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Cabinet body okays extension of 2 more pvt PP deals

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Staff reporter
Cabinet Purchase Committee on Tuesday approved the extension of power purchase agreement (PPA) of two more power plants in the private sector.
The committee, at a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair, gave its nod to the proposals of the Power Division for extending the deal of 110 MW NEPC barge-mounted power plant (BMPP) at Haripur in Narayanganj for one year while that of 53 MW Ashuganj United Power Ltd in Ashuganj power station for five years.
Under the extended deal, the government will purchase electricity from 53 MW Ashuganj United Power Plant at Tk 3.28 per unit (per kilowatt hour), down from earlier tariff of Tk 5.20 per unit.
The NEPC’s new power tariff was set at Tk 15.85, down from earlier tariff of Tk 18 per unit.
The government earlier extended deals of a good number of private power plants, most of which are costly rental power plants set up for 3-5 years tenure with a view to addressing the nagging power crisis on short-term basis.
These include Desh Energy's 100 MW plant; RZ Power's 50 MW plant; UK-based Aggreko Power's 55 MW plant; Energies Power's 55 MW plant; Quantam Power's 110 MW plant; Khulna Power of United Group's 110 MW plant; and Precession Energy's 55 MW plant.
Official sources said that 110 MW NEPC power plant is the country's first generation private power plant which was set up in 1998 on a first track basis for a 15 years contract. At that time, two more barge-mounted plants - 90 MW Westmont power plant at Baghabari and 105 MW Khulna power plant at Khulna - were set up under 15-year deals for addressing power crisis through private plants.
Official sources said the tenure of the 110 MW NEPC power plant's power purchase agreement expired last year. Power Division officials said the government was unwilling to further extend the 110 MW NEPC plant deal as its power production cost is relatively higher.
But a recent fire incident at the 450MW Meghnaghat power plant prompted the government to move for extending its deal for another one year. Following the fire incident, the country's largest private sector plant - 450 MW Meghnaghat - was shutdown that led to a big shortfall in power generation. To partially manage the crisis, the government considers extending its deal for another year of the NEPC plant.
The Cabinet body also approved three separate proposals of the Power Division to procure conductors, ACSR (Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced), bare and also huge number of single electric meters under the government’s 1.8 million Consumer Connection through Rural Electrification Expansion Project.
Under the proposals, 12,050 km conductor, ACSR, bare will be procured at a cost of Tk 51.35 crore, 19,160 km conductor, ACSR, bare at a cost of Tk 102.49 crore and 560,000 single phase electric metres at Tk 62.55 crore.