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Govt approves PPA of coal-fired power plant

Staff Correspondent

Finance minister AMA Muhith on Sunday said coal will the main source of electricity in Bangladesh by the year 2030 as half of the planned 40,000 megawatts of electricity will be generated by the thermal power plants.
Half of the required coal will come from the local coalmines and the rest will be imported, he said after approving the Power Purchase Agreement from the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Pvt) Ltd.
The state-owned Power Development of Bangladesh and National Thermal Power Corporation of India will set up the 1,320 megawatt coal-fired power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat near the Sundarbans, home of drastically endangered Royal Bengal Tigers.
AMA Muhith called upon the local environmental groups to come face to face with the reality that there will be no development without affordable energy sources.
The Cabinet committee, however, did not fix the price of the electricity it will buy from the joint venture company at its meeting.
The meeting was told that both the parties would find a formula for determining the price by considering a number of factors like installation cost of the power plant, and the cost of operation, maintenance and fuel.
The power purchase agreement has been approved though the project has not yet got environmental clearance
Local people, green activists and civil society actors have been protesting against the proposed power project, saying it would destroy the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest.
AMA Muhith said local environmental groups, including the BELA and BAPA, will be consulted.
Admitting that thermal power plants are not environment-friendly, he said devices have already been invented to reduce emission of coal dust and sulphur.
He said the committee has approved a proposal by the Ministry of Water Resources to appoint the Bangladesh Diesel Plant, run by the Bangladesh army, to take up water-related projects on Feni River.
The committee sent back the Export Policy 2012-2015 for further review.
Earlier, AMA Muhith also presided over the meeting of the Cabinet committee on national purchase and directed the Power Division to further review the proposed 60 megawatt wind power project in Cox’s Bazar.
The Power Division submitted the proposal for appointing Taylor Engineering and PH Consulting Inc USA under the Special Indemnity Law 2010.
The purchase committee approved the procurement of 2,00,000 tonnes of fertilizer from Morocco, machine-readable passport from IRIS Corporation Berhad JV, and import of around 1,50,000 tonnes of petroleum from Malaysia, the UAE, Singapore and Indonesia.
It also approved a couple pf proposals by the Energy Division for appointment of contractors for installation of gas pipelines from Maheshkhai to Anwara and Bibiana to Dhanua.

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