladesh, when  Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of our nation, was striving to shape the future of Bangladesh during the early years of independence. I must mention Korea’s contribution in the development of infrastructure and garments industry of Bangladesh in particular.”

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Figure: Nasrul Hamid, MP, State Minister for Power, Energy & Mineral Resources.

“I’m really impressed by the fact that Korean EPZ, the first-ever EPZ of the country developed by a foreign entrepreneur, is one of the best EPZs in the world. I  must congratulate  Youngone,  especially the  Chairman of the  Corporation,  Kihak Sung, for making it one of the largest corporations in the world from what was a  very humble organization back in the 1990s.

This has been possible by the high ethical standards maintained by Youngone Corporation that we can see in the quality of their products,” the Minister said.

The Government of Bangladesh, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is committed to increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix. The government has set a national target of 40% renewable energy by 2041.

As Bangladesh is a densely populated country, scarcity of land poses a significant challenge to such a steep target. However, rooftop solar offers a feasible application to scale up solar power generation. “I must thank KEPZ as well as Youngone for the implementation of such a timely initiative to promote green energy,” expressed Nasrul Hamid.

Such endeavor is compliant with Net Metering Guidelines that was formulated by the Power Division.  Under the purview of these guidelines, electricity consumers can connect their rooftop solar system to the distribution grid. Thus, any surplus electricity generated from rooftop solar is supplied to the grid to ensure the financial benefit of the consumers.

“From my experience of visiting Korea Electric Power Corporation, I am really impressed by the technological supremacy of Korea in the field of Power, Digital platforms as well as other areas of Information Technology. I think, it would be very beneficial for both Korea and Bangladesh if more and more investors invest in the Power sector of Bangladesh,” added Nasrul Hamid.

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Figure: Korean EPZ started implementing a 40 MW rooftop solar power generation project. Already 16 MW has been installed. Rest 24 MW will be completed in phases as soon as possible.

He hoped, “To achieve balanced growth, more renewables must be used. I am confident that Korean EPZ’s commendable initiative  will  motivate  others  with  similar  facilities  to  install  rooftop  solar systems, thereby contributing to  our  green  growth  journey.”

HE LEE Jang-keun said, “I have been in Bangladesh for less than one year now, but it is already my fifth visit here to KEPZ. KEPZ is not only at the heart of my work but also at the heart of  Korea-Bangladesh relations as it is the single largest  Korea’s,  Korean company’s investment in Bangladesh.

“It is especially impressive that even in the middle of the corona pandemic KEPZ has never stopped nor slowed down. All the factories have been running, producing products and exporting them. Seeing the KEPZ situation, you can easily understand how the country’s, Bangladesh’s economy is faring in this challenging time,” he emphasized.

The 40MW rooftop solar panel project shows the very vision and innovation of the KEPZ which sets an example not only to the other companies in Bangladesh but also to all the region and the whole world. It is not only saving money and production cost but also make the KEPZ and its business sustainable and resilient.

Bangladesh’s National Solar Energy Action Plan 2021-2041 predicts a generation of up to 40 GigaWatt of renewable energy by 2041. Obviously, KEPZ rooftop solar panel project will be a very meaningful contribution to achieving the goal.  The carbon-neutral green growth and inclusive recovery will not be possible without active involvement and participation in the business sector.

During the  ceremony, Kihak  Sung  said, “Youngone is the first foreign investor in garment  export  sector  of  Bangladesh  and  also  a  pioneer  within  the  Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industries by introducing female workers in the factory since 1980.”

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Figure: Kihak Sung, Chairman & CEO of Youngone Corp & Korean EPZ.

“We can expect electric power consumption per capita in  Bangladesh to increase significantly as demand is expected to increase in line with  GDP growth and the government’s master plan to generate 40,000  MW by 2030 and  60,000  MW  by  2041.

Considering the above and to meet up the fast-growing demand for energy of our own industries, working on a 4.3MW system that involves a cost of $4.3 million is expected to be completed by October this year, in the second phase. And remaining 20MW is planned to be set up as an Independent Power Plant (IPP) within  12-months time frame in phase-3,  which will require approval from the government.” We have one of the best solar power plants, as all the high-quality PV modules are imported from Korea.

It is mentionable that  Korean  EPZ  is currently using 14 MW power from the Bangladesh power development board (BPDB) and also got approval for more than 14 MW from BPDB for its expanding industries.

Youngone  Corporation is a leading global manufacturer of outdoor/athletic clothing, textile, footwear and gear.  It has business operations and manufacturing units in 14 different countries of the world with a workforce of about 85,000.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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