The government of Bangladesh says that it will go ahead with the construction of a 1320 MW coal-fired power plant after the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO withdrew its objection to the project.

UNESCO last year called for the Rampal supercritical coal-fired power project to be moved because it threatened the nearby Sundarbans World Heritage Site. Local media say, however, that it has lifted its objection.

UNESCO has asked Bangladesh to carry out a strategic environmental assessment of the Sundarbans and its adjoining areas, and to put in place measures to prevent poaching and over-extraction of its resources.

The Rampal project is being developed by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Pvt Ltd. (BIFPCL), a joint venture between the Bangaldesh Power Development Board and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation. It could start operating in mid-2019.

The Sundarbans are home to ecologically-sensitive mangrove forests that support species such as the Bengal tiger.

In July 2016 India’s BHEL signed a contract to build the Rampal power plant.