Stop Orion Group’s coal power plant near the Sundarbans
Environmental groups on May 3, 2015 demanded immediate cancellation of the construction of the coal-fired Rampal power plant and Orion power plant near the Sundarbans, arguing that the forest’s ecology will be damaged by pollution caused by the use of coal.
They also suggested an independent and science-based assessment of the environmental, socio-cultural and health impacts of the two plants and other coal-based electricity generation facilities elsewhere in the country.
The recommendations were made at a two-day conference on coal energy, which was jointly organised by Waterkeepers Bangladesh, National Committee for Saving the Sundarbans (NCSS) and Waterkeepers Alliance. The programme held at Brac Centre in the capital ended yesterday.
With the financial assistance of an Indian power company, the government is currently setting up a 1,320mW coal-fired power plant some 10 kilometres from the Sundarbans, which it had declared as an Ecologically Critical Area.
But environmental experts warned that implementation of the proposed power plant project would destroy the ecosystem, biodiversity and wildlife of the world’s largest mangrove forest.
The green activists at the conference urged the government to take deliberate action regarding coal-fired power plants as those are highly responsible for polluting the environment.
“A comprehensive and integrated energy and coal policy along with other energy efficient management as well as green development policies must be adopted in the country,” said Dr Abdul Matin, member secretary of NCSS, at the conference.
“Such a policy has the capacity to reduce irregularities, corruption and misuse of power, and to eliminate or minimise the use of coal and other destructive projects in the country.”
Matin said proper public hearings and transparent eco-protective measures for site selection, financing, business agreement, land acquisition and asset evaluation for power plants of any category must be ensured for sustainable development and also to avoid possible environmental damages.
The green groups also suggested the government consider the impacts of climate change while talking about such kind of power projects.
Bangladesh ranks among the countries that have the lowest energy consumption per capita, and is in dire need of energy for its future development.
To meet the demand, the government has been trying to increase energy generation capacity from a range of sources, and Rampal and Orion plants are part of the measures.
According to Waterkeeper Alliance, coal is a dirty fuel and clean coal is a dirty lie.
It says coal will heavily pollute water, air and soil, with profound negative impacts on all living species during every stage of production and burning, including mining, dumping, transportation, combustion and post-burn waste disposal.
The Daily Star June 28, 2012 The Power Development Board yesterday signed three sets of agreements with local Orion Power to set up three private coal-fired power plants in Khulna, Chittagong and Mawa totalling 1,200 megawatt capacity. Salman Karim, director of Orion Power, told The Daily Star yesterday the company had signed Implementation Agreement and Power Purchase Agreement for the Khulna 300 MW, Chittagong 300 MW and Mawa 600 MW power projects.
“The Khulna and Chittagong projects will be commissioned within 36 months while the Mawa project within 45 months from signing of these agreements,” he added. Salman also noted that Orion Power has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand International (Egati) as its investment partner. Egati is the largest Thai power producer having the experience of generating 16,000 MW power. As per the agreements, Orion Power has to build the plants on their own land and arrange its own coal supply.
The company has purchased 500-bigha land in Khulna and Mawa each and a 700-bigha plot of land in Chittagong for its projects. It, however, proposed the government approve a merger between the two 300-MW projects–either in Chittagong or in Khulna–to make them viable. The company has signed MoUs with two trading companies– Swiss Glencore and Japanese Mitsui– to ensure smooth supply of coal from Indonesia and Australia to their projects. Once commissioned, Orion Power will sell electricity to the PDB at Tk 3.78 per kilowatt-hour in Khulna and Chittagong and Tk 4.30 per kilowatt-hour in Mawa.
Dhaka, Jun 27 (bdnews24.com) The government has entered a deal with Orion Group to install three private coal-based power plants to add 1088MW power to the national grid. Although there is a government-run coal-based power plant producing 250MW power at Barapukuria, this is the first move to get private firms to produce power from coal. On Jan 29, the government struck a deal with India for installing a coal-based power plant with a capacity to produce 1030MW at Rampal in Bagherhat near the Sundarbans.
One of the new power plants will be set up at Mawa in Munsiganj to produce 522MW. Two other plants will be established at Anwara in Chittagong and in Khulna each with a capacity of generating 282.67MW.
Orion Group Managing Director Salman Obaidul Karim and Power Development Board (PDB) Secretary Md Azizul Islam signed the agreement at the Bidyut Bhaban. The power plant at Mawa will go into operation in 45 months while the plants at Khulna and Chittagong will be built in 36 months.
The government will pay Tk 4.79 for per unit power produced by the Mawa plant and Tk 4.45 for power supplied from the other two plants. Currently daily power production is 5,500MW against the demand of 7,000MW. The Prime Minister’s Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Power Mohammad Enamul Hoque, Power Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, PDB Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir and Orion Group Chairman Obaidul Karim were present at the ceremony. “Many had feared whether it would be possible at all to establish power plant by importing coal. After overcoming all the challenges we are going to prove that through this agreement. I hope the plants will come into operation at the expected time,” said advisor Chowdhury.
Chairman Karim said they will import coal from Australia and Indonesia and that reputed organisations have been employed to look into issues including building the plants and importing coal. He was also hopeful about making the plants operational three months before schedule. Power is being produced using five types of energy. About 80 percent of the daily power is being produced using gas, while furnace oil and diesel are used for producing 17 percent. Water and coal produces 3 percent. After assuming power the government undertook a plan of raising daily power production by 15,000MW within 2016. The government has so far struck deals for 56 power plants.
Bangladesh Government Purchase committee has passed the 2×300MW & 1× 650MW COAL fired power project of ORION Group
Orion Group consortiums: IEL Consortium & Associates Ltd (IEL) Dutch Bangla power & Associates Limited The premier on June 11, 2011 in Narayanganj inaugurated a 100MW furnace oil-fired quick rental power plant that belongs to IEL Consortium and Associates, a sister concern of Orion Group. It started commercial operation on March 17 this year.
Dhaka, July 1, 2010 (UNB) The state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) today (Thursday) signed contracts with two private companies to purchase 200 MW electricity from quick rental power plants (QRPP). As per contracts, the IEL Consortium and Associates, a subsidiary of Orion Group, will set up a 100 MW plat at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj within next nine months and the PDB will purchase electricity from the plant for next 5 years at a rate of at Tk 7.78 per unit (per kilowatt hour).
Similarly, Dutch Bangla Power Ltd will set up a 100 MW plant at Siddhirganj in Narayanganj in the next nine months and PDB will buy electricity from the plant at the same rate. Obaidul Karim, Chairman of Orion Group, signed the contract on behalf of his company while Alauddin Ahmed Chowdhury, who served as protocol officer to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her last tenure, signed the contracts on behalf of his company Dutch Bangla Power Ltd. PDB secretary Md. Azizul Islam signed the agreements on behalf of his organisation.
With the signing of latest contracts, the PDB so far signed a total of 7 contracts with different private sponsors to set up rental power plants with a total capacity of about 700 MW. In the coming months, PDB has plans to sign more contracts to increase the purchase of electricity from quick rental power plants to about 1500 MW. All the contracts for quick rental power plants are being awarded to the private sponsors without any tender. http://bdnews24.com/details.php?cid=4&id=227214&hb=4