The transmission of electricity from newly built Payra and Rampal plants over Padma River to Dhaka’s Aminbazar will delay by at least 7 to 8 months.

Work on construction of a high voltage 400 kV double-circuit power transmission line to cross mighty river through Padma Bridge is yet to be completed. Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) meanwhile counts a huge financial loss.

According to official sources, the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) had undertaken the 164.6 km long Aminbazar-Maowa-Mongla transmission line project in 2016 at a cost of Tk 25.05 billion.

The most significant part of the project was the Padma River Crossing which remains incomplete because of the ongoing construction work of the Padma Bridge project.

As per a revised schedule, the Aminbazar-Maowa-Mongla transmission line project was supposed to be completed in December 2021. The failure to timely complete the project is also causing a financial loss as well, said the officials.

PGCB officials noted that the transmission line will need to install a total of 7 towers, each having 126 meter height, within the river area to cross the 9.4 km width area of Padma River.

But so far only the foundation of two towers have been completed by the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) and their sites handed over to the PGCB”, said Golam Kibria, managing director of the PGCB.

Now works are going on for the foundation of the remaining five towers and we hope we will get the remaining five sites by April this year and then the PGCB will require another 5-6 months to complete the installation works, he told UNB.

He also said the transmission line will come into operation as soon as the river crossing installation is completed.

The PGCB officials attributed the delay to the BBA, the implementing agency of the Padma Multipurpose Project, and said the delay in Padma Bridge project ultimately delayed the river crossing works.

Official sources said that the PGCB started the construction of the transmission line with its target to complete it before commissioning of the Payra and Rampal plants, two large establishments in south-western region.

But when it moved to start the river crossing line at Padma River, the BBA requested to halt the work for facilitating the bridge construction works as no other construction works were allowed at the area.

The BBA also offered the PGCB to do the foundation works for installation of 7 towers within the river area. At the government’s top level mediation, the PGCB had to accept the offer.

But suspension in river crossing works caused the government a huge financial loss, a PGCB official said.

He said that the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to pay a penalty of Tk 1.3 billion per month to the Payra power plant for failing to evacuate its electricity because of the non-completion of the river crossing works of the Aminbazar-Maowa-Mongla transmission line project.

He also informed that the financial loss of the BPDB will increase and it can go down by more than double if the 1320 MW Rampal power plant starts commercial production before completion of the transmission project.

“Because, the BPDB had a power purchase agreement with both the Payra and Rampal power plants to buy electricity from the two large power plants in failing which it would have to pay penalty,” said the official.

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