Thedailystar.net (The Jakarta Post)
Dhaka, Bangladesh â
Wed Jun 19, 2019
Bangladesh is preparing to import coal for the first time for a power plant as part of efforts to diversify its energy mix in the power generation sector.
The Bangladesh-China Power Company on Sunday signed an agreement with an Indonesian company in Dhaka to import coal for the 1,320-megawatt Payra coal-fired power plant in Patuakhali.
Dipak Kumar Dhali, secretary of the state-run North-West Power Generation Company, and Purnomo Yusgiantoro, chairman of PT Bayan Resources Tbk, signed the agreement.
A statement confirmed that this was Bangladesh’s first deal for coal imports.
Addressing the program, Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, the prime minister’s energy adviser, said the plant was being built with a system to control carbon emissions.
He said there was no possibility of environmental pollution, while the cost of generating electricity would be cheaper because of the coal. Chowdhury said the plant will use the best coal so environmental concerns are better addressed.
The North-West Power Generation Company and the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation are jointly building the plant.
The first unit of the plant will start producing electricity in December and the second unit in June 2020.
The ultra-supercritical technology plant will be environmentally friendly.
About 40 lakh tonnes of coal will be needed per year to run the plant. Oldendorff Carriers GmbH & KG from Germany was commissioned to transport the coal.
Under the contract, PT Bayan Resources will supply coal for the first unit so that it can start power generation in December.
The plant will use sub-bituminous coal, which has a calorific value of 4700-5500 Kcal. This type of coal is mainly abundant in Indonesia and Australia.
Rina P Soemarno, Indonesian Ambassador to Bangladesh, Abul Kalam Azad, Chief SDG Affairs Coordinator in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Ahmad Kaikaus, the ruling secretary, were also present at the signing.
Bangladesh is looking for coal outside despite relying on high quality primary fuel as the country has not been able to decide whether it will mine domestic coal.
Coal reserves stand at 3,300 million metric tons, which is equivalent to 78,000 billion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas. The gas reserve, which amounts to 12.11 tcf, is quickly depleted and will last a maximum of a decade.
According to the Bangladesh Economic Review 2019, around 65% of Bangladesh’s electricity is produced from gas, while 1.34% comes from coal.