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Only 03 public sector coal-fired power projects make progress

Only three public sector coal-fired power plants are expected to be able to go into operation by 2021 while the private sector ones look to fall far behind their 2021-2022 schedule.

Officials at the Power Division said it will not be possible for the private sector power projects to maintain schedules as these private groups are facing difficulties in mobilising necessary funds for the projects.

The public sector plants are 1320 MW Rampal Coal-fired Power Plant, 1200 MW Matarbari Power Plant and 1300 MW Payra Power Plant.

Of the three projects, Rampal and Payra plants are being implemented under joint venture while state-run Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) is implementing the Matarbari project funded by Japanese donor agency JICA, said sources at the Power Division.

Rampal is a joint venture project of Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) and Indian National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) while Payra of state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (NWPGCL) and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC).

The government has already signed the final contracts for the Rampal and Payra projects, and the implementing companies have also appointed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors.

But, the EPC contractor for the Matarbari power plant is yet to be appointed.

Besides, the government has signed a number of contracts to implement some other coal-fired power plants under joint ventures with Chinese and Malaysian firms.

However, the final contracts have not yet been signed with them as the progress over the fund arrangement is very slow.

State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid expressed his confidence that the three projects will go into operation by 2022 given the way they are progressing and the country will get about 3900-4000 MW of power from these plants.

He said although Matarbari project`s EPC contractor has not been appointed yet, the implementing agency, CPGCBL, has been doing tremendous jobs, especially in creating supporting infrastructures, for the project.

Nasrul also said it has completed the contractor selection process and the concurrence of funding agency JICA was received recently for it. "Now, an EPC contractor will be appointed soon."

He, however, expressed disappointment over the progress in implementation of private coal-fired power plants. "I`m not sure how many of them could come into operation as per the schedule as they are progressing very slowly," he said.

The government has so far awarded contracts to a number of private sponsors to set up a good number of coal-fired power plants.

These include S Alam Group`s 217 MW Bhola Power Plant, 1320 MW Banshkhali Plant in Chittagong under joint venture with SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Corporation, Orion Group`s 283 MW Chittagong Power Plant, 635 MW Gazaria Power Plant in Munshiganj and 660 MW Mawa Power Plant.

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