Coal import likely by third party

Staff Correspondent New age August 14, 2012

The government is likely to import coal through a third party to run its coal-fired power plants, said officials.

The state-run Power Development Board has planned installation of a number of imported coal-fired power plants having the combined capacity of around 2,000 megawatts by its newly formed subsidiary, the Bangladesh Coal-Based Power Generation Company, by 2014.

But the sources of coal are yet to be found, a Power Division official told New Age.

Power sector officials, headed by state minister for power and energy Md Enamul Huq, on Monday discussed the possible sourcing of coal to run the planned power plants. Power Division secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad and PDB chairman Md Abdul Wahab Khan were present on the occasion.

In the meeting, representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which prepared the Power System Master Plan for Bangladesh, made a power point presentation on the ways and means to supply imported coal to the power plants. JICA also discussed the possible sources of financing for the installation of the power plants.

In the presentation, JICA showed that there were three possible ways to import the coal — either through the BCPGCL, government or a third party.

A Power Division official said that they opted for ‘outsourcing’ to import the coal on the ground that the newly formed BCPGCL did not have the capacity to handle it.

‘But, it will need a survey on coal import, loading and unloading and storage in the port city, and transport to the power plants across the country,’ he said.

The Power Division official also said that the Tokyo Electric Power Service Company Ltd was interested in conducting the survey in Chittagong in this regard.

According to the master plan, 20,000MW of electricity will be generated by both imported and indigenous coal by 2030. The power plants will be set up in the public and private sector in phases.

The country does not have the necessary infrastructure for importing coal although the government plans to run major power plants on imported coal.