Coal import from Indonesia is expected to soar threefold to 60,000 tonnes this month as the installation of the 1,320-megawatt (MW) Payra coal-fired power plant is nearing completion.
The import price of Indonesian coal is around $51 per tonne, said a senior official of the Bangladesh-China Power Company Ltd (BCPCL), the project executor.
Coal price has been tagged with the Newcastle International Coal Price Index having a discount of up to 60 per cent depending on the price movement.
Discount will increase if coal price shoots up globally and it will decrease if the price slides.
The BCPCL joint venture is importing coal eyeing to commission the first unit of the thermal power plant having 660MW capacity next month.
Currently, the pre-commissioning job of the power plant is being done with imported coal.
At least three coal cargoes, carrying around 20,000 tonnes of coal in each cargo, will reach at Payra power plant site in November, said a senior BCPCL official.
He said the volume of coal imports will soar further with the commissioning of this plant.
The state-run Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd has been working to complete a 400-kilovolt transmission line to facilitate power evacuation from the plant.
BCPCL signed an agreement with an Indonesian supplier to annually import an estimated 4.0 million tonnes of coal for 10 years to operate the power plant.
It has been importing coal directly from Indonesia with half-loaded 'Supramax' vessel having a volume of around 20,000 tonnes per cargo, said the official.
After successful construction of a trans-shipment facility in the Andaman, mother cargo vessel would be able to carry coal for the plant, he added.
The second unit of Payra power plant having the similar capacity is programmed for completion by June 2020.
Some 13,000 tonnes of coal will be required per day to run the plant with full capacity.
It will use the best coal and apply ultra-supercritical technology with minimal environmental impacts, said a senior official of power division under power, energy and mineral resources ministry.
BCPCL is a 50-50 joint venture between Bangladesh's North-West Power Generation Company Ltd and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC).
BCPCL has been providing 20-per cent equity to implement the project and the remaining 80 per cent is being sourced as loan from Exim Bank of China.
Bangladesh has issued $1.0 billion's worth of state guarantee in favour of the Chinese loan to this effect.