The government, being funded by Japan, is setting up two coal-fired power generation plants in Matarbari of Maheshkhali. Some 1,400 acres of land have already been acquired for the projects while the construction work of the first plant is now underway.

Japan pulled out of the project when the second plant was awaiting construction.

The 1,200 megawatt plants were being constructed at a cost of Tk 518.55 billion while the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was bearing 83 per cent of the total amount.

An official of the Coal Power Generation Company, which is implementing the project, said some 1,414 acres of lands were acquired for these two power plants.

The first one is likely to start its operation in 2024 while the second one in 2030. The tender for the second project is supposed to be called after the fund from Japan is ensured, the official added.

When asked whether the use of the coal terminal will be reduced due to the cancellation of the second project, the official said the terminal will be used commercially. All import-oriented coal power plants will be allowed to use it.

State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid told Prothom Alo that the government has decided to retreat from coal-based power plants. A plan has been set to establish a power plant in the same area using solar or liquefied natural gas (LNG). A LNG terminal is being set up there.

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