Mahfuja Mukul: Among the country’s major power plants, Payra Thermal Power Plant started production in January 2020. The Rampal power plant started supplying power to the national grid in December last year. And in April this year, Adani’s power plant built in Jharkhand, India started producing the first unit. Payra power plant has the lowest production cost among the three coal-based thermal power plants.
This information has emerged in a recent report of the Power Development Board (PDB). PDB has analyzed the cost of production (energy charge) of three large coal-fired power plants in the country. It shows the comparison of electricity generation costs of Payra, Rampal and Adani from April to August this year. It showed that Payra power plant had the lowest production cost (energy charge) every month. In any of these months, production costs were up to 30 percent lower at Pyara than at Rampal or Adani. In this case the capacity charge is not considered.
An analysis of PDB data shows that Payra power plant’s production cost has decreased every month during the five-month period (April-August). In April, the electricity cost per unit at Payra power plant was $0.817. In the following month (May) it decreased to $0.759. In June it further decreased to $0.715. In the next two months, the cost of power generation in Pyara fell further. In July, the electricity production cost per unit stood at $0.594 cents and $0.527 cents in August.
According to sources, the Payra coal-fired power plant has been constructed by Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL). It is jointly owned by Bangladesh’s state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGCL) and China’s National Machinery Import and Export Corporation Limited (CMC). The two companies have invested a total of 20 percent in the construction of the power plant at an equal rate of 10 percent. The rest was borrowed from Exim Bank of China.
The first unit of the power plant started production on January 12, 2020. The second unit came into production on December 8 that year. The construction work of this center has been completed before the scheduled time and less than the scheduled cost. The power plant was officially inaugurated on March 21, 2022. The government is regularly getting 1,244 megawatts of electricity from the centre. The power plant was closed for 20 days due to coal shortage. However, since the start of production, this power plant has not been shut down due to any technical fault.
According to PDB data, the cost of production (energy charge) in the other two coal-based power plants has fluctuated at different times. Rampal had the second lowest production cost ever. Again, Adani’s power generation cost at the center was the second lowest in any month. Besides, Adani’s two units had two types of power generation costs.
Analyzing the data for five months, it can be seen that the production cost per unit at Rampal power plant was $0.987 in April, $0.842 in May, $0.833 in June, $0.774 in July and $0.593 in August. That is, compared to Rampal, the energy charge of Payra power plant was 20.81 percent less in April, 10.94 percent less in May, 16.50 percent less in June, 30.30 percent less in July and 12.52 percent less in August.
On the other hand, Adani’s power plant cost per unit was $0.851 in April. The center’s average cost of production in May was $0.854 in the first unit and $0.854 in the second unit. The average cost of production for the first unit in June was $0.775 and $0.75 for the second unit. The average cost of production in the two units of the center was $0.678 in July and $0.687 in August.
Accordingly, compared to Adani, the energy charge of Payra power plant was 4.16 percent less in April, 11.73 to 12.52 percent less in May, 4.90 to 8.39 percent less in June, 14.14 percent less in July and 30.36 percent less in August. percentage is less.
When asked about the reason for the low production cost (energy charge) of Payra Power Plant, BCPCL Managing Director Engineer AM Khorshedul Alam said that there are several reasons behind the low energy charge of Payra Power Plant. One of the reasons is to procure coal at low cost. The cost of buying coal from the source to the power plant is much lower in Payra than in Rampal and Adani.
Mentioning some other reasons behind the low cost of production, he said, higher plant factor, greater efficiency of machinery also play an important role in reducing the cost of production. The efficiency of Payra power plant is relatively high. Therefore, the cost of power generation in Pyara is decreasing from the beginning. All sorts of efforts are being made to retain it. Efforts will continue to operate the Payra Power Plant efficiently in the future.
Incidentally, the plant factor of Payra power plant was 71.44 percent last April. Whereas the plant factor of Rampal power plant was 25.56 percent and 39.42 percent at Adani power station in that month.
The Rampal Power Plant, known as Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant, started production on December 17 last year as the country’s second coal-fired power plant. On that day, electricity was added to the national grid from its unit-1. The second unit of the power plant was inaugurated on November 1. However, the first unit has been shut down four times so far due to technical glitches. Besides, the first unit of Rampal power plant is shut down four times even during coal crisis.
The Rampal Power Plant was built by Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited (BIFPCL). Bangladesh’s PDB and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) each own 50 percent of the shares. The contractor company for the construction of this power plant is Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (VEL). Exim Bank of India has given loan for its construction.
On the other hand, on April 4, Adani’s first unit of the power plant built at Godda in Jharkhand started official production. And the second unit started commercial production from June 26. In November 2017, Adani Power Limited signed an agreement with PDB for the construction of the power plant.
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