Monday, 2 October, 2023

Coal for Payra power plant arrives, generation to resume soon

A ship carrying 41,327 metric tonnes of coal has finally arrived at Payra Port 18 days after the Payra thermal power plant halted power generation due to coal shortage.

The MV Athena – the vessel which brought the first shipment since the closure of the plant – is scheduled to unload some of the coal that arrived while anchored in the channel by 3 pm on Friday.

The vessel is scheduled to enter the jetty of the 1320 MW Payra thermal power plant on Friday night.

Four more coal-laden ships will arrive at Payra in the first week of July, according to plant officials.

Plant Manager Md. Golam Mawla said the Payra thermal power plant is likely to resume power generation after storing about 2 lakh metric tons of coal.

However, the official did not rule out the possibility of going into power generation from June 25.

The country's largest thermal power plant, Payra, was completely shut down on June 5 due to fuel shortage.

Due to the failure to pay the outstanding bills of $390 million caused by dollar shortage, production of a unit of the power plant was halted on May 25 as the companies involved stopped supplying coal.

Another unit's production continued until June 5 which was also shut down due to coal shortage. The shutdown of the country’s biggest thermal power plant led to weeks of nationwide load-shedding amid the hottest summer on record.

Shah Abdul Hasib, superintending engineer (operation) of Payra Thermal Power Plant, said the opening of the LC was delayed due to the dollar crisis.

Outstanding bills worth “$100 million have already been cleared through the World Bank,” he said.