Banskhali power plant is the government's affordable electricity charioteer

Serajul Islam Siraj, Special Correspondent,


  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Banskhali(Chattogram): After hundred percent electrification, the main challenge of the government is to ensure uninterrupted power at an affordable cost. The Banskhali 1320 MW coal fired power plant of the large industrial group S Alam Group has taken on the role of charioteer to face that challenge.

A formula is followed to contain the cost of power generation; That is, first of all, low cost power plants are run. Then, with the increase in demand, power plants are run at higher cost. This is called least cost generation.

Banskhali Power Station is at the top of least cost. Even less than Adani Group's coal-fired power imported from India. Banshkhali has left behind Payra, Rampal and Matarbari in Bangladesh. Average electricity generation cost is 8.259 US cents; which was an average of Tk. 6.60 during the contract period 78 cents.

Banskhali 1320 MW Coal Power Plant

The cost has increased due to the increase in dollar value. Coal prices and transportation costs have also increased. Even then, the power plant is at the top of the list. And that's why it is running at random even when the demand is low in winter. A unit was put into full swing on February 11.

Just what least cost, regional load management has also brought great relief!

ASM Alamgir Kabir, former chairman of Bangladesh Power Development Board, director of the Banskhali power plant, said that expensive diesel-based power plants had to be run to balance the regional demand. Now they don't. Now the total cost of power generation with coal is Tk. 10 to 12 and Tk. 25 on diesel and Tk. 15 on furnace oil. If compared with diesel, the cost per unit is less than Tk. 13. It has the capacity to generate about 88 crore units of electricity per month. Even if savings are taken at the rate of Tk. 13 per unit, the government will save more than Tk. 1,144 crore per month. Due to which the power division has been spared from huge expenses.

Banskhali Thermal Power Station 

The power plant will be marked as a milestone in the history of Bangladesh in many ways. The group also recorded the highest ever private single investment and foreign investment in private projects. Private sector financing through foreign banks has also reached a record. About 1.78 billion dollar in funding has come into the project. S Alam Group has financed from its own sources about Tk. 6500 crore.

In June 2012, Bangladesh signed the first 3 contracts for coal-fired power plants in the private sector. The first round of contracts was with the Orion Group. On the other hand, S Alam Group signed a contract to set up a coal-based power plant on February 16, 2016.

Orion's power plant is far from being in production, so it hasn't started yet. And after 4 years of contract, S Alam Group has already shown its ability to produce electricity.

The 275 meter high colored chimney of the power plant is visible from far away, the tallest in Bangladesh. A specialized jetty has been constructed at the Sea estuary, where 2,000 metric tons of coal can be unloaded per hour.

Modern technology has been introduced in place of old era technology of unloading coal from ships. There is no possibility of coal spillage due to use of screw unloader. Two unloaders have a capacity of 2,000 tons of coal per hour from ships to the coal yard.

Two conveyor belts attached to the coal yard have a capacity of 4,000 metric tons. Covered conveyor belts have been installed keeping in mind the environment. A high net enclosure is provided around the coal yard. Two advanced FGDs (Flue Gas Desulphurization) have been constructed, long ago. By doing this, it is possible to prevent 99.87 percent of carbon emissions.

2 silos have been constructed for ash storage, each having a capacity of 2600 metric tons. And there is a huge Ash pond spread across 80 acres. Heavy wave walls are built to protect against natural disasters like cyclones or floods.

The power plant was officially connected to the national grid on January 14 last year. And the first unit (660 MW) and the second unit (660 MW) started commercial production in September and October last year respectively.

The large power plant has been installed in the Gandamara area of Banskhali (Chattogram) near the Bay of Bengal. It is owned by the famous local company S Alam Group, Chinese company Sepco 3 and HTG.

Banskhali will supply about 300 million units of electricity daily

Local company S Alam holds 70 percent stake and Chinese company SEPCO 3 and HTG hold 30 percent.

Ebadat Hossain Bhuiya, CFO of SS Power One Limited, told that the power plant has started playing a huge role in Bangladesh's economy even before its commissioning. Duties of more than Tk. 1000 crores have been deposited in the state treasury during construction.

650 million dollars worth of goods and services were purchased from within the country. Not only that, about 7 thousand people has been employed here for 4 consecutive years, including the time when the employment crisis was being created during the great crisis like Corona. Before the construction of the power plant started, the unemployment rate in the project area was 50 percent.

Ebadat Hossain Bhuiyan said that according to government statistics, the unemployment rate has dropped to 20 percent.

