PDB continues power purchase from RPPs after expiry of contractsManjurul Ahsan
The state-run Power Development Board has continued buying electricity from two private rental power plants even after expiry of the contracts with them, officials said.
The power board was buying electricity from a diesel-fired 47MW plant of RZ Power in Thakurgaon and a gas-fired 55MW plant of Precision Energy Ltd at Ashuganj in Narsingdi through a ‘verbal order’ passed by the power division, a power division official told New Age.
The government was now negotiating with the rental power suppliers to renew the contracts to buy electricity at a lower price for varying terms until 2020 to meet the demand for electricity, he said.
The companies would be paid in accordance with the negotiated price for the electricity they supplied after their contracts expired, power board member Jalal Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury said.
It was done because the government had no other choice but to extend the short-term contracts with the power suppliers as the authorities concerned had failed to start power supply from long-term plants, he said.
Jalal also said that most of the contracts with the short-term plants would have to be renewed to meet the growing demand for power as long-term plants were yet to supply electricity.
Some 20 RPPs with a total of 1,653MW capacity are supplying electricity to the national grid.
Three-year contract with RZ Power expired on August 3 while the other one expired on April 8.
The power division has already approved a power board proposal to renew the contracts with the companies for three years, a power division official said.
It has also approved another proposal of the power board to renew the contract with Energies Power Corporation to buy electricity from its 55MW furnace oil-fired plant at Shikalbaha in Chittagong for six months, he said.
The contract with Energies Power Corporation expired on May 7 this year.
Meanwhile, a meeting held on Sunday between the power division and the three private power suppliers ended without a decision as the companies were rigid with their demand of realising the same price for the electricity which they would supply for extended period.
When asked, a power division official said that the government requested the power suppliers to lower the price of per unit (kilowatt-hour) electricity by about Tk 1 than what they received for the supplied power during first contract period.
‘But they remained rigid with their stand,’ he said, adding that their stand was not justifiable since the power suppliers recovered their investment on plants during the first contract period. Even, he said, the demand of the companies would not be accepted by the cabinet committee on government purchase.
Meanwhile, prime minister Sheikh Hasina has approved a proposal from the power division to renew the contracts for the procurement of electricity from the ‘efficient’ rental suppliers in the private sector until 2020.
The prime minister holds the portfolio of the ministry for power, energy and mineral resources.
Understanding the situation, the private power suppliers initially pursued power board to pay the capacity charge of plants, when it does not buy electricity from particular suppliers, they said.
Earlier, the power division had tried to pursue the rental power suppliers to agree to contract renewals on ‘no electricity no payment’ basis on existing tariff.
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