Staff Correspondent: A move is underway to create a 9,000 MW power generation hub at Payra area of Patuakhali in the southwestern region of Bangladesh.
Disclosing the plan, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid said Payra will be another power hub like the two others being created in Maheshkhali and Matarbari in Chittagong in the eastern region of Bangladesh. “We’ve drawn up the plan for Payra power hub considering the uplifting of the country’s southern region, which remained under-developed compared to other regions of the country,” he told reporters while visiting the construction site of a 1320 MW power plant, now being installed in the area.
The state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL) is installing the 1320 MW coal-based power plant in joint venture with Chinese state owned company CMC (China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation). First unit of the plant, having two units of each 660 MW, is expected to come into commercial operation in April 2019 and second unit in October of the same year, said A M Khurshedul Alam, managing director of the NWPGCL.
The state minister visited the plant site on Friday along with a group of journalists from Dhaka. NWPGCL and Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) jointly organised the tour.
NWPGCL officials informed that the construction works is now going on in full swing keeping in mind the timely completion of the project.
Nasrul Hamid said about $160 billion is being spent for the project of which 80 percent is debt and 20 percent is equity investment by the Bangladesh side and Chinese side where each has 50% share.
He said the proposed 9000 MW power hub will require about $12 billion investment where NWPGCL will implement some projects having total 6000 MW capacity. The remaining 3000 MW will come from investment by some other state-owned companies like RPCL and APSCL.
The State Minister said the plant will use coal coming from Indonesia and Australia and the coal will be utilised in a process so that it would not create any pollution in the area.
“This will be an absolutely cleanest power plant as coal will be stored in a covered area,” he said. The coal will be unloaded in the power plant’s own jetty and directly come to the plant through conveyer belt.
He also informed that the Payra will have not only coal-fired plants. Rather, it will have solar power and LNG-based power generation projects as well.
Officials said NWPGCL will implement a 100 MW solar and 50 MW wind power project projects.
The NWPGCL and CMC have formed a joint venture company- Bangladesh-China Power Company (Pvt) Limited (BCPCL) to implement the 1320 MW plant.
It has already appointed a China-based consortium of NEPC and CECC as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor to install the project.
An official of the Chinese consortium Zhu Yue Yong noted that about 6000 workers now remained engaged to set up the projects where 1500 are Chinese and 4500 are local Bangladeshis and so far 37 percent of the construction works were completed.
He informed that they have completed the pilling works and now the boiler house is being built. Afterwards, the turbine and generator will be installed phase by phase.