Matarbari Kohelia power station

From Global Energy Monitor

The Matarbari Kohelia power station is a proposed 700-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

A phase II of 700 MW is proposed.


The undated satellite photo below shows the proposed location for the power station in Masheshkhali, Cox's Bazar District.

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On December 9, 2015, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Bangladesh's state-owned Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) and Singapore’s Sembcorp to jointly build and finance a 700 MW ultra-supercritical coal plant in Maheshkhali Upazila. The project will be implemented on a 50:50 equity basis. As per the MoU, Sembcorp will construct the power plant, a jetty for coal imports, coal storage facilities, the development of a township, rural electrification and transmission facilities, and roadways.[1]

According to CPGCBL's 2015-16 Annual Report (p39), a second unit of 700 MW is also planned: "Invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) for provision of Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract for Phase 1 of 2x700 MW Kohelia Power Plant Project is likely to be started by December, 2016. Negotiation with the International commercial lenders for project financing is going on."[2]

An EOI for contractors to build the plant was released in December 2016. In February 2017, CPGCBL and Sembcorp said it was reviewing three bids to build the plant, from Japan-based Mitsubishi Corporation, India's Larsen & Toubro Limited, and the China Energy Engineering Group.[1]

According to the Bangladesh Power Division's Master Plan "Revisited" (November 2018), unit 1 is planned for commissioning in December 2023 and unit 2 in December 2032.[3]

As of April 2019, around 1,400 acres of land has been acquired for the plant. AecomIndia has been engaged to conduct the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA). Six companies have been short-listed for engaging the EPC contractor. Unit 1 was reportedly now planned for operation in 2025, after which unit 2 will be built.[4]

The Japanese commercial bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has been appointed the Financial advisor for the project.[5] However, in May 2020 SMBC announced a policy stating it would end support for “newly planned coal-fired power plants,” which presumably rules out the bank's involvement in Matarbari Kohelia.[6]

Cancellation risk

In August 2020, Bangladesh’s minister of power, energy and mineral resources, Nasrul Hamid, stated that the government is planning to review an array of planned coal plants, signaling a potential pivot in Bangladesh away from coal power towards increased reliance on gas-based power from imported liquified natural gas (LNG). Three coal plants that are in construction will be excluded from the review: the Rampal power station, the Matarbari power station (separate from the Matarbari Kohelia power station), and the Payra power station. According to Minister Hamid, "We are reviewing how we can move from coal-based power plants." Matarbari Kohelia power station is therefore likely to be reviewed by the government, which may cause delays to the project or even cancellation.[7]

On November 19, 2020, The Daily Star reported that Bangladesh's power, energy and mineral resources ministry had finalized an energy plan that cancelled all coal plants except five under construction. The Matarbari Kohelia power station will likely be cancelled as a result. The ministry will soon send the plan to the Prime Minister's Office for review.[8]

In June 2021, the Bangladesh State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources announced the government was officially dropping ten coal plant projects in its master energy plan totaling over 8 GW of power due to delays in implementation. This power station was among the ten cancelled coal plants.[9]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh
  • Parent company: CPGCBL/Sembcorp
  • Location: Maheshkhali Upazila, Cox's Bazar District, Chittagong, Bangladesh
  • Coordinates: 21.706871, 91.890997 (exact)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Gross Capacity: 1,400 MW (Units 1&2: 700 MW)
  • Type: Ultra-supercritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type: Sub-bituminous
  • Coal Source: Imported
  • Source of financing: Pre-financing as of June 2020, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation appointed as Financial advisor

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Aminur Rahman Rasel, "Bids submitted for 700MW Kohelia coal plant," Dhaka Tribune, February 09, 2017
  2. "Annual Report 2015-2016," CPGCBL, 2015-16
  3. 2016 Master Plan "Revisited", Bangladesh Power Division, Nov 2018
  4. "Dream Islands," Energy and Power, April 19, 2019
  5. Stop Matarbari Coal Power Projects Market Forces, Jun. 12, 2020
  6. Small steps in the race to save our climate: The effect of the coal policy changes of the Japanese megabanks Market Forces, May 14, 2020
  7. Tom Baxter, "Bangladesh may ditch 90% of its planned coal power," China Dialogue, August 27, 2020
  8. Roy, Pinaki (2020-11-19). "Future not coal power". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  9. "10 coal-fired power projects scrapped as part of master plan revision: Nasrul Hamid". UNB. 2021-06-27. Retrieved 2021-06-29.

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