MoU with China likely on 1320MW power plant in Ctg

MoU with China likely on 1320MW power plant in Ctg
3-member team in China to set schedule for deal signing
Shamim Jahangir

A high-powered team from Bangladesh is visiting China to fix the schedule for signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a joint venture imported coal-fired power plant in Chittagong to generate 1,320 megawatt (MW) of electricity.

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir is leading the team, also comprising Joint Secretary of the Power Division Md Mofezzal Hossain and its Senior Assistant Secretary Mohammed Hymun Kabir, an official said.

The team left Dhaka on Friday and is expected to return home tomorrow.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already approved the draft of the MoU last week, the official said.

He said the BPDB and China Hudian Hong Kong Company Ltd will sign the MoU on behalf of the two countries.

A team of China Hudian Corporation recently met Power Division Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad and expressed its interest to sign the MoU immediately.

“The government will sign two separate deals, one with the Chinese government while another with the China Hudian Hong Kong Company to set up the plant,” the Power Division official added.

Before going to the visit, BPDB Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir informed daily sun that Bangladesh and China would sign the MoU soon to set up the coal-fired power plant.

Ships loaded with 50,000 tonnes of coal would be able to enter the Moheskhali Island, the site for the plant, under Cox’s Bazaar in Chittagong, sources said.

The government has already asked the deputy commissioner (DC) of Cox’s Bazar to acquire 5000 acres of land to install the power plant in Moheskhali Island.

Under the MoU, China Hudian Hong Kong Company would be responsible to procure imported coal for the plant while the equity for installing the plant would be fifty-fifty.

The China Hudian Hong Kong Company has already produced 90,000MW of power, of which 70 percent came from coal-fired plants.

The Chinese company has coalmine sites in Cambodia, Indonesia and Australia, official said.

Meanwhile, Power Division Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad is now visiting some coal mine sites in South Africa to determine the feasibility of importing coal for a series of mega coal-fired power plants proposed in Bagerhat, Chittagong and Moheskhali, official said.

It would be the second effort by the Power Division to establish a coal-fired power plant after signing of a MoU with Indian National Thermal Power Company (NTPC) in September last year to install another 1,320MW plant in Bagerhat.

Initially, the government had a plan to install the power plant on 3,188 acres of land at Anwara in Chittagong. But the layout of the site has been narrowed down to 1,985 acres following protest by the locals, against a move to acquire their lands.

The government has prepared a road map to generate around 20,000MW of electricity from coal-based power plants by 2030.

Of the total power generation target, 11,250 MW would be produced using local coal while the rest would be generated using imported coal.