Patuakhali power station (Ashuganj)
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Bangladesh and coal|
Patuakhali power station was a proposed 1,320-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Barisal division, Bangladesh. It was replaced by a proposed 2,400 MW gas-fired power plant by 2022.
There were three different proposals for 1,320-MW coal-fired power stations in Patuakhali (পটুয়াখালী), by three sets of sponsors, all joint ventures between Bangladeshi and Chinese firms:
- Patuakhali power station (Ashuganj) - proposed by Ashuganj Power and China Energy
- Payra power station (BCPCL) - proposed by Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (a JV between North-West Power Generation and China National Machinery Import and Export Corp)
- Patuakhali power station (RPCL/NORINCO) - proposed by Rural Power Company Limited (RPCL) and Norinco
The map below shows the general location of the project's site in Kalapara upazali, Patuakhali district, Barisal division, based on land acquisition. The land is about 3 kilometers North of the Patuakhali power station (RPCL/NORINCO)).
In November 2018, Bangladesh published a document titled Revisiting Power System Master Plan (PSMP) 2016. The document included forecasts of power demand growth under various scenarios and outlined the power capacity to be added out to 2041. It included two phases for the proposed Patuakhali power station, to be owned by Bangladesh’s state-run Ashuganj Power Station Company Limited (APSCL). The first phase was proposed as 1,320 MW and expected to be commissioned by December 2024. The second phase was proposed as 1,320 MW and expected to be commissioned by December 2030.
In July 2017, Ashuganj Power and China Energy Engineering Corporation signed an MoU to build phase 1 (2x660 MW) as a 50:50 joint venture. The Chinese partner agreed to arrange loans from the Export Import Bank of China for the project. The plant was planned to be ultra supercritical using imported coal of around 12,000 tonnes of coal per day from Indonesia, India, or Australia. Bangladesh’s state-owned West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited would build a transmission line from the proposed plant to Patuakhali sub-station to connect the national power grid. The first 660-MW unit was expected to be commissioned in 2021 and the second unit in 2023.
Phase 1: "Land Acquisition, Land Development, and Protection" project
Ashuganj Power's December 2020 Annual Report noted that "The acquisition of 930.615 acres of land for the project is almost finished. Within a very short period, land development and protection activities will be started." It provided additional updates on the land acquisition, land development, and protection project for the construction of the 1,320 MW power station, including the following:
- "Appointment of the consultant is in process for planning, design, drawing, cost estimation with BOQ and supervision of land development, embankment, earth protection, resettlement structural components, civil works (residential/non-residential), and all other related civil & electrical works. Negotiation has already been completed with the 1st ranked Firm. The contract will be executed very soon. However, the ongoing work of acquiring land and selection of a consultant is hampered due to the Covid-19 situation. Thereby the implementation of the project is a little bit delayed."
The rough map of the project provided in the Annual Report masks that the land being acquired is primarily agricultural land and includes several waterways:
In September 2021, Bangladesh's National Portal for Ashuganj Power noted that the "Land Acquisition, Land Development and Protection" project's "physical progress" was 28.90% complete and "financial progress" 27.49% complete. Curiously, in December 2021, the figures on the portal were earlier figures, from July 2021, when "physical progress" was 26.90% complete and "financial progress" was 26.49% complete. The portal also highlighted that the project duration "without cost increase" was expected to end June 30, 2022. In June 2022, the Portal noted that as of February 2022, "the Physical progress is 30.10% and Financial Progress is 27.85%."
As of December 2021, some of the "Devpur Mouza" area in the map above may have been cleared based on Planet satellite imagery. No other developments are obvious.
Shift to gas plans
Ashuganj Power's 2020-2021 Annual Report referred to a 3 x 600 MW gas-fired units instead of coal.
