Payra coal-fired power plant commissioning faces delay

Transmission line to evacuate electricity not ready

FE REPORT | Published: December 10, 2019 10:03:16 | Updated: December 10, 2019 12:53:07

— Focus Bangla/Files

The partial commissioning of the Payra 1,320-megawatt (MW) thermal power plant project in Patuakhali is being delayed due to technical reasons, sources said.

The delay is being caused by the non-availability of transmission line needed to evacuate electricity generated by the plant.

The state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) may have to count 'capacity payment' to the power plant sponsor if it failed to ready the evacuation transmission line soon, a senior BPDB official said.

The Bangladesh-China Power Company Ltd (BCPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between the state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL) and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) of China, is implementing the power plant.

The BCPCL has already imported around 100,000 tonnes of coal from Indonesia, through five shipments by November, for commissioning the power plant worth US$ 1.98 billion.

The JV firm will import 60,000 tonnes of more coal in the run up to initiate commercial operation of the plant, BCPCL managing director A M Khurshedul Alam told the FE Monday.

The first unit of the plant, having 660-MW capacity, was expected to be operational by this month, he said.

The Payra coal-fired power plant will be the first power plant, to be run on imported coal.

The consortium of the China Energy Engineering Group, the Northeast Electric Power Construction Co Ltd, and the China National Energy Engineering & Construction Co Ltd is implementing the power plant as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.The EPC contract between the BCPCL and the consortium was inked on March 29, 2016.

The EPC contractor will have to invest 15 per cent of the EPC cost from its own resources, which will be reimbursed after financial closing, as per the deal.

The project is being implemented on a 70:30 debt equity ratio, meaning the NWPGCL and the CMC will have to provide 30 per cent fund of the total project cost, and mobilise the remaining 70 per cent from external sources.

The plant will use bituminous and sub-bituminous coal, and its expected efficiency level is 48.05 per cent. It will require around 12,000 tonnes of coal daily to generate electricity.

The BCPCL is providing 20 per cent equity to implement the power plant project, and the remaining 80 per cent is being sourced as loan from Exim Bank of China.

The government has issued a state guarantee worth US$ 1.0 billion in favour of the Chinese loan for implementing the power plant project.

The government has allocated around 998.77 acres of land for implementing the project on turnkey basis.

The initial talks to implement the power plant started around five years back with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the NWPGCL and the CMC on March 19, 2014.

Its land development and protection project involving Tk 7.83 billion was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on October 21, 2014.



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