The Energy Network was informed that the Payra coal-fired power plant in Patuakhali, Bangladesh, began trial production yesterday, the first large-scale power plant to operate since the Awami League powered 10 years ago. AM Khurshedul Alam, acting managing director of Bangladesh China Power Corporation (BCPCL), which owns the power plant, said that the 100 MW of power generated by the power plant in Kalapara upazila had been added to State Grid.
"Supply will gradually increase," Secretary of Energy and Power Nasrul Hamid said via Facebook after the first unit of the 1,320 MW power plant was put into operation.
The Payal power plant is one of the major projects of the Bangladeshi government and is the first power plant in Bangladesh to operate on imported coal. Indonesian coal is used now and Australian coal will be used later. The plant will use sub-bituminous coal, a relatively inexpensive and less harmful coal.
The government has placed advertisements in Germany, Singapore and Indonesia to import coal through competitive tendering.
The Payra power plant is the country's second coal-fired power plant. The first is the 250 MW Barapukuria power station in Dinajpur, which uses local coal. The plant is part of a government effort to diversify energy while reducing natural gas reserves and to meet growing economic demand.
More coal-fired power plants are under construction.
Rural Power Corporation and China's state-owned Northern Industry International Cooperation will build another 1,320MW coal-fired power plant near Payra seaport.
Officials said that about 60% of the work at the 1,320MW Rampal power plant in Rampal upazila, Baghart, was completed and trial operations are expected to begin in December this year.
These plants are at the core of the government's plan to generate 40,000 megawatts of electricity by 2030, when coal will generate electricity from the current 2% to 35%.
The acting general manager of BCPCL said that the Payra power plant was built in 2016 by a 50:50 joint venture between Bangladesh's state-owned Northwest Power Generation Corporation and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. He said the total cost of the project was about $ 2 billion, of which 80% came from the Export-Import Bank of China. At present, the cost of generating electricity per kilowatt-hour is between $ 0.070 and $ 0.075, but when the entire power plant begins full operation, the cost will drop.
Khurshedul Alam said that the two units of the power plant are capable of generating 660MW each. The device that has entered the trial production state yesterday is expected to start full production this month.
The second unit is also almost ready to start supplying power to the national grid within four months. Khurshedul said the cost of the second unit would be $ 200 million less than the first plant.
Officials have stated that the plant was built using the most advanced ultra-supercritical technology, which has higher efficiency and lower emissions. It can completely capture bottom ash, fly ash, sulfur and nitrogen, all of which are harmful to the environment.
The dredging work near the Payra power plant will be completed within a few days, paving the way for the docking of ships capable of carrying approximately 30,000 tons of coal.