Banskhali power plant is the government's affordable electricity charioteer
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.
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.
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.
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 Barta24.com 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.
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.