Industry Desk: The construction of Rampal power plant is almost completed. The joint power plant of India and Bangladesh is likely to go into production next month. However, adequate infrastructure for coal discharge has yet not been developed. Imported coal takes long time to unload from ships which charges late fee.
The 1,320 MW Rampal power plant has two units. For a unit of 660 MW, around 5,000 tons of coal are estimated to be burned per day.
According to sources, the depth of the river channel associated with the project is less than four meters. So, the coal-laden mother vessel cannot reach the jetty. Coal is brought to the project site by lighters (small ships). A lighter ship needs some 45 trips to unload a mother vessel of 55,000 ton-capacity. Though it was usually supposed to unload coal in seven days, but it takes about one and a half months. An additional Tk 12 crore has to be paid as late fee.
Sources said only one of the three conveyor belts is operational at the jetty for discharging coal. It also sometimes remains shut due to technical glitches. Besides, the coal shed and waste disposal system are not yet ready.
Engineer Syed Akram Ullah, Managing Director of Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company, said the construction of a jetty has been completed. Another one will be completed this month. The third jetty will be operational within the next two months.
He also expressed hope that the problem of coal disposal would be resolved before the power plant is commissioned.
It was learned that there is still a deadlock at the jetty. Because the authorities are still training manpower for handling imported coal. But the biggest setback in this mega project is that this huge amount of coal shed and waste disposal system is not ready yet. So the huge storage capacity required has limitations. It also seems uncertain what the remedy will be.
Due to these problems, the officials concerned are drawing the attention of the Prime Minister and they expect immediate effective assistance.
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