2nd unit of Payra power plant starts trial production

The second unit of the Payra coal-fired power plant in Patuakhali has begun trial production. The 660 MW second unit of the plant began power production on a trial basis at 3:45 pm Tuesday afternoon.

This is the country’s first coal-fired power plant to run on imported coal. Bangladesh and China have equal ownership of the power plant.

Earlier on 13 January the 660 MW first unit of Payra power plant began supplying electricity to the national grid on a trial basis. On 14 May this first unit of the plant went into commercial power production.

With the Payra coal-fired power plant beginning production, Bangladesh joins the ultra super-critical club. Bangladesh is the seventh country in Asia setting up such a power plant. In South Asia, only India had this type of power plant till now. The other countries in Asia with this ultra super-critical technology power plant are China, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia. Except for China and Bangladesh, the other countries with such ultra super-critical technology power plants do not use covered coal yards.

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Bangladesh China Power Company Limited (BCPCL) is the owner of the Payra power plant. BCPSL is a joint venture of Bangladesh’s state-owned North West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGCL) and China’s state-owned China National Machinery Export and Import Corporation (CMC). BCPCL is setting up two power plants of 1320 MW at Payra. This is the country’s largest coal-fired power plant in the country. Each plant has two units of 660 MW. The two units of the first plant have now begun production. The remaining two units are expected to go into production next year.

The sulphur dioxide emission rate from the Payra power plant is only 70 to 80 milligrams. The ceiling set by the World Bank is 200 milligrams.
AM Khorshedul Alam, CEO of NWPGCL and BCPCL

The Payra thermal power plant will be connected to the national grid through the newly built 400/230 kV grid in Muksudpur upazila of Gopalganj.

As the transmission line is not ready as yet, the plant will not be able to go into full supply at the moment. The two units will run at half load. The transmission line from Gopalganj to Aminbazar in Dhaka will be completed around December next year. Once completed, electricity from Payra can be brought to Dhaka.

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CEO of NWPGCL and BCPCL, AM Khorshedul Alam, speaking to Prothom Alo, said using ultra super-critical technology, more power can be generated burning less coal. The environment is not polluted. Advanced technology is used to control pollution.

He said Payra power plant’s coal yard was covered. “In Asia, other than us only China uses such a coal yard. Even Japan doesn’t have such a coal yard. The sulphur dioxide emission rate from the Payra power plant is only 70 to 80 milligrams. The ceiling set by the World Bank is 200 milligrams.”

An ultra super-critical technology power plant is also being built at Matarbari. This is being constructed by the state-owned Coal Power Generation Company. A Japanese company is the contractor.

While efficiency is increased by two per cent more than super critical technology, the costs involved are much higher. Because of the high costs involved, many companies are not eager to construct ultra super-critical power plants.