Zarif Mahmud : At Meghnaghat in Narayanganj, Summit and Unique Group have built three gas-based power plants with a capacity of about 2,000 MW. Although these power plants were ready about six months ago, they could not go into commercial production due to lack of gas supply. Production will start in power plants when gas supply is available.
According to two company sources, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources last week. There was a detailed discussion about the supply of gas to the new gas-based power plants in Meghnaghat. Representatives of two power plants were also present in the meeting.
Apart from this, the chairman of Summit Power, Muhammad Aziz Khan himself met with the Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid and discussed the matter, according to ministry sources.
During the meeting, he sought additional supply beyond the gas allotted to BPDB’s plants for commencement of commercial production (COD) at Summit Power’s power plant at Meghnaghat. Although it is informed by the energy department, it is not possible to give additional allocation beyond the prescribed gas to the power plant. Only if rationing of supply gas to BPDB is possible can it be supplied to the summit power plant.
Officials of the power department said that they are reluctant to bring the power plants into commercial production now due to lack of gas resources. There was already an informal decision to start the two power plants once the construction of the new pipeline was completed.
According to the relevant sources, Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) is currently constructing a new gas transmission pipeline to supply gas to Meghnaghat. For this reason, the work of the project undertaken to build a 42 inch pipeline from Bakhrabad in Comilla to Haripur via Meghnaghat in Narayanganj is still ongoing.
The project is scheduled to start in 2021 and be completed by June this year. However, as per the latest data from GTCL, the physical progress of this project is 3 percent. Financial progress is still zero.
According to power department data, Summit Group has built power plants with a capacity of 583 MW and Unique Group’s power plant has a capacity of 584 MW. The two power plants were supposed to be fully operational by August 31, 2023. Even after a few months, BPDB and Petrobangla have not come to any decision regarding gas supply.
Two power plants require 192 million cubic feet of gas per day to operate at full capacity. But due to gas shortage there is no supply as per demand for gas-based power plants. Moreover, the issue of gas supply to these new power plants has now become a headache for the Energy Department and BPDB.
According to Petrobangla’s gas production report, the daily gas demand of gas-based power plants in the country is currently 2,240 million cubic feet. And to keep PDB’s power supply management normal, the Energy Department has allocated 1,200 million cubic feet. However, out of the allocated gas, Petrobangla is now able to supply 744 million cubic feet of gas.
Talking to the officials related to the power projects of Summit and Unique, it is known that the testing of the equipment and parts of the two power plants was completed two months ago. For this, each power plant required an average of 35 million cubic feet of gas. They got the supply. Now when the gas supply to the power plants is confirmed, the reliability test will start. Then the centers can go into commercial production.
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