Patuakhali power station (RPCL/NORINCO)

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Patuakhali power station (RPCL/NORINCO) is a power station in Londa, Kalapara, Patuakhali, Barisal, Bangladesh with multiple units of varying statuses none of which are currently operating.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Patuakhali power station (RPCL/NORINCO) Londa, Kalapara, Patuakhali, Barisal, Bangladesh 22.025149, 90.312349 (exact)

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

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Phase I Unit 1, Phase I Unit 2, Phase II Unit 1, Phase II Unit 2: 22.025149, 90.312349

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Phase I Unit 1 construction coal - unknown 660 ultra-supercritical[1] 2024[2]
Phase I Unit 2 construction coal - unknown 660 ultra-supercritical[1] 2024[2]
Phase II Unit 1 shelved coal - unknown 660 unknown 2031
Phase II Unit 2 shelved coal - unknown 660 unknown 2031

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Phase I Unit 1 Norinco, Rural Power Co Ltd (RPCL)
Phase I Unit 2 Norinco, Rural Power Co Ltd (RPCL)
Phase II Unit 1 Rural Power Co Ltd (RPCL), Norinco
Phase II Unit 2 Rural Power Co Ltd (RPCL), Norinco

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): imported
  • Permit(s): Environmental Impact Assessment: 2017-06


  • Coal Source: Phase I: Australia, Indonesia[3], Phase II: Imported
  • Source of financing: Phase I: Chinese Ex-Im Bank


In November 2018, Bangladesh published a document titled Revisiting Power System Master Plan (PSMP) 2016. It included two phases for the proposed Patuakhali power station under Rural Power Company Limited (RPCL) ownership. The first phase was referenced as 1,320 MW and expected to be commissioned by December 2024. The second phase was referenced as 1,320 MW and expected to be commissioned by December 2031.[4]

There are three different proposals for coal-fired power stations in Patuakhali (পটুয়াখালী), by three sets of sponsors, all joint ventures between Bangladeshi and Chinese firms:

Phase I

In May 2016, Rural Power Company Limited (RPCL) and NORINCO International Cooperation Ltd., a publicly listed subsidiary of China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), signed a Memo of Understanding for a 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant in Patuakhali district. The project would be located at Londa village, where 918 acres of land were identified. Land acquisition was in progress. The project was targeted for 2022.[5][6]

In September 2016, the project was reported to be moving forward, with approval from the Power Division. It was described as ultra-supercritical. The project was set to use 915 acres at Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali. The company sent a land development proposal to the Planning Commission for approval.[7]

In November 2017, it was reported that a joint venture agreement between RPCL and Norinco for construction had been cleared, with the newly created entity being called "RPCL-NORINCO Intl Power Limited" (RNPL). The power station was planned for 2022-2023.[8][9]

In April 2018, a consortium of Tianjin Electric Power Construction Co. Ltd., China Huadian Engineering Co., Ltd and China Wanbao Engineering Corporation (TEPC-CHEC-CWEC) were awarded the EPC contract for the plant.[10] In October 2018 it was reported that land acquisition was underway.[11] A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was signed between the Bangladesh Power Development Board and RNPL on February, 20, 2019.[12]

Construction progress

RPCL's Annual Report for 2019-2020 included remarks about Phase I of the project, including the following (PDF page 14):[13]

  • "Detailed feasibility study has been completed. DoE has given Site Clearance certificate."
  • "Acquisition of 915.74 acres of land is complete."
  • "Land development of 1320 MW project site has been completed."
  • "Appointment of Owner's Engineer has been completed."
  • "EPC Contract has been signed."
  • "PPA and IA has been signed."
  • "EPC works progress is 18%."

Unit 1 was expected by February 2023 and Unit 2 by August 2023.[13]

Based on a detailed update on the RPCL website in December 2021, the physical progress of the project was 43.22% in November 2021. RPCL also linked to a document dated August 2021 with progress photos and a project map.[14][15]

As of January 2022, the website listed the physical progress of the project as 51.60% and the financial progress as 30.30%.[16] The RPCL-Norinco Annual Report for 2021 listed project completion as 56%, with work also underway for a coal handling jetty (see, e.g., page 23).[17] As of July 2022, physical progress of the project was reported at 61.19% and financial progress is 36.80%.[18]

Comparing Planet satellite imagery from 2017 and December 2021 shows the progress on the proposed power station, haul road, and jetty. Significant waterways existed at the site before land acquisition and construction began. Satellite imagery from December 2021 to December 2022 shows some further progress.

According to the Bangladesh Power Development Board's 2020-2021 Annual Report, Unit 1 was still expected by August 2023 and Unit 2 by December 2023.[19] However, other sources suggested a shift to March 2024 and August 2024.[20]

In March 2022, the company released a video with extensive updates.

In a 2021-2022 Annual Report released October 2022, it was noted that "Physical progress and financial progress of the project up to June 2022 are 61.19% and 36.80% respectively."[21] Photo images of construction progress as of mid-2022 were available.

