The first unit of the 1.3GW Payra power plant commenced operation in January 2020. Image courtesy of BCPCL.
The 1,320MW Payra coal fired power plant in Bangladesh is being built with Chinese assistance. Image courtesy of North-West Power Generation Company.
The EPC contract for Payra coal-fired power plant was signed in March 2016. Image courtesy of The First Northeast Electric Power Co.

Payra power plant is a 1,320MW coal-fired thermal power plant (TPP) under construction at Dhankhali, in the Patuakhali district of Bangladesh.

The plant is being developed by Bangladesh China Power Company (BCPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between China National Machinery Import and Export (CMC) and Bangladesh’s state-owned North-West Power Generation Company (NWPGCL).

Estimated to cost £1.5bn ($2bn), the Payra power plant will consist of two 660MW ultra-supercritical coal-fired power generating units.

Construction on the project started in late December 2017. The first unit was synchronized with Bangladesh’s national grid and commenced test production in January 2020, while the second unit is scheduled for commissioning by June 2020.

Payra Power Plant Development

Bangladesh’s NWPGCL and China’s CMC signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Payra coal-fired power plant in March 2014.

The special-purpose consortium company BCPCL was created in June 2014 to implement the project.

BCPCL submitted the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project in September 2015 and the Bangladesh Government issued environment clearance to the project in 2016.

Payra is the first power plant to come online, among a series of new thermal power projects being developed across the country as part of Bangladesh’s plan to increase its electricity generation capacity from 10,445MW in 2014 to 24,000MW by 2021.

Payra power plant make-up

Built on a 1,000-acre site, Payra power plant will comprise two ultra-supercritical pulverised coal-fired single reheat boilers of 1,965t/h capacity, two single-axle eight-stage 660MW steam turbines, two water-hydrogen cooled generators, 32 forced draft cooling towers of 4,800m³/h capacity and a 275m-high flue stack to be shared with both the generating units.

Other facilities of the plant include a 400kV switchyard, three coal storage yards, a fly ash storage area, and water treatment plants.

Further, the plant is being equipped with electrostatic precipitators, flue gas desulfurisation, and low NOx combustion technology for emissions control.

Payra power plant uses water from the nearby Andhamanik River for cooling, coal handling, ash handling, and steam generation.

Coal supply for Payra power plant

The coal requirement for the plant is estimated to be 4.12 million tonnes per year (Mt/y), which will be imported from Indonesia, China, and Australia.

The coal from Indonesia will be loaded at Kalimantan Port on a 70,000DWT cargo vessel and unloaded at the newly built Payra port.

The project involves three 8,000DWT coal unloading berths and one 2,000DWT heavy cargo berth. Coal is transferred to the 14m-wide 1,750t/h coal conveyor belt, with the help of 16t gantry type grab ship unloaders.

The Payra power plant site received the first coal shipment in September 2019.

Power transmission

Electricity generated by the power plant is fed to the national grid via double-circuit 400kV transmission lines connected with the 400kV Patuakhali grid substation of Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB).

Financing for Payra power project

The £1.5bn ($2bn) Payra power project is financed through 30% equity investment provided by BCPCL partners and 70% debt provided through loan from Chinese banks led by Chinese Export-Import (Exim) bank.

Contractors involved

BCPCL awarded the £1.1bn ($1.56bn) EPC contract for the power plant to a Chinese consortium comprising China Energy Engineering Group Northeast No. 1 Electric Power Construction (NEPC) and China National Energy Engineering and Construction (CECC), in March 2016.

Dongfang Boiler Group was subcontracted to supply the boilers and Shanghai Electric Group was subcontracted to provide the steam turbine generators for the coal-fired power plant.

Minconsult, an engineering consultancy based in Malaysia, along with Shenzhen Engineering and Power Energy Management & Engineering (PEMEC), was awarded the £10.6m ($14.9m) owner’s engineering (OE) services contract for the project, in June 2016.

National Development Engineers (NDE), a construction company based in Bangladesh, was engaged for the land development work for the project. The company is also responsible for civil construction works including the access road, jetty road and helipad construction.

Dhaka-based EQMS Consulting prepared the environmental impact assessment report for the Payra coal-fired power project.