S Alam Group's Coal Based Power Plant 

On Sunday (February 11), media personnel were shown around the power plant. It was attended by experienced journalists of the power sector in Bangladesh, who have the experience of visiting all modern power plants in the country and abroad. Many have recently visited Rampal Power Station. Management and cleaning of power plants

area they said they were impressed.

When the top media workers of the country came to the ground, a documentary was shown in the administrative building and various answers were given. Power plant director ASM Alamgir Kabir, Acting CEO and Head of Operation Y Jianhuan, CFO Ebadat Hossain Bhuiyan, SMP DPD Faizur Rahman and senior officials were present at this time.


'Sugar is no more sugar, it has become poison'

Rakib Hassan, Staff Correspondent,


  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

A few days later, the Muslim’s self-restraint month of Ramadan. At the end of the whole day of fasting, a glass of sherbet is supposed to refresh the spirit of the fasting people, but the price of sugar, the main ingredient for making sherbet, is now beyond the reach of consumers. In this, common people coming to the market to buy sugar saying "sugar is no longer sugar, it has become poison".

Yesterday, on the news of sudden increase in the price of sugar by Tk. 20 per kg, unscrupulous traders immediately tried to create an artificial crisis of sugar, and the Ministry of Commerce withdrew the decision at night.

A part of the wholesale traders said that they have to count the loss as the decision to raise the price of sugar suddenly and withdraw the price at night. Basically, on the news of price increase, the traders have ordered (DO) sugar at a higher price. Now that it has been decided to reduce the price again, the ordered sugar will have to be sold at a lower price.

At present, open sugar is sold at Tk. 140-142 per kg in the market, which was Tk. 125 last Ramadan and packaged sugar at Tk. 150-155.

On Friday (February 23), some retail markets in Mirpur saw white sugar being sold at Tk. 136-142 depending on the type.

Owner of Sultan Traders Abdur Rahman said that he is selling white sugar at Tk. 136-138 per kg. But it is losing him. As the reason, he said that he had bought a bag of sugar for Tk. 6,600 earlier, but suddenly yesterday afternoon, he had to buy it at a price of Tk. 80 to Tk. 150 more per bag. Then the price of that sugar fell again at night. He also complains about the labor cost per bag and sometimes less sugar in the bag.

Salim, the owner of Salim General Store, said that he bought sugar a few days ago for Tk. 6,600. In this his per kg sugar has fallen to Tk. 132. However, he bought two sacks of sugar for Tk. 6,850 without getting sugar due to the price increase; in this, sugar has fallen to Tk. 137 per kg. Shop rent, electricity bill, salary of employees etc will be added to this, making his expenses above Tk. 140 rupees. Now if you can't sell at a higher price then there is no way but to pay a loss. He complained that the prices of all kinds of products during Ramadan have already increased. Chickpeas were sold at Tk. 100 earlier but now they are being sold at Tk.104. But this gram was Tk. 80 last year, and sugar was Tk. 120.

A visit to the wholesale sugar markets in Mirpur revealed that there was some control over the supply of sugar from the mills due to the sudden increase in the price of sugar. But the mills are taking orders again at night. Businessmen are in a panic. So many traders are waiting and releasing sugar little by little.

Tajul Islam, manager of Momin Banizya Bitan, said that sugar was sold at a high price until 6 pm yesterday. On the news of price hike, sugar started selling at higher prices. But today I am selling for Tk. 6800 to Tk. 6850.

Also, Tanmoy Traders, Farooq Traders, Momin Traders did not order today at an additional rate of Tk. 6780.

Meanwhile, the price of sugar in Moulvibazar increased by at least Tk. 50-100 per bag yesterday. Besides, many traders are not getting sugar even after ordering. They said that when a vehicle is sent to bring sugar, the transport sits at the mill gate for two or three days. Tk. 2000 per day as demurrage has to be paid. This then feeds into the price of sugar. If the goods were available immediately then the sugar would have been available even less.

Hasibur Rahman, an official of a private organization, has come to the market to prepare for the upcoming Shabe -barat and Ramadan market. He said that a kind of game has already started with the price of sugar before Ramadan. In our country, if there is any problem, a part of the businessmen suddenly increase the price without thinking about the people, just for the sake of extra profit. Sugar which was Tk. 115-120 last year is now Tk. 140-155 . Sugar no longer feels like sugar, it feels like poison. The rise in commodity prices has now become a thorn in the neck. So the government should pay close attention to the market so that common people don't suffer during Ramadan.