In June 2023, the RPCL website stated that physical progress on the project was 73.2% while financial progress was 50.9%. Expected commissioning dates were June 2024 for unit 1 and October 2024 for unit 2.[22] Photos by RPCL-NORINCO Intl. Power Limited (accessed on June 21, 2023) showed progress on construction at the project site.

In November 2023, the RPCL website listed physical progress on the project at 80.5% and financial progress at 66.9%.[23]


The project cost has been estimated at US$2 billion. Of the total investment, the ratio of equity investment was set to be 30 percent while the remaining 70 percent would come as loans from the Chinese Ex-Im Bank.[24]

In January 2021, it was reported that the Export-Import Bank of China – along with the Bank of China – would provide a syndicated loan of Tk14,000 crore at a 2.9% interest rate for 14 years' repayment. The RNPL was planned to provide the remaining 30% of project costs.[3]

A website update dated November 26, 2021 highlighted the following: "Facility Agreement was signed with Lender on 24.12.2020 and Sovereign Guarantee (State Guarantee) was issued by the Ministry of Finance on 08.03.2021. The first installment of loan has been received from Lender on 26.09.2021 and Financial Closing of the project has been completed. 1st Local payment has been paid to EPC contractor on 18.10.2021 and 1st Foreign payment has been paid on 24.11.2021."[14]

Cancellation risk

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 (BCPCL). According to Minister Hamid, "We are reviewing how we can move from coal-based power plants." Patuakhali power station (RPCL/NORINCO) was, therefore, likely to be reviewed by the government.[25]

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 (RPCL/NORINCO) would likely be cancelled as a result.[26]

However, in June 2021, when the ministry announced the government was officially dropping ten coal plant projects in its master energy plan totaling over 8 GW of power, Phases I and II did not appear to be part of the projects cancelled.[27]

Phase II

RPCL's Annual Report for 2019-2020 included remarks about the 1,320 MW Phase II of the project, including the following (PDF page 14):[13]

  • "Acquisition of 915.74 acres of land is completed & land development is in progress." (The acreage figure is the same as the one listed for Phase I.)
  • The expected "duration of implementation" is listed as 2031-2035.

However, the 2021, 2022, and 2023 Annual Reports for RPCL-Norinco Intl Power Limited did not appear to reference a second phase.[17][21][28]

Cancellation risk

As noted above, Phase II does not appear formally cancelled despite recent government announcements to cancel proposed plants. However, with no known updates on the project in two years, the project was presumed shelved in January 2023.


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.[29]

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.[30]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Archived from the original on 25 January 2024. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Archived from the original on 25 January 2024. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "China bank finances Rural Power’s coal project," The Business Standard, January 14, 2021
  4. "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
  5. "MoU Signing of RPCL Patuakhali 1320 MW Coal Based Power Plant," RPCL announcement, May 9, 2016
  6. "Patuakhali/ Barguna/ Chittagong 1320 MW Coal Based Thermal Power Plant," RPCL, accessed May 2017
  7. FHM Humayan Kabir, "RPCL to build 1,320MW coal-fired power plant in Patuakhali," Financial Express, September 16, 2016
  8. "Bangladesh-China plan 1,320-MW coal-based power plant in Patuakhali," Dhaka Tribune, November 5, 2017
  9. "Cabinet clears JV formation with Chinese firm," New Age, November 7, 2017
  10. "中国港湾 中国电建 中国能建 森源电气等," 蓝箭头, April 13, 2018
  11. "Work of 1,320 MW coal based power plant begins in Patuakhali," Bangladesh Post, October 14, 2018
  12. "Patuakhali coal-fired power plant work progresses fast," Bangladesh Post, January 8, 2021
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Annual Report 2019-2020," Rural Power Company Limited, December 29, 2020
  14. 14.0 14.1 "চলমান প্রকল্প," RPCL, accessed December 2021
  15. "Patuakhali 1320 (2×660) MW Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant Project," RPCL, August 11, 2021
  16. "Patuakhali 1320 (2×660) MW Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant Project," RPCL, update January 15, 2022
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Annual Report 2021," RPCL-Norinco Intl Power Limited, 2021
  18. "Ongoing Projects". / July 6, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. 2020-2021 "Annual Report 2020-2021," Bangladesh Power Development Board, 2021
  20. "Update on the Coal Power Plants in Bangladesh: Feb 2022," BWGED, February 2022
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Annual Report 2021-2022," RPCL, October 2022
  22. "Ongoing Projects," Rural Power Company Limited, last updated June 12, 2023
  23. "Ongoing Projects," Rural Power Company Limited, last updated November 13, 2023
  24. Shamim Jahangir, "1320MW Plant in Patuakhali: Govt to sign JV deal with Chinese firm," Daily Sun, April 3, 2017
  25. Tom Baxter, "Bangladesh may ditch 90% of its planned coal power," China Dialogue, August 27, 2020
  26. "Future not coal power," The Daily Star, November 19, 2020
  27. "10 coal-fired power projects scrapped as part of master plan revision," UNB, June 27, 2021
  28. "Annual Report 2022-2023," Rural Power Company Limited, October 12, 2023
  29. "Choked by Coal: The Carbon Catastrophe in Bangladesh of their homes and farmlands," Market Forces, November 2019
  30. "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

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.