Payra power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Payra power station is a 1,320-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Patuakhali, Bangladesh.

It is part of the Kalapara power station. Phase II is referred to as the Patuakhali power station (BCPCL).


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Kalapara, Patuakhali, on the Rabnabad river bank near Paira Bandar.

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Background on Kalapara power station

On its website, North-West Power Generation describes the Kalapara project as being set up in two phases. The first phase is referred to as the "Payra 1320 (2x660) MW Thermal Power Plant Project." The second phase is referred to as the "Barguna / Patuakhali 1320 (2x660) MW Ultra Supercritical Coal Based Thermal Power Plant Project (2nd Phase)." Note that Patuakhali and Barguna are adjacent districts and Payra (Paira) is located in close proximity.[1][2][3]

Background on Payra power station

In March 2014 the state-owned North-West Power Generation Company (a subsidiary of Bangladesh Power Development Board) and CMC -- China National Machinery Import & Export (Group) Corporation -- signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a 1320 MW coal plant in Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali. The project will be located on the Rabnabad river bank near Paira Bandar. The estimated cost is $2 billion.[4]

In March 2016, an engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the power station was signed. A consortium of China Energy Engineering Group Northeast No.3 Electric Power Construction co. Ltd. (NEPC) and China National Energy Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. (CECC), both Chinese state-owned enterprises, were awarded the contract.[5] Total value for the EPC contract was about US$1.56 billion.[6]

According to the website of Bangladesh's North-West Power Generation Co Ltd., construction on the project was underway in December 2017.[7]

Unit 1 was planned to come online in April 2019, and unit 2 in October 2019.[8][9]

In March 2018 it was reported that 35 percent of work on the plant had been completed.[10] In May 2018, NWPGCL reported the project was 42% complete.[11] In October 2018 it was reported the plant was on track for commissioning in 2019.[12] In November 2018 the project was reported to be 55% complete.[13]

As of April 2019, construction was 70% complete, which was significantly behind the company's original schedule. Builders blamed the delay on a "lack of coordination among stakeholders," and especially on delays in building the transmission line, completion of which had at that point been pushed back to August 2020.[14]

In May 2019, BCPCL announced that it would be signing a coal supply deal in June with Indonesian coal importer PT Bayan Resources. The company also announced that Unit 1 was scheduled to be completed in December 2019, and Unit 2 in June 2020.[15][16]

Planet satellite photos from January 2017 to November 2019 show construction progress.

According to BCPCL, unit 1 was completed in November 2019, but the transmission facilities were not ready yet. Due to this, the power station was now being planned for operation in 2020.[17] Test production at the plant began on January 13, 2020.[18]

In February 2020, the India-based Business Standard reported that commercial commissioning of the plant was experiencing delays due to the Coronavirus. According to the acting managing director of Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited: "We cannot do the post-test-run maintenance as some workers are stuck in China in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic."[19]

According to New Age of Bangladesh, the main issue facing the commissioning of the plant is the lack of adequate transmission: "In the test run, the first unit of the plant could never reach its full generation capacity because of low capacity transmission line," according to Payra project director Shah Abdul Moula.[20]

In May 2020, Dhaka Tribune reported that Unit 1 started commercial operation.[21] The second unit started production on December 8, 2020. As of March 2021, the plant was generating 1,000MW on an experimental basis.[22]

Since its commissioning, the plant has been operating at low capacity due to low demand and transmission bottlenecks.[23] The coal plant has also faced difficulties importing coal, according to plant owner Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL): "Payra 1320 MW Thermal Power Plant is situated on the west bank of the Rabnabad Channel. The channel length from BCPCL Jetty to the Payra Fairway is appx. 41 nautical miles (76 km/47 miles). Due to high rate of siltation, the channel has blockages at several points which have to be dredged intermittently in order to maintain navigability."[24]

The project is sponsored by Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL), a 50:50 JV between China National Machinery Import and Export Corp and Bangladesh's North-West Power Generation Co Ltd, which was established on 28 August 2007 as a Public Limited Company under the Bangladesh Power Development Board.[8]

CMC, or China National Machinery Import & Export (Group) Corporation, was established in 1950, and in 1998 it became a subsidiary of China General Technology (Group) Holding Co. Ltd., a state-owned enterprise.[25] CMC has established overseas subsidiaries in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Luxembourg.[26]

Since its commissioning, the plant has bene operating at low capacity due to low demand and transmission bottlenecks.


