Maheshkhali power complex

From Global Energy Monitor

Maheshkhali power complex is a proposal to build a cluster of coal-fired and gas-fired power plants in Maheshkhali, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

In August 2017 it was reported that the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has signed memoranda of understandings to build four coal-fired power plants of 1320 MW each at the hub, with China Huadian, a Malaysian Consortium of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Korean KEPCO, and China SEPCO :[1]


The map below shows the location of Maheshkhali, Bangladesh, but not the exact location of the proposed Maheshkhali power station.[2]

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Background on Maheshkhali power complex

In August 2013 Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) announced that it intended to build a multi-plant power complex at Cox's Bazaar, including both coal-fired plants and combined cycle gas-fired plants. The announcement stated that the BPDB "intends to build 6000 MW Ultra Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Plant and 3000 MW LNG Based Combined Cycle Power Plant in different phases at Maheshkhali Upazila in Cox’s Bazar District." The announcement stated that the fuel for the projects would be imported coal and liquified natural gas. Five thousand acres were in the process of aqcquisition, situated within Amabassaya, Honanok and Panir Chhara mouza of Hoanok Union and Gharibhanga mouza of Kutubjhom union under Maheshkhali upazila, Cox’s Bazar. Ultra-supercritical technology would be employed by the coal plants, which would be sized at 600 to 1000 MW per unit.[3]

In January 2014, BPDB invited expression of interest (EoI) from companies to provide consultancy services for the project with February 20, 2014 as last submission date. STEAG Energy Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. and BCL Associates Ltd. were awarded a US$2.5 million contract to undertake the master plan.[4]

In August 2017 STEAG and BCL submitted their feasibility study report on the power hub to BPDB. BPDB plans up to 13,500 MW of coal plants in the region. It was reported that BPDB signed memoranda of understandings with China Huadian, a Malaysian Consortium of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Korean KEPCO, and China SEPCO to build four coal-fired power plants of 1320 MW each at the hub.[5]

Asia Development Bank pledge support

According to a May 2014 report in Dhaka's Daily Sun, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) assured the Bangladesh government that it will finance at least one coal plant at Maheshkhali. The amount of the funding would be determined following a feasibility study of the project; however, the government agreed to the ADB's condition that the plant would use supercritical combustion technology, which is slightly more efficient than the subcritical technology used in older generation coal plants in South Asia, though not as efficient as the ultra-supercritical coal plants.[6]

Summary of international interest in Maheshkhali

A number of overseas power companies have made plans or expressed interest in building coal plants in Maheshkhali:

Citizen opposition

It was reported in February 2014 that Bangladesh High Court issued a rule to the government in order to explain "why it should not be directed to refrain from setting up a coal-fired power plant in Maheshkhali of Cox’s Bazar." A deadline of two weeks was given for a response. Four local residents filed the petition with the High Court in October 2013.[7]

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