Corona hits unit-2 Payra power plant

Shamim Jahangir

8th April, 2020 10:16:40 printer

Corona hits unit-2 Payra power plant

The under-construction 660MW coal-fired power plant of Payra faces trouble amid COVID-19 as most of the local and 35 percent of foreign officials left the site.

“The plant was scheduled to complete all its tasks required for commercial operation on June, 2020, but we don’t know when it will be compete,” state-owned Bangladesh-China Power Company Ltd Managing Director Engineer AM Khurshedul Alam told daily sun on Wednesday.

“700 Chinese engineers and workers out of 2000 and 5,500 local workers have left the site as per our decision that ultimately affected the project activities,” he said. 

The China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) has already issued a notice to the power division to consider the indefinite delay of the power plant.  

Despite the delay of the unit-2, the company’s unit-1 is operational.

Half a dozen under-construction power projects are facing serious trouble due to coronavirus outbreak as the projects are dependent either on Chinese manpower or on capital machinery from China.

Of the plants, the implementation of a 584MW Gas/LNG fired power plant sponsored by United Meghanaghat Power Ltd has been suspended for an indefinite period. The power plant was expected to commence electricity generation from July 2022.

“Since items and services are being sourced from China for the project, this event materially and adversely affects the performance of UMPL under the implementation agreement,” Unique Meghnaghat Power Ltd (UMPL) executive director Md Jahir Uddin Mollah said.

As per section no. 11.1 of the implementation agreement, “This outbreak is a force majeure (unavoidable accident) event and the estimate of the duration of this force majeure event is still unknown.”

The other affected power plants include 400MW Asuganj (East) power plant, 409MW Ghorasal, 330MW Khulna duel fuel power plant, 309MW coal-fired plant in Barguna and 1224MW coal-fired plant in Banchkhali, 1600MW power import.   

“It is uncertain when the project will resume as 40 Chinese employees including 22 Chinese engineers could not return to work after going to China amid the coronavirus outbreak,” said Md Tofazzel, project director of state-owned Ghorasal unit-4 power plant.

China Energy Engineering Group, Guangdong Power Engineering Co Ltd (CEEC), is implementing the project.