Corruption significantly increases the capital cost of power plants in developing contexts

Kumar Biswajit Debnath*, Monjur Mourshed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Emerging economies with rapidly growing population and energy demand, own some of the most expensive power plants in the world. We hypothesized that corruption has a relationship with the capital cost of power plants in developing countries such as Bangladesh. For this study, we analyzed the capital cost of 61 operational and planned power plants in Bangladesh. Initial comparison study revealed that the mean capital cost of a power plant in Bangladesh is twice than that of the global average. Then, the statistical analysis revealed a significant correlation between corruption and the cost of power plants, indicating that higher corruption leads to greater capital cost. The high up-front cost can be a significant burden on the economy, at present and in the future, as most are financed through international loans with extended repayment terms. There is, therefore, an urgent need for the review of the procurement and due diligence process of establishing power plants, and for the implementation of a more transparent system to mitigate adverse effects of corruption on megaprojects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalFrontiers in Energy Research
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018


  • Capital cost
  • Corruption
  • Developing context
  • Energy sector
  • Powerplant
  • Bangladesh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology


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