Barisal power station

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Barisal power station is an operating power station of at least 350-megawatts (MW) in Taltali, Barguna, Barisal, Bangladesh with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating. It is also known as Khottar Char, Barishal, 巴瑞萨.

Location

Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Barisal power station Taltali, Barguna, Barisal, Bangladesh 21.961035, 90.062712 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2: 21.961035, 90.062712

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - unknown 350 supercritical 2022
Unit 2 shelved coal - unknown 350 supercritical

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Barisal Electric Power Co Ltd (BEPCL) [100.0%]
Unit 2 Barisal Electric Power Co Ltd (BEPCL) [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): imported

Background

In July 2017, Iso Tech Group entered into a JV Consortium with Power China Resources & Taylor Power Environmental Company to Build, Own and Operate a 350 MW gross (307 MW net) supercritical coal-fired Independent Power Plant (IPP) and related infrastructure in Barisal District, Bangladesh, under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).[1][2]

On April 12, 2018, Iso Tech Group signed the PPA for the power station with BPDB. According to Transparency International Bangladesh, BPDB signed the agreement for the power plant without getting proper clearance from the environment department. The plant was planned near the Tengragiri reserve forest in Barguna.[3]

In August 2018, PowerChina signed a deal with ISO Tech for preliminary design and technical consultation services to build two 350-MW units at the site. The second unit would be built in a second phase of construction.[4]

Bangladesh's "Revisiting Power System Master Plan (PSMP) 2016," published in November 2018, listed 2023 as one unit's completion date under the Low Case Studies (unit 2 did not appear listed).[5]

In January 2019, Power Construction Corporation of China signed a supporting equipment supply contract for the project.[6] Prep work had begun. Plans indicated that the other 350 MW supercritical unit would be added after the first unit.[7]

Unit 1

Planet satellite photos from January to November 2019 showed preliminary construction on unit 1 had begun. In December 2020, PowerChina reported that work on the foundation for the plant’s 217-meter chimney had begun.[8]

Various 2021 articles referenced 2022 as the power station's expected completion date.[9]

According to an October 2021 news release, construction had entered a period of rapid advancement.[10]

As of December 2021, the company's website still listed the following: "Though expected date for commercial operation is 12th january 2022, we expect we can meet this date earlier."[11]

In February 2022, the construction company reportedly completed the lifting of the steel inner tube of the chimney, marking the completion of the main chimney at the plant.[12]

Planet imagery from December 2022 showed significant development and a plume at the site.

The unit reportedly entered into commercial operation on December 31, 2022. (Some sources noted 0:00 on January 1, 2023, instead. Reporting did not mention a second proposed unit.[13]) The project was the first IPP power project invested, constructed, and operated by PowerChina and controlled by a Chinese-funded enterprise in Bangladesh.[14]

Unit 2 unlikely to proceed

As of 2022, the unit was dependent on financing and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) support from PowerChina and seemed unlikely to proceed.[15] As of September 2023, there was no other news on the project's progress.

Transmission

In May 2022, a 400kV power transmission project related to the plant appeared successfully completed.[16]

Financing

In May 2021, a news article noted a syndicate composed of the Export-Import Bank of China and the Bank of China issued the first US dollar loan to Barisal Power Generation Co., Ltd., marking that the company’s investment had successfully completed the financing and closure.[9][17] This project financing involves six jurisdictions including Bangladesh, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong, as well as nearly 20 entities including investors, financial institutions, and government departments.[17] It appears that the Government of Bangladesh has provided a guarantee for the loan.[18]

Public opposition

According to New Age, the company is "constructing cofferdam for the project without obtaining environmental clearance from the Department of Environment." On August 2, 2018, villagers submitted a public petition to the prime minister urging the government to stop the project, alleging that the company was purchasing lands with the help of illegal brokers with forged documents.[19] In October 2018, the government said it would investigate the claims.[20]

In February 2019, Transparency International Bangladesh again called on the government to halt the plant's construction, claiming that the project had no approval from Bangladesh's Department of Environment — as well as claiming that local residents who have filed claims for compensation over land acquisition have been threatened and even assaulted.[21] A study conducted by civil society organisation the Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED) says 153 families are directly impacted by the construction of the coal power plant. Of them, 142 have been evicted by force.[22]

The BWGED study also noted that, when operational, the power station would emit 7,081 tonnes of carbon a day and damage several rich ecological zones nearby, including Tengragiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Sonakata Eco Park, Laldia mangrove forest, and Fatrar Char mangrove forest. It also raised the fear that hot water released from the plant into the Payra river would have negative effects on the hilsa population. Barges carrying coal to the plant will also move through a hilsa breeding ground. Hilsa is not only the favourite fish of Bangladesh but also a major revenue earner through exports.[23]

