The 412MW (megawatt) gas-fired Haripur Combined-Cycle Power Plant, the largest public sector power plant built under the Awami League-led grand alliance government, will go into operation tomorrow.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the formal operation of the power plant.
The implementing agency of the plant, Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB’s) Managing Director, Mostafa Kamal confirmed the development at a press conference at the Bidyut Bhaban in the city yesterday.
Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Power Muhammad Enamul Huq were also present at the press conference.
“However, the commercial production at the plant will probably start on September 20,” said Mostafa Kamal.
The Haripur plant was supposed to go into production in July but failed to do so, he admitted.
The prime minister is also expected to lay the foundation stone of another 335MW gas-fired Siddhirganj Combined-Cycle Power Plant there.
Accepting the fact that uninterrupted gas supply to the plant will be a challenge, Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury said: “Gas crisis is a big challenge for us but we have to go ahead, overcoming this.”
He said another 500MW electricity would be imported from India by October, but declined making any comment on the progress of coal-based power plants.
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) sources said the government may shut down the inefficient 96MW Haripur Power Plant under PDB to supply gas to the 412MW Haripur Combine Cycle Power Plant.
In addition, a PDB official seeking anonymity said, other gas-based power plants might as well face shortages in supply due to the new plant. If that happens, the 412MW plant will have little effect on the total power generation of the country.
After Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had laid the foundation stone of the plant on March 20, 2011, the state-run EGCB has constructed the plant with the assistance of Marubeni Corporation of Japan as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor.
The plant will require 64mm cfd gas to operate in full capacity while production cost of per unit of electricity will be Tk1.7154.
Land Lease Agreement was signed between EGCB and Power Development Board on 29 August, 2011 for 8.573 acres of land at Haripur area on rental basis for a period of 25 years.
The government implemented the power project at a cost of $376m with financial support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
Though some 56 plants have added over 4282MW of electricity to the national grid during the last four and half years, dependence on rental and quick-rental power plants ranging from 20-150MW has put huge burden on the national coffers.
The government has plans to build 11 gas-based plants under both public and private sectors, producing 3500MW of electricity.
Sources at the PDB said, electricity generation in the country yesterday was about 6000MW against a projected demand for 7000MW.