8 new power plants given green light

September 30, 2013

Projects include 5 coal-fired plants, total capacity 2,706 MW
The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved eight power plants — to be built, owned and operated (BOO) by local private companies — in a bid to tackle the country’s growing energy crisis The committee at a meeting chaired by Finance Minister AMA Muhith also okayed the second phase of techno-feasibility study of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. The eight plants — five coal-based, one gas-fired and two furnace oil-fuelled — will generate 2,706 megawatts of power. The government will purchase it at a price of Tk 6.6 to Tk 6.79 per kilowatt (kW).
Talking to journalist after the meeting, Muhith said the companies who got the job will decide from where they will procure coal. They will have to specifically mention the source of coal during the signing of agreements.
The agreements will also stipulate punishment to the companies if they fail to go for production in time. They have informed the Power Division that foreign sponsors will also be with them but they (companies) will be accountable to the government.
Of the eight power plants, Orion Power and Associates will set up three coal-based ones in Dhaka and Chittagong with a maximum generation capacity of 1,400 MW, and the tariff will be Tk 6.69 to Tk 6.76/kW.
Orion had previously installed a couple of rental power projects but it lacks experience of building base load large power plants.
Two other coal-based plants will be set up by a joint venture of S Alam Steel Ltd, S Alam Super Edible Oil Ltd, S Alam Cement Ltd and HTG Development Group Co Ltd in Chittagong and Barisal. Generation capacity of the two plants will be a maximum of 1,100 MW and tariff will be Tk 6.60 and Tk 6.79/kW.
S Alam and HTG Group have no experience of building commercial power plants.
Besides, a gas-fired 50 MW power plant will be built in Fenchuganj by Liberty Power consortium, whose main sponsors are expatriate Bangladeshis. Tariff for electricity from the plant would be Tk 2.14/kW.
The cabinet committee gave the nod for two more furnace oil-fuelled power plants with a generation capacity of 156 MW  to be set up by the  Consortium of Summit Industrial & Mercantile Corporation (Pvt) Ltd and Summit Power Ltd at Madanganj in Narayanganj and at Barisal.
It also approved a hard-term export credit of $265 million to be received from Russia for primary work, including techno-feasibility study of the nuclear power plant.
Of the $500 million primary work, $45.9million was already approved by the committee in the first phase in June.
Russian state-owned company Atomstroyexport will work as contractor for these jobs, Muhith said.
Appointment of a consulting firm for Detailed Engineering Design of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line from Shahjalal International Airport to Jheelmil project area was also okayed yesterday.
The finance minister said the site of Rooppur plant has been selected on the basis of study. It does not seem to fall on any earthquake fault.
The minister mentioned that after the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in Russia, an international covenant was signed that says if  any such accident occurs in future the country that supplied the nuclear reactor will bear the responsibility for it.
He said he thinks there is such a clause in the agreement between Bangladesh and Russia on the Rooppur plant and added that the energy ministry could give details about this.

-With The Daily Star input

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