The Patuakhali power project, also called the Bodu Akali power project, is a 1.32GW coal-fired power plant under construction in the Patuakhali district of Bangladesh.
It is being developed by RPCL-Norinco Intl Power (RNPL), a 50:50 joint venture between Bangladesh’s state-owned Rural Power Company (RPCL) and Chinese state-owned Norinco International (Norinco).
RPCL and Norinco signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in May 2016, which led to the incorporation of RNPL in December 2017.
The main construction works of the £1.78bn ($2.5bn) Patuakhali coal-fired power project started in November 2020. The plant’s first unit is expected to come online by February 2023, followed by the commissioning of the second unit in August 2023.
Location and site details
The Patuakhali coal-fired power plant is being built on 500 acres of land in Kalapara, in the Patuakhali district of the Barisal administrative division of Bangladesh.
The site is located on the western bank of the Rabnabad River, in the vicinity of the Payra Port, 210km away from Dhaka and 160km away from Chittagong.
Patuakhali coal-fired power plant make-up
The Patuakhali thermal power plant will comprise two 660MW coal-fired units, each of which will be equipped with an ultra-supercritical boiler along with a high-efficiency steam turbine and a generator.
The plant will be equipped with low nitrogen oxide (Nox) burner, electrostatic precipitators (ESP), and a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) system to control emissions.
Other components of the project will include a closed-cycle cooling system, 275m-high flue stacks, and a 400kV gas-insulated substation (GIS). The plant will source water from the Rabnabad River for cooling.
Coal supply for the Patuakhali thermal power project
The Patuakhali power plant is estimated to consume 4.48 million tonnes (Mt) of coal a year, which will be imported from Indonesia and Australia.
RNPL signed a service contract with a consortium of Top Hand Consulting and Wood Mackenzie (Australia) for sourcing the coal required for the project in August 2019.
Other infrastructure for the Patuakhali power project will include a coal jetty, coal handling and storage facilities, and access roads for transporting material and equipment.
The project site will also house a water treatment facility and a warehouse building. The construction works are being facilitated by a concrete batching plant and a temporary project office.
The electricity generated by the Patuakhali coal-fired power plant will be evacuated into the national grid of Bangladesh through a 400kV power transmission line.
Power purchase agreement
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPBD) will offtake the entire electricity output of the plant, under a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with RNPL in February 2019.
Financing for Patuakhali power project
The Patuakhali power project is being financed through 30% equity investment provided by RNPL partners and 70% debt provided through loan from Chinese banks led by the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China.
Chinese Exim bank and the Bank of China agreed to provide £1.36bn ($1.77bn) in syndicated loan for the project in December 2020.
A consortium of China Wanbao Engineering (CWEC), China Huadian Engineering (CHEC) and Tianjin Electric Power Construction (TEPC) was awarded a turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth £1.2bn ($1.5bn) for the Patuakhali coal-fired power project in March 2019.
CWEC is responsible for the implementation and execution of the project on behalf of Norinco International.
TEPC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese state-owned China Energy Engineering Group, is in charge of the main construction, equipment procurement and installation, plant commissioning, trial operation and performance testing.
TEPC subcontracted Hebei Electric Power Engineering for pile foundation works of the project in August 2020.
HLS Engineering provided surcharge pre-loading, prefabricated vertical drain (PVD) installation, and drainage well solutions to prepare the boiler, turbine and generator (BTG) area of the plant.
Bangladesh-based Power Energy Management & Engineering Company (PEMEC) and Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), and Lahmeyer International (now Tractebel Engie) were consulted for the feasibility study (FS) of the project.