Coronavirus Outbreak: 1,600MW power import from India may face delay

Hasibul Aman

18th February, 2020 12:30:04 printer

Coronavirus Outbreak: 1,600MW power import from India may face delay

The 1600MW (Megawatts) electricity import from Indian power giant Adani-sponsored Ultra Super Critical Thermal Power Projects (USCTPP) in Godda of Jharkhand might be delayed for an indefinite period due to coronavirus epidemic in China.

“The outbreak of the said virus has adversely affected the manufacturing activities related to the 1600MW USCTPP, Godda,” Bikash Mandal, director of Adani Power, India informed Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) early of the current month through an official letter.

He said the consortium members of EPC contractors of the under construction power plants—-SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Co Ltd, Electric Power Construction Company Ltd, Tiejun International (HK) Ltd and HTG Engineering have issued a notice last month due to the unusual delay to implement the projects.

SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Co Ltd project manager Wang Wenhui informed Adani that the transportation of many cities have been closed as per the government of China order and asking people to stay at home and avoid contact with the crowd.

“It has seriously restricted engineering, procurement, manufacturing and logistics for the construction of two unit of 800MW Godda power plant due to serious epidemic after February 2, 2020,” Wang Wenhui said.     

“The said force majeure event is still continuing and it has led to a situation which is beyond our reasonable control and of EPC contractor,” Bikash Mandal, director of Adani Power told BPDB.

The government has signed the deal with Adani to import the electricity early 2022. But the power import from the plant will be delayed for an indefinite period, official sources said. 

As per Section 16.1 (b) of the Power Purchase Agreement and Section 11.1 (b) of the implementation agreement (IA), any force majeure event affecting a contractor when such event constitutes a force majeure under the agreement with such contractor shall also be a force majeure event under the PPA and IA dated November 5, 2017.

Not only the Adani Power Plant, but also two other private sector plants including 612MW each two units projects of SS Power-1 and 370MW Barisal Power Plant have also sought an indefinite period to implement their projects through issuing notice of force majeure.

“We have taken all proactive measures including rescheduling the construction plan, restricting Chinese workers return and recruiting more local employees to minimize the losses caused by force majeure event,” 370MW Barisal Power Plant chief executive officer Zhao Zhenqing informed the power secretary on February 6, 2020.

He said the outbreak of Coronavirus might lead to delay in design progress, construction progress, machinery delivery and achievement of commercial operation date (COD).        

The power plant has a schedule to start electricity generation in early 2022.

“We are presently unable to carry out fully the construction activities related to the facility that are taking place in China and at the site in Bangladesh,” 612MW SS Power-1 Ltd managing director Tan Zheling informed BPDB on February 4.

Since the engineering offices of the EPC contractor are located at Wuhan and Shijiazhuang, both these organizations have entirely shut down their business, he said.

Chinese workers have left Bangladesh for their spring festival, and they are yet to return here, he said through the letter.

Earlier, the local power sponsor United Meghanaghat Power Ltd implementing 584MW Gas/LNG fired power sought force majeure that means to extend the project implementation period for an unknown time.

The newly implemented 1320MW public-owned Payara power plant, 400MW Asuganj (East) power plant, 409MW Ghorasal and 330MW khulna duel fuel power plant were also affected due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.

“We have no problem due to the outbreak of Coronavirus for a short period of time but it might have a long term effect if the outbreak continues,” an official of the power division said on the condition of anonymity.