Commercial production begins at Banskhali Coal Power Plant
Banskhali coal-based power plant has started commercial production. Ebadat Hossain Bhuiyan, CFO of SS Power One Limited, confirmed to Barta24.com that the power plant started commercial production at 12:00 PM on September 17.
It has continuously supplied 660 MW of electricity since the start of production. The two units of the power plant have a production capacity of 1320 MW. Commercial production has started from one unit in the first phase. As usual, the second unit will come into production within the next 1 month, said Ebadat Hossain Bhuiyan.
The day will be a milestone from many aspects including the power sector, Banshkhali Power Plant. This is the highest record so far as private single investment and foreign investment in private projects has also been recorded through this. The cost-effective thermal power plant has also touched a record in financing through foreign banks in the private sector. 1.78 billion US dollars in funding has come into the project. On the other hand, S Alam Group has financed from its own sources about Taka 6500 crores.
So far only large-scale coal-based power plants have been built under government ownership in Bangladesh. One is the Payra 1320 MW thermal power plant jointly invested by the Bangladesh-China government. The other is Rampal 1320 MW power plant jointly owned by Bangladesh-India. Although it is the third power plant in the list, it is the first large power plant under private ownership.
Bangladesh awarded the first 3 private sector contracts for coal-fired power plants in June 2012. The contracts executed in the first phase were with Orion Group. On the other hand, S Alam Group signed a contract to set up a coal-based power plant on February 16, 2016. Orion's power plant is far from coming into production, and has yet to begin operations. After 4 years, the nationally renowned S Alam Group has been able to reach the desired goal, leaving behind others. The power plant has brought good news for the entire power sector. Electricity here will be affordable compared to others. This electricity will be cheaper than the (imported) power of coal-based plants of the Indian company Adani Group, or even Pyara, jointly owned by the Bangladesh-China government.
According to Bangladesh Power Development Board sources, electricity will be available at half the price compared to Furnace Well based power plants. And when compared with diesel, the cost is one-third. Currently, coal-based power generation ($125 per tonne) costs Tk. 6.50 per unit, furnace oil (Tk. 85 per liter) costs Tk. 19 and diesel power generation costs about Tk. 28 per unit. If compared with furnace oil, the unit will save about Tk.12. If Banskhali is in full production, it will supply about 300 million units of electricity per day. It will be about 95 crore units per month. Even if savings are taken at the rate of Tk. 12 per unit, the government will save more than Tkk. 1140 crore.
The 275 meter tall colored chimney of the power plant is visible from afar. A specialized jetty has been constructed at sea shore at 2 thousand mt per hour. Tons of coal can be redeemed. Two conveyor belts attached to the coal yard have a capacity of 4,000 MT. Covered conveyor belts have been installed keeping in mind the environment. A high net enclosure is provided around the coal yard. Two advanced FGDs (Flue Gas Desulphurization) have been constructed long ago. 2 silos have been constructed for Ash storage each having a capacity of 2,600 Metric ton And there is a huge Ash pond spread across 80 acres. Heavy wave walls are built to protect against natural disasters like cyclones or floods.
The large power plant has been set up in the Gandamara area of Banskhali (Chattogram) near the Bay of Bengal. It is owned by famous local company S Alam Group, Chinese company Sepco 3 and HTG. Local company S Alam has a 70 percent stake, while Chinese companies SEPCO 3 and HTG hold 30 percent.
The power plant has started playing a huge role in the economy of Bangladesh even before its commissioning. Already about Tk. 1300 crores of tax, VAT and other fees have been deposited in the government exchequer from the project. 650 million dollars worth of goods and services were purchased from within the country. Not only that,7 thousand people have been employed here for 4 consecutive years, including the time when the employment crisis was being created during the great crisis like Corona. The center will employ 1200 people.
Bir Muktijodha Maqbool E-Elahi Chowdhury, a former member of BERC, Bangladesh's primary energy expert, told Barta24.com that this is undoubtedly a milestone for Bangladesh's economy. Good effort on personal initiative. When a big investment succeeds, many investors get excited. That is, one investment leads to another investment. From that point of view, it is positive for the economy of Bangladesh. Mohammad Hossain, director general of Power Cell, a development research institute of the power department, told Barta24.com that till now coal is considered cost-effective after gas. That is why such power plants are very positive for our economy. When the plant comes into production, the average production cost of electricity will come down. A few days ago when oil prices hiked, when there was some power shortage, SS Power gave good support when it came to the test run.