There will be no chaos on the Myanmar border: Foreign Minister

Staff Correspondent,
Pic: Collected

Pic: Collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Foreign Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud expressed hope that the kind of situation that was created in the past on the Myanmar border will not arise again.

At the same time, he said, it is not possible for us to accept or shelter any Rohingya. We have sheltered more than 12 lakh Rohingyas in our country. 35 thousand new Rohingya children are born every year, that is, this number is increasing every year.

On Friday (February 23), Chattogram city's CRB headquarter, Chattogram City Corporation organized the Amar Ekushe book fair at the end of the chief guest's speech at the 'Mahan Ekushe Smark Sammanna Padak'.

The foreign minister said that we are working on how to send back the Rohingyas who have been given shelter for humanitarian reasons. He requested the assistance of all countries including the United States, to apply international pressure on the Myanmar government to send back the Rohingyas. That is why we have discussed it with various countries including India, USA and China.

Myanmar's junta government has recently announced that they will launch an operation again, many Rohingyas are staying at the border, how will the government handle this situation? Dr. Hasan Mahmud said, you know that a few days ago our Prime Minister went to the Security Conference in Munich, there we also discussed the issue of Rohingya repatriation with various heads of state and government. The arrival of the high-level delegation from the United States is instrumental in deepening the relationship between our two countries. We will definitely discuss the issue of Rohingya repatriation there.

He said conducting operations in Rakhine is their internal matter, but because of that, we already have tensions here and mortar shells from there have landed in our country, killing two people. As many as 330 members of their army and security forces came to our country, they took them back again. We protested by calling the Myanmar ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. So we hope that the kind of situation that has arisen in the past will not arise again.

Pointing to BNP leader Nazrul Islam Khan’s view that there must be a change in the government in the movement to restore democracy - In this regard, the foreign minister said that if the government is to be changed, the BNP will have to wait until the 29th election, then the people will form the government. They have failed in all the tests that BNP has conducted for so long. Now let them experiment again, study more and then we'll see what they do. Of course, the government will not stop anyone from carrying out a systematic movement. But the violence that BNP has done in the name of anarchy in the past will not be allowed to continue.

In the speech as the chief guest at the Ekushey award ceremony of the book fair, Dr. Hasan Mahmud said, after the founding of the Chhatra League by the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, one of the 10 points given by the Chhatra League was that Bengali should be made the state language and based on those 10 points, the student leaders including the young leader Sheikh Mujib toured the districts. Did these histories remain undiscovered, today they are slowly unfolding. Ever since the creation of Pakistan, Bangabandhu had realized that the liberation of the Bengali nation was not inherent in the Pakistani state system.

Emphasizing the internationalization of the Chattogram Book Fair, the foreign minister said, Dhaka and West Bengal's Kolkata, Agartala, Assam and other publishers should be invited, then the fair will be internationalized. When a book is published in English in England, it is also published in New York, Australia and New Zealand. But that doesn't happen in our country. If a book is published in Kolkata, it is not simultaneously published in Dhaka or Chattogram.

Mayor of Chattogram City Corporation Bir Muktijoddha Rezaul Karim Chowdhury spoke at the event, Convener Councilor of Amar Ekushe Book Fair Celebration Parishad. Dr. Nisar Uddin Ahmed Manju. Sheikh Mohammad Touhidul Islam, Chief Executive Officer of City Corporation gave the welcome speech. Among the awardees, Shishir Dutta, who received an award in drama and Absar Habib, who received an award in poetry, spoke expressing their feelings.

This time, Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) Ekushey got a commemorative medal and literary award: Shaheed Saifuddin Khaled Chowdhury (posthumously) in the liberation war and freedom movement, Md. Nasiruddin for industrial development and social service(posthumous), Professor Dr. Md. Gofaranul Haque in Medical service, Shishir Dutta in drama, Shreyasi Roy in culture, Professor Pradeep Bhattacharya in education, Suprabhat Bangladesh editor Rusho Mahmud in development and promotion of newspaper industry, Jaseem Chowdhury Sabuj in journalism, Zakir Hossain Lulu in sports, Shaibal Chowdhury in short film production and research, in folklore and research Shamsul Arefin, in Essay Shamsuddin Shishir, in Poetry Absar Habib and Bhagyadhan Barua, in Children literature Arun Shil and Shibu Kanti Das.


India will export 50 thousand tons of onions to Bangladesh

Staff Correspondent,
Pic: Collected

Pic: Collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

India has allowed the export of 50 thousand tons of onions to Bangladesh. Exporters can export this onion to Bangladesh till March 31. It is said that this activity will start very soon.

India's Directorate of Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday (February 23).

