The government is set to purchase 500 MW of electricity from under construction Banskhali Coal Power Plant from June 13, owned by Bangladeshi conglomerate S Alam Group and SEPCO III Electric Power Construction Corporation along with HTG Development Group, China, a project under China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
At the same time the government will purchase around 400 MW of electricity from the second unit of Adani Power Plant (which is now in testing operation) by this month to manage the nagging power crisis.
“Along with these two coal fired power plants support, we are set to increase 5 per cent or 400 MW of electricity from liquefied fuel based power plants from next week to support the industries and commercial installations along with house-hold consumers across the country,” Power Cell DG Mohammad Hossain told the Daily Observer on Thursday.
“The authority is yet to fix the COD (commercial operation Date) of this plant, however, right at the moment we need power and we are going to get around 500 MW of electricity from this plant soon, however, the mode of payment would be “no electricity no payment,” a senior official of Bangladesh Power Development Board said on Thursday. We are getting 200 MW of electricity from this plant on Thursday.
As per the Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA), the expected COD of the power plant was November 16 in 2019 but the sponsors couldn’t complete the construction works. As a result the project proponent has paid a penalty of Tk 2.00 billion (US$ 24 million) on July 12 in 2020 and received an extension of 2 years up to December 2022.
“Not only the Banskhali, the second unit of Adani Power is set to supply around 400 MW to 500 MW of electricity from the last week of June, 2023, we hope the situation would be ease from the next week as around 1,500 MW of electricity is going to be add into the national grid if everything goes on right track,” BPDB official said.
BPDB officials said there is a projection that the country’s highest demand will be 14,500 MW while the highest generation will be 12,677 MW, leaving a shortage of nearly 1741 MW.
Meanwhile, officials of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said that excessive load shedding across the country continues with lower power supply. They also gave thanks to All Mighty Allah for the rain that reduced 2 to 5 degree Celsius temperature across the country on Thursday.
“It was fact that the situation on Wednesday was so bad, on Wednesday noon (at 2.46 pm) the transmission line from Godda Power Plant tripped that worsen the severe load shedding situation across the country as it cut 700 MW of power from the grid,” BPDB official said.
He admits that people in rural areas have to experience much more frequent power cuts than in urban areas, especially in the capital Dhaka and other major cities. People living in some rural areas say they experience load shedding for over 12 hours a day.
According to officials of the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), the operation of the Godda Power Plant was first resumed at 11 pm on Wednesday night through sending auxiliary power from Bangladesh, and then after a series of technical checks in the system, power transmission to Bangladesh’s national grid resumed.
“Power supply from Adani’s (Godda) plant became normal at 3:43am on Thursday,” Badruddoza Sumon, spokesman of PGCB said.
India’s Adani Group set up the 1,600 MW capacity coal-fired power plant at Godda to exclusively supply electricity to Bangladesh. Its 800 MW unit started commercial operation in March while the second unit is now on test run — generating 50 MW -100 MW every day.
BPDB’s officials said that presently only 49 power plants are operating at capacity out of 153 plants, and at least 53 of the remaining 104 plants have been shut for maintenance-rehabilitation or for being out of fuel crisis (gas or coal) which is finally said dollar crisis.
At least 53 of the remaining 104 plants have been shut for maintenance or for being out of fuel due to the dollar crunch. The 53 have a combined capacity of 4,930 MW, shows data from the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh.
The other 51 plants, which have the capacity to produce 7,855 MW, are generating 3,568 MW because they are short on fuel.
Meanwhile, people and industries are left without power for four to five hours in the capital and 12 to 14 hours in rural areas, Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) data said.
Due to total closure of Payra 1,320 MW, partial closure of Rampal Power Plant and transmission glitch, the Adani Power Plant authority has failed to transport 748 MW of power into the national grid, the load shedding situation was severally bad, they said .
The Rampal Power Plant is now producing just 300 MW to 350 MW a day against a capacity of 660 MW.
“We have been told to keep the power plant operational as long as possible with the last shipment of coal,” official said.
Among the five coal-based power plants, only the Adani Power Plant in India’s Jharkhand is supplying at its installed capacity of 748 MW.
Due to the heat wave, we decided to run the furnace oil-based plants more, it is now producing around 1,800 MW to 2,000 MW although its capacity is around 6,000 MW, however, we plan to take 4,00 MW to 5,00 MW more from these IPPs, the official said.
“We are producing less as the government’s initiatives to ensure the availability of necessary dollars and pay the dues of private companies, said the producer, adding that the same measures are necessary now,” he added.
As of March, the IPPs were owed Tk 18,000 crore, according to the Bangladesh Independent Power Producers’ Association.