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Work on coal-based power plant at Rampal begins early next year [ Last page ] 18/05/2014
Work on coal-based power plant at Rampal begins early next year
Commercial loans to support most part of project cost
The government has at last decided to start construction of the controversial 1,320-megawatt (MW) coal-based power plant at Rampal with commercial loans, officials said Saturday.

The \'Maitree Super Thermal Power Project\' at Rampal will cost Tk 145.84 billion (US$1.82 billion), they said.

Power Division officials said they have prepared a development project proposal (DPP) and sent it to the Planning Commission (PC) recently for approval.

A joint venture company of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), India and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) is expected to start the installation work of the plant next year. The plant is likely to go into operation by 2019.

The proposal to construct the Rampal power plant, situated at a place 14 kilometres north of the world\'s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, has drawn severe criticism from different Bangladeshi environmental and consumer rights organisations due to its probable negative impact on the forest. There is also allegation that the deal with the Indian NTPC is a non-transparent one.

The state-owned BPDB and India\'s NTPC have already formed a company named Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (BIFPC) to set up the largest coal-based plant in Bangladesh.

Power Division officials said the joint-venture company will borrow 70 per cent or Tk 101.56 billion ($1.26 billion) of the project cost from an export credit agency (ECA).

The rest 30 per cent will be borne by the PDB and the NTPC, officials said.

A Power Division official said when the BIFPC would borrow commercial loan from the international financial institution, naturally the production cost of the plant will be higher.

He said the BIFPC will not use the latest technology. "The company will use the \'super technology\' for the coal-fired plant at Rampal. The \'ultra super critical technology\' is the updated technology for the coal-fired power plant due to its higher efficiency."

According to the DPP, the Rampal plant will be depended on imported coal.
Some 12,236 tonnes of coal will be required daily to run the 1320MW power station, it said.

Bangladesh has decided to reduce its dependency on natural gas and costly fuel-based power generation shifting its focus on the coal-based power station.

The government has already undertaken another 1,200MW capacity coal-fired power generation project at Matarbari in Cox\'s Bazar with the financial support of the Japanese government.

It signed another deal (memorandum of understanding) with a Chinese company last month to set up another 1,320MW coal-based power plant in Moheshkhali.

Under the agreement, the BPDB and the Chinese company will jointly build two units with a capacity of 660MW each by 2019.

Bangladesh has a target to generate total 39,000 MW power by 2030.
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