Payra power plant buzzing with activity
-Around 6000 professionals have been working round the clock to complete construction work on the 1,320MW coal-fired Payra power plant at Dhankhali in Patuakhali’s Kalapara upazila.Being built by Bangladesh-China Power Company Ltd (BCPCL), the plant, if completed, would be country’s largest coal-fired power plant.The BCPCL is a 50:50 joint venture between Bangladesh’s North-West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGCL) and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC).During a visit to the project on Friday, around 1,500 Chinese and some 4,500 local workers were seen busy working on the completion of the project on time.Around 35 per cent of the construction work of the project, including piling for infrastructure building, constructing an iron frame for first unit’s boiler, project roads, and more is already complete, said BCPCL officials.They expected they would be able to bring in the required machineries for the plant in the first half of 2018.The estimated cost of the project is $1.6 billion, 80 per cent of which is expected to come as a loan from China’s Exim Bank. The rest would be invested by NWPGCL and CMC.The EPC contractor, which won the contract, is a consortium of First Northeast Electric Power Engineering Company (NEPC) of China and China National Energy Engineering and Construction Company Ltd (CECC).NWPGCL managing director AM Khurshedul Alam told Prothom Alo that there would be two 660MW units in the project.The first unit of the power plant is expected to supply electricity by April 2019 and the second unit will start generation in October, he added.The NWPGCL has been allotted land of 1000 acres near Payra port. Besides the 1,320MW plant, a 3,600MW LNG-based power plant, a 100MW solar plant, and a 50MW wind turbine plant will be set up here in the 100-acre land.State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid visited the Payra project on Friday.He said that the power plant project at Payra will produce a total of 900 megawatts of electricity and for this $12 billion would be invested.*The article, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Imam Hossain.