The first unit (660 MW) of newly-constructed Payra coal-fired power plant went into commercial operation on Thursday, utilising the recently-commissioned 400 kv Payra-Gopalganj power transmission line, reports UNB.

"We've successfully commissioned the commercial operation of 660 MW-capacity first unit of the 1320 MW power plant," a top official at the North West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL) told UNB.


The Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL), a special joint venture company of Bangladesh's state-owned NWPGCL and China's state-owned China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (CMC), has been constructing the power plant involving about $2 billion as part of understanding between Dhaka and Beijing.

However, the first unit started test run in January this year and after about 5 months, it went into commercial operation, said the NWPGCL official.


Earlier, the 400 kV Payra-Gopalganj power transmission line was commissioned on 31 December aiming to evacuate electricity from the new power plant.

The first unit of the Payra power plant, which was conducting test run on completion of construction, was waiting for this new transmission line to start its operation.

Officials said this has been the very first power plant to be run through imported coal by large ships from Indonesia.

State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid thanked the NWPGCL officials for their success for starting commercial commissioning of the country's largest power plant being jointly built by China.


Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL) hopes the second unit of the plant will be able to start operation within next few months as transmission facilities are being prepared.

Officials said the power from the Payra plant will be now transmitted to the southern region of the country by shutting down some costly liquid fuel-fired generation units in Khulna and other adjoining districts.