National River Conservation Commission directive

The opposition has included a directive in 2020 by the government’s own National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) to local authorities to evict the company from the plot where the plant is being built.[24][23]

Corruption

In May 2022, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) found substantive corruption involving the power plant.[25]

Coal shortages

In June 2023, the power station was reportedly at risk of running out of coal with only a “few days” worth of coal stockpiled amid a country-wide coal shortage.[26][27]

Reporting from July 2023 said that the power station was operating at half capacity because of coal shortages,[28] while an article from September 2023 reported that the power station had been "out of operation for most of the time ever since it came into operation."[29]

Ownership

Barisal Electric Power Company Limited (BEPCL) is a joint venture between Chinese state-owned company PowerChina and Bangladeshi company ISO Tech Electrification Company Limited. PowerChina owns 96% of the shares.[23][30]

Articles and Resources

References

  1. "Case Study," Iso Tech Electrification Company Ltd., accessed December 2017
  2. "Banshkhali Power Plant," Iso Tech Group, accessed February 2018
  3. "Power plant near reserve forest evokes concern: PDB signs 25-year PPA with pvt co," FE Report, May 8, 2018
  4. "POWERCHINA's subsidiary inks agreement for power station in Bangladesh," China Daily, December 19, 2018
  5. "Revisiting Power System Master Plan (PSMP) 2016," Power Division, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, published November 2018 (pages 116, 123)
  6. "孟加拉巴瑞萨350MW燃煤电站项目重要辅机设备合同正式签约," 北极星电力网新闻中心, January 16, 2019
  7. "ITECL," Iso Tech Electrification Company Ltd., accessed January 2019
  8. "中国电力建设集团 国际项目 孟加拉巴瑞萨燃煤电站项目烟囱基础开挖". www.powerchina.cn. 2020-12-18. Retrieved 2020-12-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "孟加拉巴瑞萨项目实现融资关闭," power.in-en.com, May 12, 2021
  10. "孟加拉电力发展局到巴瑞萨发电公司检查指导工作," PowerChina, October 12, 2021
  11. "Project Description," Iso Tech Electrification Company Ltd., accessed December 2021
  12. "孟加拉巴瑞萨燃煤电站项目烟囱主体完工," SEPCC, February 16, 2022
  13. "350MW!中国电建在孟加拉国投资首个IPP电力项目进入商业运营," BJX, April 20, 2023
  14. "孟加拉巴瑞萨电站通过168小时试运行," 电建海投公司 via Investgo, January 5, 2023
  15. "With China’s withdrawal from overseas coal, the pipeline for new coal in Asia could drop to 22 GW — all of which will likely not be built," CREA & GEM, November 2021
  16. "孟加拉巴瑞萨项目送电一次成功," Neng Yuan Jie, May 24, 2022
  17. 17.0 17.1 "孟加拉巴瑞萨项目实现融资关闭". https://power.in-en.com/. May 2021. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. "Barishal 350 MW (BEPCL) Coal Power Plant". https://bwged.blogspot.com/. Retrieved March 2023. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= (help); External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. Sadiqur Rahman, "Coal-fired power plant in Barguna despite environmental concerns," New Age, August 6, 2018
  20. Government to probe ‘illegal’ land acquisition for Barisal power plant, Daily Sun, October 29, 2018
  21. "Stop coal-fired power plant in Barguna: TIB," The Daily Star, February 9, 2019
  22. "China builds Barisal coal power plant in Bangladesh despite protests". The Third Pole. 2021-04-26. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 "China builds coal power plant in Bangladesh despite protests," Land Portal, April 29, 2021
  24. "River Commission asks DCs to evict 3 power plants," NewAge Bangladesh, September 28, 2020
  25. "Corruption Involving Three Power Plant: TIB Study," Energy Bangla, May 11, 2022
  26. "Bangladesh power crisis: Coal is starting to arrive, but when can closed power plants be restarted?" Bangladesh Posts English, June 11, 2023
  27. "Coal coming to feed hungry power plants," The Business Standard, June 10, 2023
  28. "Bare minimum power far cry despite 60pc overcapacity," NewAge Business, July 5, 2023
  29. "Dollar crisis leaves a fifth of coal power infrastructure in Bangladesh stranded assets," Bangladesh Power Pathways, September 10, 2023
  30. "PowerChina: Branches & Subsidiaries," Bangladesh Barisal PowerCo., Ltd., accessed July 20, 2021

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.