Originally published in The Financial Express on 29 July 2023
The first unit of the coal-fired Matarbari Power Plant was commissioned today (July 30) initially adding 150 MW electricity to the national grid.
“After successful synchronization with the national grid, 150 MW power was supplied to the national grid 11:58 am,” said Deputy Principal Information Officer Mir Aslam Uddin.
He said electricity generation and supply will also be increased gradually. With this the first of the two units of the ultra-supercritical coal-fired thermal power plant at Matarbari in Moheshkhali starts its trial run from today.
Earlier, Project Director of Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power Project Abul Kalam Azad told BSS that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to commission the unit in December this year.
He said that the combined generation capacity of the plant was 1200 MW while the entire plant was set to go on full scale operation in March or April next year, instead of July 2024 as planned earlier.
Matarbari Power Plant is one of the government’s mega projects with Japanese assistance to be built at an estimated cost of Tk 518 billion while it is also one of Premier’s priority projects as well.
According to officials concerned the entire plant would require 10,000 tonnes of coal per day, each unit requiring 5,000 tonnes, while 200,000 tonnes of coals were stored by now and 65,000 tonnes would reach the production site on August 7 next.
Four tanks having storage capacity of 1.7 million tonnes have already been built alongside two jetties at the project site to unload the coal to the tanks directly from the ships, the project director said.
The tanks have the capacity of storing coal for 60 days. It will require one and a half day or two days to unload coal from a ship.
Unloading of the coal will be environment friendly as the coal will be offloaded to the tanks directly from the jetties, said officials familiar with the process.
The 1200 megawatts Matarbari power plant is being established on 1,608 acres of land in Matarbari and Dhalghata unions of Maheshkhali upazila of Cox’s Bazar district at a cost of Tk 520 billion.
The Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCL) has been implementing the project.
During the visit to the Matarbari power plant projects site, the BSS correspondent found that the construction of the project has almost been completed with building two jetties to offload coal and four tanks to store the coal.
The Matarbari Deep Seaport and LNG and LPG terminal are being constructed near the Matarbari Power Plant site.
Two separate ash ponds are kept to store ash for a lifetime of 25 years of the power plant. One has an area of 90 acres while another spread over 600 acres. Coal yard has been prepared on 80 acres of land for coal storage.
A loan agreement was signed between the Bangladesh government and JICA on June 16, 2014.
Of the estimated Tk 518 billion project cost, Tk 439.21 billion will be given as project support by JICA and the remaining Tk 79.33 billion will be provided from the own funds of Bangladesh government and CPGCBL.