Coal import move fails for high price

Shamim Jahangir

17th April, 2019 03:45:48 printer

Coal import move fails for high price

The government has failed in its second attempt to import 800,000 tonnes of coal to feed the 525MW coal-fired power plant at Barapukuria Thermal Power Plant in Dinajpur due to high cost quoted by the potential suppliers.

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) had invited international tender for the coal import on December 12 last year.

The government’s plan was to import three lakh metric tonnes of coal for three consecutive years to feed the power plant.

Two Singaporean suppliers—Nobel Resources International and the Vitol Asia Pte Ltd and one local company Partex Coal Ltd submitted quotes in reply to the tender.

BPDB has sought permission from Power Division to issue a new tender.

Vitol Asia Pte Ltd has sought $281.57 per tonne, Nobel Resources quoted $176.32 while Partex sought $196.47 per tonne. However, the tender evaluation committee found the cost too high to move ahead with the procurement.

In the middle of 2018, the government planned to spend about Tk 2.36 billion for importing only 100,000 tonnes of coal to feed the 525 MW coal-fired power plant at Barapukuria.

The power division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR) has already sent a proposal to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for the approval to import the coal from a Singapore-based firm at a comparatively higher tariff.

The tariff, according to sources, is around 115 per cent higher than the locally produced coal at Barapukuria.

The Barapukuria coalmine company Ltd supplies coal to PDB at 130 per tonne. Whereas the company— Vitol Asia Pte Ltd – sought $282.91 per tonne. The cost includes FOB (Free on Bard) price of $118, freight cost of $7, local transportation cost of $87.47 along with port charges, transhipment loading, unloading, insurance and other charges.

The Singaporean firm later lowered the price by $1.34 per tonne in its latest proposal.

As per the rate, 100,000 tonnes of coal will cost around Tk 236 crore or $28.29 million.    

The Power Division informed the PMO that it will require around 5200 tonnes of coal to use the 100 per cent electricity generation capacity of three units of 525MW Barapukuria coal-based power plant.