PDB floats bids for 4 coal-fired power plants

The government has invited bids from global players to build four coal-fired power plants as IPPs to generate up to 1,900 megawatts (mw) of electricity to diversify its energy sources and mitigate electricity crisis.

State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) floated tenders separately last week to implement the coal-based power plants on build, own and operate (BOO) basis for 25 years.

This is the first time that Bangladesh has floated any tender for installation of any coal-based power plant as IPP in the country.

The coal-fired power plants would be built near sea and river shores.

The power plants to be implemented are Chittagong 300-650 mw, Munshiganj 300-650 mw, Khulna 150-300 mw and Chittagong 150-300 mw.

“We have invited bids to implement the coal-fired power plants as part of our long-term plan to mitigate the country’s electricity crisis,” said BPDB Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir.

He said the selected sponsors would have to develop necessary infrastructure to import coal and generate electricity.

The BPDB would purchase electricity from the bid winning sponsors, said Mr Kabir.

The bidder might be an individual or a consortium.

For implementing 300-650 mw coal-fired power plants the bidder must have experience for successful operation and management of one or more power projects in the past 15 years, of which it is or was the owner or operator with an aggregate capacity of 400 mw or more, including at least one coal-fired power project of 200 mw capacity or more.

While for building 150-300 mw capacity coal-fired power plants the bidder must have experience of successful operation and management of one or more power projects in the past 15 years, of which it is or was the owner or operator with an aggregate capacity of 200 mw or more, including at least one coal-fired power project of 100 mw capacity or more.

Last date for bid submission of 300-650 mw Munshiganj and 300-650mw Chittagong coal-fired plants is December 30, 2010.

For these two bigger coal-fired power projects (300-650 mw Munshiganj and 300-650mw Chittagong) the BPDB has sought to select pre-qualified bidders first. Primarily selected bidders would be requested to bid further for final selection.

Bid submission deadline for Khulna 150-300 mw and Chittagong 150-300 mw power plants is January 31, 2011.

For these two smaller coal-fired power plants the BPDB would select the bid winner directly, said the BPDB official.

Currently Barapukuria 250 mw coal-fired power plant is the only operative plant of its kind in Bangladesh.

The lone operative coal-fired power plant was built under suppliers’ credit programme under a consortium led by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) and was commissioned in 2006.

Bangladesh has moved to instal four coal-fired power plants at one go as it is diversifying its fuel sources to cut the country’s over-dependence on natural gas for electricity generation.

At present over 87 per cent of Bangladesh’s power plants are run using natural gas, five per cent using coal, four per cent using furnace oil, three per cent using hydropower and one per cent using diesel.

But the government is working to increase the share of coal-fired power plants substantially to ensure the country’s future energy security.

The country is already producing less gas than it needs and unless new gas fields are discovered, supplies are expected to start diminishing from 2011.

Bangladesh forecasts that its gas reserves will run out by 2014-2015 at current consumption rates of 1980 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd).

thefinancialexpress

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