Monthly Progress Report (16) December 2020

1. Activities and Achievements of the Month

1.1 Summary of Progress

The Project Implementation Consultants Team finally resumed their international members’ field activities at SREDA. Having confirmed the improvement in COVID-19 infection status in Bangladesh, and also acknowledging SREDA’s readiness to be receiving the international consultants, the Project Manager, Ms Mari Iwata left Japan for Bangladesh on 30th November. During her initial 2 weeks’ self-quarantine period after arrival, the work was pursued online. Having fulfilled the requirement, the field work of the international consultants finally resumed from 17th December. The Team Leader, Mr Yoshihiko Kato followed two weeks later, leaving Japan on 15th joining SREDA’s office activity from 30th December. The PI Consultants Team, during the month, started by supporting SREDA to develop energy saving instructions on air conditioner and boiler. The Team will continue this activity by supporting the development of energy saving instructions for chiller and generator in the coming months. The immediate focus of the consulting services will be to have the eligible technology and equipment list revision (in the context of scope enhancement) approved as soon as possible to furnish the demands of the market.

Fig 1 PI Consultant Team’s International Members in a Meeting with SREDA PIU

From the fund utilisation aspects, the significant and commemorative step forward during the month was completion of the Phase 1 Project fund withdrawal from JICA’s account. It was on 25th December 2020 that the remainder of the fund was finally disbursed to BIFFL’s Project account held with Bangladesh Bank, following the disbursement by BIFFL to one of the ongoing sub-projects. The withdrawal from JICA Phase 1 Project fund, JPY 4,989 million each by IDCOL and BIFFL, totalling to JPY 9,978 million, has now paved the way to start using the Phase 2 Project fund.

There was also a backlash in the Project progress figures as three applications under IDCOL were formally reported to be discontinued. Among the three, two were discontinued, because the loan amount turned out to be too small to be arranged, as the result of eligibility checking. For the other one, it was due to the result of due diligence that it had to be discontinued.

Application No.SectorMajor reason for discontinuation
AD18081401RMGThe loan amount resulted to be too small. This was because the proposed stenter (dryer/heater for fabrics after wet processing) was found to be non-eligible for the Project loan.
AD19020301PaperThe loan amount has become too small as only a limited portion of the proposed de-inking plant was identified as eligible for the Project loan.
AD19020302RMGThe condition required by IDCOL could not be met by the proponent (concerning the appointment of an auditor).

There were also steady progresses with the applications for which NOCs have been issued. During the month, the PI Consultant Team confirmed that one application had its equipment procurement started (with the L/C opening). Also, there are two more sub-projects with their equipment started operating partially (one spinning and one RMG).

1.2 Air conditioner / boiler instruction paper preparation

SREDA’s initiative to create a simple (one-page) technical guidance paper for the actual operator of equipment started. The guidance paper is intended to promote among the operators of the equipment all over the country to be more aware of energy efficient, and safety of the equipment. Some tips on the operation which contribute to making the equipment run more efficiently are listed up in simple expressions. The Assistant Director, Mr Toufiq Rahman is leading the initiative, to be preparing the following two guidance papers by the end of month:

(1) Air conditioning device in office building (Air Conditioner) Guidelines for use, maintenance and operation (Energy Management Standard) (Appendix 16-1)
(2) Operation, maintenance and inspection of Fire-tube Steam Boiler (Energy Management Standard) (Appendix 16-2)

There will be more of these instruction / guidelines paper preparations in coming months. Gas engine generator, absorption chiller, compressors are the candidates for the upcoming editions.

1.3 Sub-project Progress Updating from IDCOL and BIFFL

Up to January 2020, the sub-project progress was regularly reported from the IFIs in the Project Coordination Committee (PCC) meetings which were held on monthly basis. As the PCC meetings are not being held on regular basis, the PI Consultant Team have been communicating directly with the IFIs for the monthly update on the Project progress status. This month, the Team requested a presentation to be made on the sub-project progress status, which were held on 27th December (BIFFL) and 29th December (IDCOL).

Fig 1 IDCOL Presentation on 29th December
Fig 2 BIFFL Presentation on 27th December

1.4 Introductory briefing for SREDA Member, EE&C

With the arrival of the international members of the PI Consultant Team, the Team was now prepared for introductory briefings for the SREDA Member EE&C, Ms Farzana Mamtaz, who assumed the position few months ago. The Team decided to focus on the MIS-DASH functions to be briefed in depth. The presentation meeting took place on 24th December, where the PIU members and the Team presented the functions, further improvement plan, and some limitations on the information system (Appendix 16-3). The Team acknowledged the SREDA Member’s desire for DASH to be managing all EE&C promotion related data of the country, including energy audit and other development partners various activities.

1.5 Project Visibility Improvement

One of the most urgently required measures to improve the Project’s visibility is to have a project sub-page under SREDA’s website. The PI Consultant team plans to upload basic information of the Project, publications, brochures, energy audit reports, activity records (seminar, training, on-site inspections, etc.), video clips on success stories, and other information. The first concrete step towards the visibility improvement which could be conducted during the month was to prepare a factsheet of the Project to be uploaded on the existing relevant sub-page on SREDA’s website. The project administrator prepared the factsheet based on his overall knowledge of the Project activities and achievements (Appendix 16-4). The factsheet, already submitted to SREDA PIU, is expected to be uploaded in early January.

1.6 Contribution to SREDA’s official publication

SREDA prepared the Mujib Year Special Publication “Towards a Sustainable Energy Future”. It is a 184 pages academic review on EE&C, RE and climate change. The publication awaits its formal inauguration ceremony to be held soon. The PI Consultant Team contributed with a paper titled “National Energy Balance of Bangladesh – An Instrument for Energy Policy Formulation, Monitoring and Evaluation”. The paper is positioned as the top article of the Publication, reflecting SREDA’s stance to emphasise the importance of energy data management.

1.7 Preparatory works for Upcoming events

With the resumption of the international members of the Team, it was decided to implement events (field visits, managerial and information sharing meetings, trainings and awareness raising activities, etc.). The first of such physical activity to be implemented was the on-site inspection at Asia Composite Mills Ltd., to be conducted on 6th January 2021, then to be followed by an on-site inspection at Meghna Cement Ltd, where the equipment is under test operation.
The technical advisory committee (TAC) is also planned to be convened as there is an urgent need to have the proposed eligibility list revision (for scope enhancement) finalised. After the eligibility list finalisation, the Project coordination committee (PCC) will be held where the revised list is shared with the IFIs. There is also a need to convene a Project Implementation Committee (PIC) meeting so that the existing consulting service budget can be allocated to COVID-19 related expenses.

1.8 Project Administration Works

A close communication between SREDA PIU and the PI Consultant Team was the key for expediting the international members’ field work resumption. Having received SREDA’s written confirmation of their readiness, necessity and urgency to accommodate the international members in the Project office, The Project Manager could resume the work from the beginning of the month. However, for the Head of the Team, it required another two weeks for immigration documentations. The Project Administration played an essential role to overcome this administrative issue. The international consultant members have now come back to Bangladesh to fully perform their activities., to be staying till late January.

2. Appendices

Appendix 16-1: Air conditioning device in office building (Air Conditioner) Guidelines for use, maintenance and operation (Energy Management Standard) – Prepared by SREDA

Appendix 16-2: Operation, maintenance and inspection of Fire-tube Steam Boiler (Energy Management Standard) – unofficial English translation version

Appendix 16-3: Brief Introduction to EECPFP Business Process and Database Systems

Appendix 16-4: Project Factsheet (December 2020)