Coal import from Indonesia likely to increase

Coal import from Indonesia likely to soar threefold to 60,000 tonnes this month as the installation of the 1,320-megawatt (MW) Payra coal-fired power plant is nearing completion, said an official of the Bangladesh-China Power Company Ltd (BCPCL), the project executor. 

Bangladesh-China Power Company Ltd (BCPCL), a joint venture of Bangladesh's North-West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL) and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) are implementing the project at a cost of about $2 billion. The power plant is being built with financial support from China's Exim Bank.

‘If work goes on without any disruption, the first 660-megawatt (MW) unit will start generating electricity by December next, and the second unit with same capacity, is expected go into operation by June 2020,’ officials hope.

Earlier, BCPCL signed a deal with an Indonesian firm to annually import an estimated 4.0 million tonnes of coal for 10 years to operate the power plant from the Southeastern Asian country for the power plant. 

The import price of Indonesian coal is around $51 per tonne. Coal price has been tagged with the Newcastle International Coal Price Index having a discount of up to 60 per cent depending on the price movement.

Discount will increase if coal price shoots up globally and it will decrease if the price slides.

Currently, the pre-commissioning job of the power plant is being done with imported coal. At least three coal cargoes, carrying around 20,000 tonnes of coal in each cargo, will reach at Payra power plant site in November, said a senior BCPCL official.

He said the volume of coal imports will soar further with the commissioning of this plant.

The plant will use sub-bituminous coal, whose calorific value is 4700-5500 Kilo cal. This type of coal is chiefly abundant in Indonesia and Australia. 

The official said that all civil, structural work and equipment installation has been done for the first unit, and now pre-commissioning activities are going on before final commissioning. The installation work for the second unit is also going on fast. 

According to NWPGCL, all major equipment for the second unit have reached the project site and the superstructure work is going on. The construction work for coal jetty, coal unloader, coal conveyor gallery, steel structure and civil construction work has already been done.  Besides, the construction work of power block area, balance of plant (BOP) and water intake has been completed.

The government has also allocated 998.77 acres of land to the NWPGCL for implementing the project on a turnkey basis by using eco-friendly ultra-super critical technology.