He said, 'We have allowed immediate export of 50 thousand tons of onions to Bangladesh. Traders have been allowed to export this amount till March 31 and work is underway to this end.'

He said, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a decision has been taken to allow exports to Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Hasan Mahmud, during his visit to India earlier this month, requested India to lift the ban on exports of some essential commodities, including onions, to Bangladesh to stabilize their prices in the local market ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

Bangladesh foreign minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud during the meetings with his counterpart Dr. S. Jaishankar and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal requested to export those products to Bangladesh.

Earlier in December last year, India imposed a ban on onion exports to boost domestic supply and control price hikes of the commodity.


37 members of 'Kishore gang' arrested in the capital

Staff Correspondent,
photo: Barta24

photo: Barta24

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

RAB has arrested 37 members of 6 juvenile gang including 007, Baba, D Company, Jaura Group and team leaders in Banani, Mohakhali, Uttara and Tongi areas of the capital.

RAB said all these gang members work for different local big brothers.

Those arrested are- Russell (17), Arafat (17), Rabin (15), Al-Amin (24), Islam (29), Jewel (22), Rabiul (16), Murad (17), Mahabub (19), Saad (22), Rohan (22), Mana (28), Hriday (20), Obaid (18), Md. Jisan (19), Md. Akash (30), Md. Eman (20), Md. Ramadan (21), Md. Sajib (18), Md. Shakib (22), Md. Rajiv (19), Md. Amir Hossain (36), Shahjahan Saju alias Russell (45), Md. Gilad Mia (20), Md. Heart (19), a. Raihan (15), Md. Babu Mia (22), Md. Shahjahan (21), Md. Jalal Mia (28), Lameem Mia (15), Md. Rakib (16), Md. Hira Mia (17), Imrul Hasan (17), Md. Sakin Sarkar Rabbi (18), Md. Sujan Mia (19), Khairul (19), Rahat (19).

During this time, 500 grams of hemp, 24 mobile phones, 1 blade, 1 axe, 1 power bank, 5 rods, 16 knives, 3 iron chains, 1 hammer, 1 motorcycle making loud noise and cash of Tk. 24250 were recovered from them.

Commander of RAB-1 Lt. Col. Mostak Ahmed gave this information in a press conference organized at the head office of RAB-1 in Uttara of the capital.

He said, nowadays, youth gangs, gang culture, fighting of one group with another group has become a much talked about incident focusing on the spread of power among the rising boys. Gang members roam around in groups playing loud music, riding motorcycles at reckless speeds, harassing pedestrians and picking fights over petty issues to make their presence known in the area. They also do not hesitate to kill anyone who protests their chaos in order to dominate them. Following this, in several raids in Mohakhali, Banani, Airport, Tongi and Gazipur areas of the capital, youth gang group '007 group leader Al-Amin (24), Jaura group leader Mahabub (19), Baba group leader Saad (22), Voltage group- Mana ( 28), D Company team leader Pappu alias London Pappu. One of his two associates Akash and Amir Hossain, Boyra Jahangi, the team leader of Jahangir Group.

RAB-1 captain Mushtaq Ahmed said that each group has approximately 10 to 15 members. They have admitted to being involved in various crimes including fights, robbery, mugging etc. in exchange of money.

The arrested youths also told RAB during the interrogation that 17 of the arrested persons have several cases against them in different police stations including theft, robbery, extortion, drugs, weapons, rape and attempted murder.

In response to the question, who are the supporters of Kishore gang group, what is their profit?- The captain of RAB-1 said that you know the leaders of Kishore gang group have been arrested. They do this to dominate the area as a result of their adolescence. Some people use them as tools to dominate the area. Members of juvenile gangs fight over patrons. We have found that many people use these group members mainly as tools. By working for them, criminals get shelter.

Those who act as their supporters in various ways will also be brought under the law.

In response to another question, he said, "We investigated various information and data as per the instructions of the media and RAB headquarters. Many people have been arrested like this before. Earlier I got many names in the area of responsibility of RAB-1. They have been brought under the law. Now after receiving instructions about Kishore gangs I have worked for last 15 to 20 days. During this time the members of the new groups were arrested along with their leaders. We will investigate their activities, cases and their issues. Our campaign does not stop. Any new group will be arrested.

Members of Kishore gang groups are seen at various political rally meetings under the umbrella of ward and police station level leaders. When asked if any action will be taken against these donors, he said, "I want to make it clear that the criminals cannot have any group or address." They have no identity. It doesn't matter who they work for. If they commit any crime they are brought under the law.