Thursday, October 19, 2017 | ePaper

Rampal power plant

Construction begins soon

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Anisul Islam Noor :
The government will immediately go for construction work on the much-talked- about Rampal coal -fired power plant near the Sundarbans as the financial closer of the US$1.6 billion project has completed through exchanging loan agreement document with the Exim Bank of India during the recent India tour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 
The proposed plant has already evoked controvery as environmentalists vehemently opposed it. They said the government's initiative will destroy the Sundarbans as the environmental assessment of the power plant and technical survey are yet to finish.
Chairman of Sundarbans Rokhya Jatiya Committee Advocat Sultana Kamal warned the government against going ahead with the project as it will ruin the world's biggest mangrove forest.
She urged the government to relocate the plant. 
However, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral   Resources Nasrul Hamid told journalists on Sunday that the construction work on the power plant would start soon.
Officials at the Power Division said work on the 1320 MW power plants will begin as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, earth (soil) filling work on the requisite 915 acres of land has already been completed.
Surrounded by a high boundary wall alongwith a fence, most of the land is covered with kashbon, five high watch towers and an office-cum-residence, and other small residences for the officers and caretakers have already been set up.
Construction of a six-kilometre bypass road toward the power plant from the Khulna-Mongla highway has also been completed.
Two pontoons and a jetty have been set up on the bank of the Pashur River on the west side of the main power plant.
Arun Chowdhury, Additional General Manager (AGM) of Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Pvt) Ltd, said a safe guard would be made with concrete blocks and surround the boundary of the power plant.
Sources concerned said a MoU was signed in October 2012between Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Pvt) Ltd (BIFPCL) to set up the 1320 MW coal based "Maitree Super Thermal Power Project" on 915 acres of land at Sapmari-Katakhali and Kaigardaskhati mouja under Rajnagar union of Rampal upazila in Bagerhat.
Deputy General Manager of BIFPCL Vinod Bhoyar said that construction on the main power plants would likely begin after settling monetary issues from the bank.
The construction work on the power plant project is expected to be completed in the 2019-20 fiscal year. Heavy Electrical Ltd of India will construct the main plant.
On its environmental risks, Vinod said the Rampal power plant would not harm the Sundarbans as many ultra-modern technologies, including ultra supercritical technology, would be used in the plant.
BPDB and National Thermal Power Company (NTPC) will hold ownership of the power plant on an equal basis of 50 percent each.
A total of 70 percent of the cost out of the involved cost of Tk14,000 crore is on credit from Exim Bank of India.

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