The first unit of the Matarbari Coal-Fired Power Plant has been synchronised with the national grid on Saturday.
“Some 150 MW of electricity from the under test-run of unit-1, having 600 MW, of the plant, was synchronised at 11:58am on Saturday,” said Mir Mohammad Aslam Uddin, deputy principal information officer of the Ministry Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
“Gradually, the power supply from the plant will be increasing”, he added.
Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCL), a subsidiary of the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), set up the 1200-MW power plant, having two units, on 1,414 acres of land in Matarbari and Dhalghata unions of Maheshkhali upazila of Cox’s Bazar district.
Japan International Cooperation Agency ((JICA) has been financing the project under which a deep-sea project is also being developed to facilitate coal unloading from ships.
The work of the jetty for the coal discharge with the power plant is almost finished. Vessels have also started sailing at the jetty.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the plant, project officials told reporters last week.
Some 13,104 tonnes of coal will be required daily to generate electricity at full scale. Coal discharge jetties and silos have been constructed for this.
Coal required for 60 days has been kept in the huge silos. Up to 80,000-tonne-capacity mother vessels can directly enter the coal jetty. And it will take one and a half to two days to unload the coal from the mother vessel.
Two separate ashponds are kept to store ash for a lifetime of 25 years of the power plant. One has an area of 90 acres, another spread over 600 acres. Coal yard has been prepared on 80 acres of land for coal storage.
A loan agreement on the project was signed between the Government of Bangladesh and JICA on June 16, 2014. The project cost has been estimated at Tk 51,800 crores.
Of this, Tk 43,921 crore will be given as project support by JICA and the remaining Tk 7,933 crore will be provided from the own funds of Bangladesh Government and CPGCBL.
According to project sources, 95 percent of the jetty and physical infrastructure work has already been completed and 90 percent of the overall physical infrastructure work has been done.
“We want to add 600 MW power from here before inauguration and that will happen. The first unit of the Matarbari coal-fired power plant is scheduled to be commissioned in January 2024, but we expect to be fully operational by this December,” he said.
He mentioned that the second unit will be commissioned next July.
However, he said, electricity from both the units will be connected to the national grid.
The executive director mentioned that the project is being worked on by ensuring all necessary measures to prevent environmental pollution.
“The coal will be seen only once when the coal is unloaded from the ship. Then the coal will go directly from the jetty to the plant. It will not pollute the environment,” he said.
A ship carrying 64,300 tonnes of coal for the Matarbari plant arrived from Indonesia on June 23.