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Ecnec okays expensive Matarbari coal-fired PP

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Staff Reporter

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved the country's most expensive project titled 'Matarbari 2x600 MW Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power' with TK 35,984.46 crore aiming to boost power generation.

The approval was given at an Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room with chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said a total of five development projects involving TK 37,339.83 crore were approved today.

"Of the total project cost, TK 5,685.33 crore will come from the national exchequer, while TK 2,118.77 crore from the organization’s own fund and TK 29,535.73 crore as project assistance," he said.

State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan, Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam and Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) Director General Golam Mostafa Kamal were present at the briefing.

The Planning Minister said that Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) under the Power Division will implement the project at Matarbari and Dhalghata union under Moheshkhali upazila in Cox's Bazar aiming to address the power deficiency in the country as well as ensuring uninterrupted power supply, ensuring country's economic development and improving the living standard of people.

He said this would be the country's largest development project -- bigger than the Padma Bridge project. Of the total cost of TK 35,984.46 crore of the Matarbari project, TK 4,926.66 crore will come from the organization’s own fund (CPGCBL) while TK 28,939.03 crore from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Under the project, Mustafa Kamal said, there will be two coal-based power plants each having power generation capacity of 600 MW of power in addition to the construction of a new deep seaport. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by June 2023.

He claimed that zero tolerance would be for environment pollution during the implementation process of the project.

The minister said the project will be cost-efficient one while best technology will be incorporated in it. Besides, the project will have the world's highest thermal efficiency.

Mustafa Kamal said the project is being undertaken in line with the Power System Master Plan 2010 to raise government's power generation to 50 percent from coal by 2030.

Ultra Super Critical Technology will be used at the Matarbari project which would have work efficiency of 41.99 percent, which is higher than the average work efficiency of other coal -based power plants (34 percent) in Bangladesh. The work efficiency of the power plants in the USA is 36 percent.

According to the official sources, the main activities of the project are construction of power plant (civil), jetty and channel, setting up of power plant boiler (EPC part), establishment of power plant turbine and generator (EPC part), power plant coal and produced ash management (EPC part), plant starting equipment, land acquisition of 600 hectare x 2.5 acre, some 1360354.69 cubic meter land development, construction of some 42247.94 square meter non-residential building, construction of 18660.11 square meter residential building.

Sub-bituminous coal will be used in this power plant which will lead to low cost power generation.

The Planning Minister said that two more power plants will be set up at the project site in future along with an LNG terminal while Moheshkhali would be turned as a complete township.

The power plant will have the highest thermal efficiency in the world with 41.3 percent compared to 35 percent in the USA, 29 percent in India, the UK and Germany, 38 percent in France while it is 40 percent in Japan.

Due to the use of higher work efficiency technology, the power plants will witness less coal consumption as a result there will be emission of less carbon dioxide.

Kamal also hoped that the first power plant of the project would be completed by 2018.

The Matarbari Coal-based power plant project would be the country's first coal-based power plant project where sea surface water would be used for cooling and steam generation.

Ecnec meeting sources said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the meeting said she would request her Japanese counterpart to complete the first unit of the plant by 2018 during his upcoming visit to Bangladesh next month.

The Prime Minister at the meeting also reiterated that not a single person in the country will remain homeless as homes will be built for the homeless.

The other projects approved at the meeting are 'Flood management and livelihood development of Haor Region' with TK 880.01 crore, establishment of Jessore Software Technology Park (STP) (first revised) with TK 240.74 crore, cluster village (Climate Victims Rehabilitation Project) (3rd revised) with TK 187.29 crore and self-employment generation and poverty alleviation through expansion of BITAC activities with TK 47.33 crore.

Ministers, State Ministers and Planning Commission members attended the meeting.