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Matarbari plant to go for experimental generation in Dec: Nasrul

Originally posted in The Business Standard on 22 January 2023

Matarbari power plant will go for experimental electricity generation in December this year, said State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid.

“Initially one unit having 600MW power generation capacity will go for experimental operation in December and commercial commissioning will be in January next year (2024),” he said while visiting the power plant and Single Point Mooring (SPM) on Thursday.

Nasrul Hamid said engineers and technicians from Japan were engaged to construct Matarbari ultra super critical coal-fired power plant having 1,200MW generation capacity.

He said another unit with 600MW generation capacity will come into operation in June-July 2024.

The state minister said the overall progress of the power plant rose to 75%, adding, “We hope that 1200 MW power will come from the plant in 2024.”

He inspected construction work of the plant, port and SPM and gave instructions for completing those projects in time maintaining quality.

According to the project details, Matarbari power plant constructed a jetty for unloading coal and silos to store coal for 60 days. The plant will need 13,104 tonnes of coal a day for generating electricity.

Mother vessel with 80,000 tonnes of coal will be able to anchor at the jetty, while only 1-2 days will be needed for unloading the coal from the vessel.

A 14.3km long, 300m wide channel was prepared to ease movement of mother vessels at the power jetty, while measures were taken to ensure navigability of the channel through sedimentation mitigation dyke.

A study showed that there was a potential of 8 million tonnes of sediment deposition per year. Authorities constructed two separate ash ponds for ash management properly.

The power plant is being built adjacent to the sea, which will not be affected by cyclone or tide, as a 14 metre above sea level embankment was constructed and the power plant is located inside the dam keeping in mind the highest tide in Bangladesh at a height of 10 metres. The 1991 cyclone caused a 7-metre high tide.

Nasrul Hamid said the overall physical progress of the project is 75%, and financial progress is 57%. The physical progress of the Port and Power plant is 88%. Construction of a 275m high chimney was completed, while boiler, turbine generator and auxiliary works of pre-commissioning are in progress.

“We expect the first unit of 600MW to be commissioned in December next year, and the second unit (600MW) to come into commercial production 6 months later,” he added.

The state minister said that there will be a land based LNG terminal as well as a LNG based power plant instead of coal.

“We have decided to build an LNG terminal here to ensure energy security. Expert team has visited the site and the work will start soon. It will take about four years from the start of work,” he said.

Earlier, a loan agreement was signed between the government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) on 16 June 2014. Under the deal, Jica will give Tk43.921 crore as project support, while the remaining Tk7.933 crore will be provided from the Bangladesh government and CPGCBL.

A consortium of Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, Toshiba Corporation and IHI Corporation has been working as the EPC contractor for the Matarbari 1,200MW ultra-super critical coal-based power plant project.