In June 2014 it was reported that Bangladesh's largest bilateral donor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), would bankroll the plant by partially providing nearly US$3.7 billion worth of loans in some few tranches.[2]

However, in October 2014 it was reported that BCPCL will provide 30% of the funds for the project, and mobilize the other 70% from international sources. The project has an estimated cost of US$2 billion.[27]

In April 2016 BCPCL said it will invest $1.56 billion into the plant. It will fund 80 percent of the investment by a loan from Chinese banks.[8]

In October 2016 the government approved a US$1.9 billion loan from the China Exim Bank for the project, maintaining a debt to equity ratio of 70:30. The equity investment from BCPCL on this ratio is US$815 million.[28]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL)
  • Parent company: China National Machinery Import and Export Corp and Bangladesh's North-West Power Generation Co Ltd.
  • Location: Rabnabad river bank near Paira Bandar, Kalapara upazila (subdistrict), Dhankhali, Patuakhali district
  • Coordinates: 22.001974, 90.30821 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross Capacity: 1320 MW (2 x 660 MW)
  • Type: Ultra-supercritical
  • Start year: 2020
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Indonesia[22]
  • Source of financing: A US$1.9 billion loan from China Exim Bank and US$820 million in equity from BCPCL
  • Permits and applications: EIA for 1320 MW Payra coal plant, Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited, Sep 2015

Contact details


Articles and resources


  1. "Future Plan," North-West Power Generation Company Limited, accessed September 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 FHM Humayan Kabir, "1320mw coal-fired power plant to be set up in Patuakhali", Financial Express, June 29, 2014
  3. "Faster Rampal plant execution demanded", October 13, 2013
  4. "1,320MW coal-based power plant to be set up in Patuakhali," DhakaTribune, 20 March 2014
  5. Annual Report 2018, Bangladesh-China Power Company (Pvt.) Limited, 2018, p. 9
  6. Rampal, Payra coal-fired power plants: $3.5b credit deals finalised, New Age, Sep. 22, 2016
  7. "Ongoing Projects," North-West Power Generation Company Limited, accessed Dec 2017
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Bangladesh-China JV to construct $1.56 bln power plant in southern Bangladesh," reuters, Mar 30, 2016
  9. Aminur Rahman Rasel, "Payra coal power plant to be commissioned in 2019," Dhaka Tribune, Oct 12, 2015
  10. "No progress in 19 power plants yet," The Bangladesh Post, March 9, 2018
  11. Ongoing projects, NWPGCL, accessed June 2018
  12. "Payra power plant to begin generation in 2019," New Age, Sep 28, 2018
  13. Ongoing projects, NWPGCL, updated November 2018
  14. Payra 1,320-MW power plant project hits snag, Financial Express, 4 Apr. 2019.
  15. Bangladesh set to ink deal with Indonesian co next month, Global Times, 24 May 2019.
  16. Payra power plant goes to operation in Nov, Bangladesh Post, 10 May 2019.
  17. "Payra power plant may take more time to go into operation," Business Standard, 03 November, 2019
  18. "Payra coal power plant takes off". The Daily Star. January 14, 2020.
  19. "Coronavirus stalls Payra plant commissioning," Business Standard, Feb 5, 2020
  20. "Payra power plant set to become economic burden on Bangladesh," New Age, March 14, 2020
  21. "Payra power plant unit 1 starts commercial operation". Dhaka Tribune. 2020-05-15. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "1,320MW Payra plant awaits inauguration". The Daily Star. 2021-03-28. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  23. Rahman, Azizur (2021-01-06). "Payra power plant: Govt risks making additional payment". The Financial Express. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  24. Annual Report 2020, Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL), p. 62
  25. "Company Overview," China National Machinery Imp. & Exp. Corp. website, accessed May 2014
  26. "CMC Machipex Sd. Bhd.," China National Machinery Imp. & Exp. Corp. website, accessed May 2014
  27. "Joint venture to start working for 1,320MW plant ," DhakaTribune, Oct 13, 2014
  28. "Govt approves $3.5 billion loan for Rampal, Payra power plants," Reporters bd, October 4, 2016, Archived Dec. 27, 2020

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