Bangladesh: 13 coal-fired power plants to start generation by 2023

Among all the under construction coal-based power plants, the 1,320MW power plant near Payra Seaport in Patuakhali is likely to be the first one to go into operation in October this year, according to concerned officials.  The first unit plant having a 660 megawatt generation capacity is expected to go into operation by the end of this year and the second unit will start generation by June 2022,” said project director Shah Abdul Mowla while talking to Daily Industry yesterday.

Physical work including land acquisition and development, and appointment of consultants for the second phase started from November last year. The target for generation of this phase is in June 2022. Project cost of this section will be the same of first phase, he added. According to officials, the eco-friendly plant with clean coal technology, a joint venture of Chinese power company CMC and Bangladesh’s state-owned North-West Power Generation Company (NWPGCL) is implementing the project at a cost of $2 billion with the financial support from China’s Exim Bank.

Director General of the Power Cell, Engineer Mohammad Hossain while contacted yesterday told Daily Industry that Payra is expected to be the first power plant to come online, among a series of new thermal power projects being developed across the country as part of Bangladesh’s plan to increase its electricity generation capacity from 10,445MW in 2014 to 24,000MW by 2021.

“The government has taken all-out measures to protect environment as well as the habitat and biodiversity. The coal would be transported to the power plant site from the deep sea in covered barges,” he added.

The coal requirement for the plant is estimated to be 4.12 million tonnes per year (Mt/y), which will be imported from Indonesia, China and Australia. The coal from Indonesia will be loaded at Kalimantan Port on a 70,000DWT cargo vessel and unloaded at the newly built Payra port, said the officials.

National Development Engineers (NDE), a construction company based in Bangladesh, was engaged for the land development work for the project. The company is also responsible for civil construction works including the access road, jetty road and helipad construction. Dhaka-based EQMS Consulting prepared the environmental impact assessment report for the Payra coal-fired power project, said the sources.

On March 19, 2014 the NWGPCL and CMC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up the plant, while the engineering procurement and construction of (EPC) contract for implementation of the project was signed on March 29, 2016. Currently, the government is working on three major power generation hubs at Payra in Patuakhali, Maheshkhali and Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar. The government has undertaken 13 mega coal-based power projects in cooperation with China, Japan, India, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore. The construction of 1,200MW coal-fired power plant at Matarbari is expected to go into operation by 2023. On the other hand, work is going on to set up a 1320 MW power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat.