Payra Thermal Power Plant’s operations came to a complete halt at 12:05 pm today, with its second unit shutting down due to coal crisis.
The shutdown of the power plant worsened an already severe load shedding situation in Dhaka city and elsewhere, according to BPDB officials.
Earier, the other 660 MW unit of the power plant was closed on May 25.
BPDB officials said due to the shutdown of the second unit of Payra power plant, the country’s load shedding has increased to 2675 MW at 12 pm today, which was 2287 MW on Sunday.
It means the country had to experience 388 MW of added load shedding due to the closure of Payra power plant’s operations, said an official of BPDB referring to the data of the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC).
He said the country generated 12099 MW of electricity against a demand of 14900 at 12 pm today.
NLDC’s evening forecast shows that the country’s demand will go up to 15800 MW when generation is expected to be 14,400 MW.
However, officials said the country may experience more than 3500 MW of load shedding in the evening peak period
The 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant is expected to resume operations on July 1 as the process of im-porting coal has already started through the opening of LC, said Shah Abdul Hasib, superintendent engi-neer (operation) at the plant.
He said the shipment will arrive by June 25.
“After the shipment of coal arrives, we will be able to resume the plant’s operation by July 1,” he said.
He said opening LC takes some time due to the current global situation and dollar crisis.
Payra power plant needs to import 3 lakh metric tonnes of coal every month to operate the plant in full capacity.
The power plant has to spend about US$ 5-6 million every month to import the required coal.
Payra power plant officials said the power plant is burning some 13,000 tonnes of coal a day. It has a 76.30-acre dumping zone where 25 years’ worth of by-products can be kept.
The plant is currently importing coal from Indonesia. It has its own jetty, whose conveyor belts can un-load 3,200 tonnes of coal every hour from four vessels at a time.
After undergoing test runs for about five months, the first unit of the Payra power plant started commer-cial operation in May 2020. In October 2020, the second unit of the 660 MW plant, a joint venture of Bangladesh and China, started its commercial operation.