Siddhirganj power plant project drags on for 10yrs

Hasibul Aman

20th April, 2019 11:49:54 printer

The 335MW Siddhirganj combined-cycle power plant is yet to come into operation even after 10 years though the power plant project was supposed to be completed in three years.

Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB) started the project work in January 2009 with a hope to complete it by December 2011. But the project could not be finished even after four time extensions.

The plant, mainly to be run on gas, had been planned with the World Bank support to meet growing demand of power and lower load shedding in the capital city and its adjacent areas.

Seven years after the end of original project deadline, the project has been proposed to be revised again to extend its completion time by one and a half years, planning commission sources said.

Project execution complexity includes contractor’s deserting project site and mechanical failure, according to official sources. 

So far, the project saw 93 percent physical progress while its financial progress was found to be Tk 2,666 crore or 64 percent of the total cost until February this year. 

In its fresh revision proposal, EGCB argued that the project work was heavily disrupted in 2017 by financing problem and project contractor JVC electronic company’s stopping work.

Because of the contractor’s negligence and bankruptcy, EGCB had to scrap contract with JVC and appoint Samsung C&T as new contractor.

Because of the delay, imported project materials, including gas turbine and other equipment, gathered rust, which eventually got fixed after sending them to the US and India.

Gas turbine and different equipment of steam turbine was repaired from abroad from June to October last year. Installing them will require 1.5 years more, EGCB has argued.

During the project execution, the gas turbine encountered a big problem because of faulty gas supply by Titas Gas that led to instant shut down of gas turbine.

The contractor sought Tk 34 crore additional charge for cleaning the gas pipeline and fixing the problem in gas turbine, which is also a major cause of third time project revision.

So far, Ecnec approved two revision proposal of the project, where both project cost and time increased.

Besides, implementation monitoring and evaluation division (IMED) gave not to two time extension proposal.

After all these four extensions, the project was supposed to be complete by December last year. Now, it has been proposed to extend it to June 2020. 

In original plan, project cost was estimated at Tk 2,077 crore, which finally rose to Tk 4,144 crore in the approved second revised project. For the third revision, EGCB has proposed a lower cost of Tk 3,971 crore, planning commission source said.