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Gas-fired small, medium power plants want extension

A series of gas-fired power plants having combined capacity to generate 226.55MW of electricity sought three to five years of extension despite commissioning of large power plants in the country.

“We will start negotiations from May 21 to extend the 55MW gas-fired plant under the sponsorship of Precession Energy Ltd on a no electricity no payment basis,” an official source, however, said. The power plant at Ashuganj power hub already enjoyed an extension.
The Ashuganj power hub is facing a gas crisis to run the existing state-owned power plants, according to the official sources.

The sources said three small gas-fired power plants have already completed negotiations to generate 72 MW of electricity at Ashuganj, Madan and Chandina.

“We will purchase per unit of electricity at Tk 2.95 which is a competitive rate in the private sector,” an official pointed out. “The government will purchase electricity from the small plants for five years.”

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) also moved to install a 60-100 megawatt gas-fired power plant within a 15-year period under the “no electricity no payment” policy, said another official.

Under the Special Power Act, the initiative was taken after the discovery of new gas at the Bhola north gas field.

According to the BPDB sources, the Aggreko International Projects Ltd (AIPL) made the proposal to the Ministry of Power and Energy to set up a 60-100 MW high efficiency gas-fired power project under no electricity no payment basis.
The Power Division already approved a summary to install the plant. But, the power plant sponsors now sought a minimum takeoff guarantee to implement the power plant, sources said.

“So, we have dropped the negotiation with the company,” the official said.

On March 17, 2022, the AIPL’s 95 MW rental power plant in Bhola expired as its four-year tenure ended.

They are now interested in installing a power plant of a 15-year period at the same location while utilising the same gas. The power plant consumed 26 mmcfd of natural gas.

According to the Power Division, the government is expected to begin electricity supply from Unit-2 of the Rampal Power Plant next week.

Besides, the local company S Alam and Barisal power plants are also expected to start commercial operation of supplying electricity immediately.

But the power sector experts expressed concerns over the burden of pressure of the small and medium power plants in the country.