Banshkhali power plant to begin production in December, says Chinese envoy

Originally posted in The Business Standard on 01 June 2022

The Banshkhali power plant —SS Power 1— in Chattogram is expected to go into production by the end of this year, Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh, Li Jiming, said on Thursday.

Visiting the under-construction coal-fired power plant, he said 95% of the project’s construction is complete.

“The remaining work will be finished by December of this year and it will begin production from that month,” the Chinese envoy said.

The 1320MW power plant near the Bay of Bengal is one of the most significant joint ventures between Bangladesh and China, with the S Alam Group holding 70% of ownership. It is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the country.

National and international environmental activists have warned that the power plant will cause massive harm to the environment due to its use of coal.

However, Li Jiming claimed, “Despite it being a coal-fired power plant, there is no fear of environmental pollution due to supercritical technology.”

He said, “This technology can produce more power with less coal. Many countries across the globe are using this technology to build coal-fired plants.”

Echoing Jiming, the project’s Deputy General Manager (Mechanical) Ashraf Uddin said the plant is being equipped with an electrostatic precipitator and flue gas desulfurisation, which will help with reducing pollution.

Md Faizur Rahman, site project manager of the power plant, confirmed that the project is progressing at a fast pace.

He put the progress on the engineering side at 99.89%, procurement progress at 98.76%, and construction progress at 92.22%.

According to sources, the SS Power 1 power plant will run on imported coal, most of which will be bought from Indonesia, but if necessary, coal will be imported from Australia. A large jetty has been built on the adjacent beach to unload coal.

The power plant is being built on 606 acres of land in the Gandamara union of Banshkhali since 2015. It will generate electricity in two units, each with a capacity of 660 MW. 198 power line poles have been installed for the transmission line from Banshkhali to Madunaghat in Chattogram to supply the electricity generated.