Gazaria power station (RPCL)

From Global Energy Monitor

The Gazaria power station (RPCL) was a proposed 350 megawatt (MW) coal-fired in Munshiganj District, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh.

Other coal projects proposed in Munshiganj have included the Munshiganj power station, Mawa power station, and Gazaria power station (Orion).

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the proposed location for the project in Gazaria Upazila, in Munshganj District of Dhaka Division.

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Background

Project sponsor Rural Power Company Limited (RPCL) was the first Independent Power Producer in Bangladesh. The plan for a plant in Gazaria was connected with a government plan to establish an industrial zone in the district. The project sponsors took steps toward acquire the 350 acres of land needed for the plant. According to an RPCL official, the cost of the plant was expected to be US$550 million.[1]

The siting of the plant was controversial since a draft bill being readied by the government would prohibit use of crop land for industrial purposes. However, according to an RPCL official, the plant would be sited on land abutting a river that was primarily barren.[2]

In August 2016, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) gave approval for the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh to begin land acquisition, rehabilitation and an environmental impact assessment for establishing a 300 to 400 MW supercritical coal plant in Gazaria and Sadar upazila of Munshiganj district, with an outlay of Taka 987.80 crore. It was planned for operation in 2023.[3]

In October 2016, it was reported Bangladesh Rural Power Company signed an agreement worth US$433 million with PowerChina and Hubei Hongyuan Power Engineering Co to set up the 350 MW coal-fired power plant in Munshiganj.[4]

According to RPCL, the plant was planned for 2019.[5] However, as of March 2018, RPCL was still working on the acquisition of land in Gazaria for the project.[6]

According to a news report in February 2019, RPCL had "backtracked from its decision" to build a coal plant in Gazaria upazila, because transporting coal in barges on the Meghna River was "not found feasible."[7]

In March 2020, the project was officially called off, reportedly due to widespread protest. A gas plant was planned for the area instead.[8]

Financing

According to an RPCL official, the cost of the plant would be US$550 million. In 2015, it was reported that finance may come either from China or from an unspecified Export Credit Agency.[9]

In August 2017, Bangladesh government officials said they were pitching for the newly-formed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to provide US$1 billion for power projects including the proposed 350 MW Gazaria coal plant. While senior executives with the China-backed AIIB have stated it wants to be “lean, clean and green”, the bank’s power sector lending policy includes loopholes which could be exploited to justify funding coal plants.[10]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Rural Power Company Limited (RPCL)
  • Parent company: Rural Power Company Limited (RPCL), PowerChina, Hubei Hongyuan Power Engineering Co
  • Location: Gazaria Upazila, Munshganj District, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh
  • Coordinates: 23.524007, 90.627202 (exact)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Gross Capacity: 350 MW
  • Type: Supercritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) (potentially)

Articles and resources

References

  1. Aminur Rahman, "RPCL to set up 350 MW coal-fired power plant in Munshiganj," EnergyNewsBD.com, November 7, 2015
  2. Faisal Mahmud, "350MW Munshiganj power plant gets nod," The Independent, November 10, 2015
  3. "400 MW Supercritical Coal Based Power Plant to be installed in Munshiganj," Bangladesh Awami League, 23 August 23, 2016
  4. Refayet Ullah Mirdha, "Beximco, Meghna tie up with Chinese investors for power," Daily Star, Oct 18, 2016
  5. "Gazaria 350(±10%) MW Coal based thermal Power Plant," RPCL, accessed May 2017
  6. "No progress in 19 power plants yet," The Bangladesh Post, March 9, 2018
  7. 400 MW Power Plant to Be Set Up in Munshiganj, Daily Sun, 10 Feb. 2019.
  8. Mostafizur, Rahaman (March 22, 2020). "Chinese loans: Govt to drop coal plant project". The Financial Express. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  9. Aminur Rahman, "RPCL to set up 350 MW coal-fired power plant in Munshiganj," EnergyNewsBD.com, November 7, 2015
  10. "Bangladesh seeks $1b from AIIB," Daily Star, Aug 4, 2017

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