Coal project cancellation risk & cancellation
In August 2020, signalling a potential pivot in Bangladesh away from coal power towards increased reliance on gas-based power from imported liquified natural gas (LNG), Bangladesh’s minister of power, energy and mineral resources, Nasrul Hamid stated that the government was planning to review an array of planned coal plants with the exception of three which were in construction and nearing completion: the Rampal power station, the Matarbari power station and the Payra power station. According to Minister Hamid, "We are reviewing how we can move from coal-based power plants." Patuakhali power station (Ashuganj) was, therefore, likely to be reviewed by the government.
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. Patuakhali power station (Ashuganj) would potentially be cancelled as a result. The ministry was going to send the plan to the Prime Minister's Office for review.
Phase 2 cancelled by government
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. The Patuakhali power station by Ashuganj Power was among the ten cancelled coal plants. The cancellation only appears to apply to station's second phase, which was expected to be commissioned by 2030.
In November 2019, in a report titled "Choked by Coal: The Carbon Catastrophe in Bangladesh," Market Forces and various other organizations highlighted the corruption, malpractice, and violations of human rights that have occurred in relation to land acquisition and relocation processes for many projects in Bangladesh.
A May 2020 analysis by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) found that seven coal-fired power plants proposed in the area would constitute one of the largest air pollutant, mercury, and CO2 emissions hotspots in South Asia and the world.
Residents impacted by the construction of the Ashuganj gas plant are unlikely to get even half the market price for their land, and are losing their livelihoods and a "friendly society" as well according to a 2022 study by the group Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon.
- Sponsor: Ashuganj Power Station Company Limited (APSCL), China Energy Engineering Corporation
- Parent company: Ashuganj Power Station Company Limited (APSCL), China Energy Engineering Corporation
- Location: Dhankhali union, Kalapara upazali, Patuakhali district, Barisal division
- Coordinates: 22.056481, 90.319494 (exact)
- Coal proposal:
- Status: Phase 1: Cancelled, Phase 2: Cancelled
- Gross Capacity: Phase 1: 1320 MW (2 x 660 MW), Phase 2: 1320 MW (2 x 660 MW)
- Type: Ultra-supercritical
- Projected in service: Phase 1: 2024, Phase 2: 2030
- Coal Type: Unknown
- Coal Source: Indonesia, India, or Australia
- Source of financing: Phase 1: Export Import Bank of China
- Gas proposal:
- Details to be listed soon.
Articles and resources
- "Annual Report 2020-2021," Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd., released January 18, 2022 per URL
- "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
- "10 coal-fired power projects scrapped as part of master plan revision," UNB, June 27, 2021
- "Annual Report 2019-2020," Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd., December 27, 2020
- "Bangladesh Ropes In China Energy For 1,320-MW Power Project," Asia Power, July 18, 2017
- "Faster Rampal plant execution demanded," bdnews24.com, October 13, 2013
- "No progress in 19 power plants yet," The Bangladesh Post, March 9, 2018
- Govt to acquire 931 acres land, The Asian Age, February 26, 2018
- "কলাপাড়া ১৩২০ মেগাওয়াট আলট্রা সুপার ক্রিটিক্যাল কয়লা ভিত্তিক বিদ্যুৎ কেন্দ্র প্রকল্প-এর জন্য ভূমি অধিগ্রহণ, ভূমি উন্নয়ন ও সংরক্ষণ প্রকল্প-এর ফরমসমূহ," Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd., last updated January 8, 2019, accessed December 2021
- "Land Acquisition, Land Development and Protection for Patuakhali 1320 MW Super Thermal Power Plant Project," Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd., updated September 22, 2021
- "Land Acquisition, Land Development and Protection for Patuakhali 1320 MW Super Thermal Power Plant Project," Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd., updated March 21, 2022
- Tom Baxter, "Bangladesh may ditch 90% of its planned coal power," China Dialogue, August 27, 2020
- "Future not coal power," The Daily Star, November 19, 2020
- "Choked by Coal: The Carbon Catastrophe in Bangladesh of their homes and farmlands," Market Forces, November 2019
- "Air quality, health and toxics impacts of the proposed coal power cluster in Payra, Bangladesh," Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, May 2020
- "Ashuganj Power Plant in Patuakhali robs inhabitants, finds study," New Age, May 26, 2022