Meghnaghat plant may miss deadline

Expert fears a cost escalation in case of a delay in completion of the 718MW LNG-fired power plant

| Updated: June 06, 2022 16:44:07

Meghnaghat plant may miss deadline

Work on the Meghnaghat 718-megawatt gas-fired combined cycle power plant, operated by India's Reliance Power Ltd, may miss the completion deadline, thus indicating a delay in going into full-fledged operation within the stipulated timeline.

Reliance Bangladesh LNG & Power Limited (RBLPL), a joint venture, is setting up the gas-based facility at Meghnaghat village under Sonargaon upazila (sub-district) in Narayanganj.

The project has been programmed for completion by August this year.

The progress in construction stands at 69 per cent as against the targeted 77.3 per cent until March 2022 reveals the latest monitoring report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The report was unveiled in May 2022.

The project is sited approximately 45 km off Dhaka airport, near the Meghna Road Bridge on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway and is around 2.0 km west from Dhaka-Chattogram highway.

With regard to engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning in the project, the overall progress was delayed against the planned progress as of March 2022, unveils the ADB report.

The overall progress of nearly 82.4 per cent was achieved by the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor as against the planned progress of 85.6 per cent, it cites.

Progress in engineering work is now 98.6 per cent as against the planned 99.2 per cent while the procurement progress is reported at 98.7 per cent as against the targeted 99.8 per cent.

There is a delay of around 3.2 per cent of the project mainly due to delay in delivery of the Steam Turbine component at site, it also reveals.

The report was prepared by TRACTEBEL ENGINEERING Pvt Ltd (TEPL) for RBLPL and the ADB. The TEPL has been appointed as the financiers' environmental and social adviser for the project.

Dr Shamsul Hoque, an infrastructure project specialist and a professor of BUET, fears that the project cost may rise automatically if the work of the LNG power plant gets lingered.

The government will act prudently and instantly to remove the expected delay and to save the public fund, he told The Financial Express.

The environmental and social monitoring progress reporting is done as an integral part of the planning and execution of the construction phase for the review period from January 01 to March 31, 2022. The project completion timeline is estimated to be 26 months from the date of NTP (Notice to Proceed), which was January 27, 2021. The project has been programmed for completion by August 2022.

The natural gas required for the project will be supplied by Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution (Titas), a subsidiary of Petrobangla, from the nearby upcoming City Gate Station.

The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will purchase power from the plant for 22 years at a levelised tariff rate of 7.312 US cents (BDT or Tk 5.85) per kilowatt-hour with 82-per cent plant factor and 12-per cent discount factor as per the power purchase agreement.

In September 2019, Reliance Bangladesh signed four agreements with the Bangladesh government to build, own and operate the power plant in the area. The company inked a total of four agreements with different entities of the government to implement the project.

Of the agreements, the Power Division signed the implementation pact while state-owned BPDB made the power purchase agreement and land lease agreement and Petrobangla, state-owned national oil company, signed the gas supply agreement.

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