Thursday, 2 December, 2021
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Japanese EZ in Narayanganj

EZ backtracks on plan to set up captive power plant

EZ backtracks on plan to set up captive power plant

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The Japanese Araihazar Economic Zone (EZ) in Narayanganj has backtracked from its previous position of not receiving electricity from the grid and agreed to connect with the 230KV line as the main source of power to feed the EZ.

“There are two existing high voltage transmission lines in the vicinity of Araihazar Economic Zone. The project feasibility consultant further assessed the quality of the electricity in both lines and concluded that 230kv line is more stable and therefore suitable for attracting foreign manufacturing factories,” Japan International Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Bangladesh Office Hayakawa Yuho said in a letter to Power Division recently.

“In this regard, instead of constructing a power plant and a substation as in the original design of the Japanese Araihazar Economic Zone (EZ) project, we would like to propose to develop a Line in Line Out (LILO) connection from existing 230KV line and substation as the main source of power,” the JICA Bangladesh chief proposed.

The Japanese Araihazar Economic Zone (EZ) in Narayanganj has earlier proposed to set up a separate power plant for getting an uninterrupted supply of electricity.        

The government has given conditional approval for setting up a captive power plant to feed the under-construction Araihazar Economic Zone in Narayanganj.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) approved the proposal recently as the Japanese consultant firm JV of NIPPON KOEI raised questions over the standard of national grid electricity.

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has already suspended the approved captive power plants aiming to maximum use the grid electricity.

“The Japanese Araihazar Economic Zone (EZ) in Narayanganj will take necessary steps for setting up a captive power plant to maintain stable frequency and voltage. But the EZs won't sell electricity to BPDB,” the PMO meeting minutes said.

The PMO also asked the BEZA for reviewing the downward adjustment of DPP for implementing the EZ project as the Japanese Araihazar Economic Zone will not require grid power.        

Grid frequency is a critical aspect of power supply operations, with global standards requiring that grid frequency be kept close to 50 hertz (Hz). Fluctuations in the frequency affect mechanical equipment, their functions and the supply systems as well.

Power Division said the government will need at least three years to stabilise the power grid frequency.

Japanese consultancy firm JV of NIPPON KOEI earlier raised questions over the frequency of 230KV grid run by state-owned Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB).

It said as per the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the grid power is not of standard quality for high-tech industries to be set up at Araihazar in Narayanganj.

After the concern was raised, Power Division has informed the Prime Minister’s Office about the power transmission system to supply electricity to the Japanese Economic Zone.

Earlier, JV of NIPPON KOEI has proposed to establish a separate power plant having the capacity to generate 35MW of electricity to ensure a stable supply of power to the Japanese Economic Zone.

Power Division informed the PMO that the Japanese Economic Zone will require only a megawatt of electricity in 2022, 6 MW in 2025 and 35MW in 2028.

The government has already taken initiatives to implement a series of power projects having combined capacity to generate 46,598MW of electricity under Build, Own and Operation (BOO) under the Private Power Generation Policy.

For this, the Power Division has already signed project deals with these companies and issued Letters of Intent (LoI) in this regard.

As a part of this, the government has already implemented two separate RLNG-based power projects having a capacity 785 MW each adjacent to the Japanese Economic Zone area.

Besides, another three under-construction powers will also add 1885MW of electricity to the national grid in 2023.

The Rooppur Nuclear Power will add another 2400MW of electricity in 2024. The government is also considering 1496MW of electricity import from the Indian Adani Group from December 2022.

“So, the government will be able to meet the demand of electricity supply to economic zones from the grid power,” Power Division told the PMO in a letter earlier.

“The problem of the grid frequency and voltage fluctuation will be solved after commissioning the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant as nuke plant will require specific frequency (50+0.2HZ),” the letter added.

The Power Division has proposed to set up Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) in the consumer end for regulating the frequency. It also suggested PGCB for setting up necessary electric devices for maintaining the standards at economic zones. Industrial units are consuming around 4,000MW of captive power as the distribution companies have failed to ensure quality electricity supply to heavy industrial units, official sources said. According to the Japanese consultancy firm study, all manufacturing industries will be negatively affected by poor power quality. “High-quality electricity will bring high-quality investors.” Japan follows the standard of 49.8 Hz to 50.2 Hz in grid frequency.