Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday announced bringing 100 percent populations under electricity coverage as she inaugurated 1,320 MW Payra Thermal Power Plant, the largest of its kind.
With opening the coal-fired power plant with eco-friendly Ultra-Supercritical Technology, Bangladesh has achieved another milestone implementing the government’s pledge to bring 100 percent people under electricity coverage by “Mujib Borsho” which is going to end on March 31.
The premier announced cent percent electrification with opening Payra power plant while addressing a function here.
Sheikh Hasina, in person, visited the district for the first time to open the power plant built here since Bangladesh likewise the world has been rattled with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
The Payra power plant was built on 1000 acres of land at a cost of 2.48 billion US dollar beside the Ramnabad River at Kalapara Upazila of the southern Patuakhali district and Bangladesh has become 13th country among the world in using the ultra-supercritical technology in producing power.
The first 660 MW unit of the power plant went into commercial operation in May, 2020, utilising the 400 kv Payra-Gopalganj Power Transmission while the second one started operation in December 2021.
Apart from the 1320MW thermal power plant, construction work of another power plant is underway while the government has also a plan to build another 1320MW power plant and a solar system power plant in Payra.
The Payra Thermal Power Plant was developed by Bangladesh China Power Company Limited (BCPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) and Bangladesh’s state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL).
Bangladesh-China Power Company (Pvt.) Limited and Consortium of NEPC & CECC signed the EPC contract on 29 March, 2016 to implement the Payra 1320 MW Thermal Power Plant Project in the fastest possible time.
Bangladesh is now ahead of India and Pakistan, among the South Asian countries that have brought 98 per cent and 74 per cent of their population under the electricity network, according to data from the World Bank.
The power generation capacity has rocketed to 25,514 MW in February 2022 from 4,942 MW in January, 2009. Of them, 1160 MW electricity is being imported and 19,626 MW is being locally produced.
In 2009, only 47 percent of the population had access to power. Per capita power generation has increased from 220 kWh to 560 kWh and distributionlosses of electricity have been reduced by 5.85%.
Electricity has been provided to the local chars Sonarampur, Ashuganj, Rangabali, Monpura, Sandwip, Hatia, Nijhum Island and Kutubdia through submersible cables.
The prime minister released 1320 pigeons, the symbol of peace, after unveiling the nameplate of the 1320MW power plant and went round the central control room of the plant.
Earlier, a guard of honour was given to the premier on her arrival at the helipad adjoining the Payra Thermal Power Plant.
Later, 200 fishermen boats decorated with various colours welcomed Sheikh Hasina by waving flags and playing songs as soon as the prime minister arrived at the coal jetty.
A festive mood has been prevailing in the areas from the tourism spot Kuakata to the Payra power plant and their neighborhoods which get facelift with various eye-catching things.
PM’s Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, Secretary of the Power Division of the ministry Md. Habibur Rahman, and Ambassador of China to Bangladesh, Li Jiming, spoke on the occasion.
Director General (DG) of BCPCL Engineer AM Khurshedul Alam gave the welcome address.
An audio-video presentation on the progress of the power sector and the Payra Thermal Power Plant was also screened on the occasion.
The ministry presented the prime minister a memento while a song titled “O jonaki ki shukkhe oi dana duti melechho” dedicated to Sheikh Hasina was played.