Thursday, 28 October, 2021

Rampal plant unlikely to start power generation Dec 16

Rampal Moitree Power Project’s unit-1 may not be able to begin electricity generation on December 16 this year as planned earlier during the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

Indian state-owned EPC contractor BHEL is seeking rescheduling of the already promised time, the competent sources said.

However, a test operation is under plan in December 16, 2021.

“We plan for a test operation in December and are expecting to launch commercial operation in March next year,” said an official of Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (Pvt) Ltd (BIFPCL) on Tuesday.

“But the schedule may be deferred as sub-contractors fail to complete some components. There are also delays in importing some key materials and arranging visas for some Indian officials engaged in the project,” the official said.

He said a high-powered team led by Indian secretary of the ministry of heavy industries will arrive on October 17, 2021 to discuss the progress of the project.

The officials may meet top officials including Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary over the issue.  

“We may get new schedules after the meeting,” another official concerned said on the condition of anonymity.  

He said,“The mega power project has already spent over $1.31 billion, completing 69.80 percent of the implementation work physically and financially.”

Of the project progress, the unit-1 of the mega project has achieved progress 86 percent of physically and financially, the official said.

Now, 7000 employees including 1800 Indian are working relentlessly to implement the project as per the schedule. 

The plant is being implemented at a cost of $1.6 billion under the credit of Indian Letter of Credit (LoC), the official said.

The 230KV back feed power line has been commissioned on August 29 this year, he said.

“The plant has also completed the boiler pressure parts, boiler drainable hydro test and air tightness test, coal bunker erection, flue gas desulphurization (FGD) absorber tower structure works, cooling tower and chimney shell concreting plant jetty etc,” managing director of BIFPCL Absar Uddin said.

“Now, around 7,000 employees including 1,831 Indians are working at the plant site to conduct test operation by December 16,”he said.

“I have already asked BHEL about the need to engage additional manpower if we want to implement the project on time,”Absar Uddin added.

 He told the Daily Sun that they had sent several letters to implement the project as per the schedule.

“I am hopeful to complete the job within schedule as per commitment of BHEL,”he said.

Recently, Indian Power Secretary Alok Kumar and Bangladesh Power Secretary Habibur Rahaman discussed the issue at a virtual meeting on Indo-Bangla power sector cooperation.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to inaugurate the mega-project jointly.

Both Bangladesh and Indian governments said the Rampal project is an environmental-friendly and supercritical technology-based thermal plant.  The officials said the COVID-19 crisis posed enormous challenges since March 2020 making it difficult to implement of the Moitree project on time.

But thanks to the greater efforts from the both sides,the project is now expected to be completed within the stipulated time, they said.

The power secretaries of both the governments agreed to commission the unit-2 matching with the implementation of the associated power transmission systems.