450MW power plant at Meghnaghat

The Anlima Textile Ltd and GE Capital Global Energy Investments BV consortium is to set up an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)-based power plant with the capacity of 450 MW at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj. The government is likely to allow the power plant soon, an official said. Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) wants to purchase power from the power plant for a 22-year period with 84.6 percent plant factor under special power act.

The official said, the Power Division has recently made a proposal on public purchase to purchase electricity, which will be sent to the cabinet committee shortly. According to the BPDB proposal, per kilowatt hour (unit) tariff will be at Tk 2.9344 (3.6680 US cents) and will require an amount of Tk 21,529.25 crore for the payment during the period subject to generation of electricity from local natural gas. It will be Tk 5.4556 (6.8195 US cents) per unit and the payment will be about Tk 400,226.92 crore if the plant is run on imported LNG.

The consortium has agreed to purchase land for construction of the power plant under own financing subject to scarcity of land at 400kv grid line. Earlier, the government allowed four power plants including Consortium of Summit Corporation and GE Ltd-sponsored 583MW power plant, Reliance Power Ltd, India-sponsored 718 MW power plant, consortium of Unique Hotel and Resorts Ltd 584MW and United Enterprise and Company Ltd 590 MW power plant.

The country has witnessed an unprecedented development in the power sector in last one decade. And it has been possible due to the real-time sustainable planning and initiatives undertaken by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. On seeing such tremendous development, many foreign companies are now showing keen interest to invest in Bangladesh as one of their major issues has already been solved.

The government is working to provide power to remote shoals and islands. Where grid power is not reachable, electricity is being provided through the solar mini grid. Power generation capacity has more than quadrupled with consumers increasing threefold, said a power division official. In line with ‘Vision 2021’, the Power Sector’s vision has been set to ensure reliable electricity to all at an affordable price by the year 2021. Around 93 percent people are now under electricity coverage.

According to the Power Division, in 2009, when the AL-led government assumed the office, the nation was suffering from a chronic power supply crisis. The average power demand at the time was about 6,000 MW while power generation capacity of the country was less than 5000MW. Eight to ten hours load-shedding in summer days was causing unbearable miseries. Now the installed capacity has increased to 21,419 MW (with captive and imported power).

A Power Cell official said the present government is committed to turning Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021, and by 2041, aiming to transform it into a developed country. For that, Bangladesh needs to generate 24,000MW, 40,000 MW and 60,000 MW by 2021, 2030 and 2041 respectively.
Official sources said, at present 53 power plants are under construction with a capacity of 13,266MW. Another 19 power plants with 7568 MW of generation capacity are under tender process.

Steps have been taken to increase the generation capacity of old and inefficient power plants through re-powering. Government has undertaken 13 mega projects in cooperation with India, Japan, China, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore to set up coal-based power plants. Eight mega coal-based power plant projects have been taken up in Payra, Rampal, Matarbari and Moheshkhali with a total 9,960 MW generation capacity.

It is expected that the first mega project at Payra in Patuakhali of 1300 MW will come into operation this year. 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.
Besides, Rooppur Nuclear Power plant with two units, with the total capacity of 2,400 MW is under construction at Rooppur of Pabna.

 The construction work is going on fast. It would produce and be added to the national grid by 2023-2024. Official sources said, the government has taken up a plan to import 9000 MW of electricity by 2041 through cross-border and regional power trade.