The Reliance Meghnaghat project is a proposed 718MW combined-cycle power plant on the banks of the Meghna River in Meghnaghat, Narayanganj district, Bangladesh.
Reliance Power, a part of Reliance Group, owns the project through its subsidiary Reliance Bangladesh LNG & Power Limited (RBLPL). The project is being developed with an investment of £691m ($833m).
Pre-construction activities on the project site began in March 2016, following primary approvals from the Government of Bangladesh. Site clearance was issued in January 2017.
A temporary jetty will be built covering approximately 1.5 acres to a dredged depth between 3m and 4m on the western bank of the Meghna river. The jetty will be used to transport material and components during the construction phase.
The project is expected to generate 1,800 jobs during construction and 160 jobs during operation.
Reliance Meghnaghat power plant location
The plant is being constructed on 35 acres (14ha approximately) of land leased by the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). RBLPL signed the land lease agreement with BPDB in September 2019.
The site is part of a 100-acre leased land that also hosts three more power plants namely Meghnaghat combined-cycle power plant (450 MW), Summit Meghnaghat Power Company (335 MW) and Orion Power Meghnaghat Power Plant (100MW).
The Reliance Meghnaghat combined-cycle power project is one of the four power plants RBLPL plans to develop in Bangladesh, with a combined generation capacity of 3GW. The other three plants will be located at Chittagong (2x750MW) and Maheshkhali (750MW).
The Meghnaghat power plant will have a gross installed capacity of approximately 750MW. It will feature two 242MW GE 9FA gas turbines, electrical generators, two horizontal-type heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), and a 269MW steam turbine generator. It is expected to be operated at an efficiency of more than 60%.
Each turbine will be fitted with a hydrogen/air-cooled electricity generator and a steam turbine. It will also include a closed-loop cooling system for steam condensation along with associated auxiliaries.
Fuel and water supply
Natural gas will be the main fuel for the project, which is suited for both open and combined-cycle operations. It will require approximately 130 million metric cubic feet per day (Mmscfd) of gas at 100% load condition.
PetroBangla, a state-owned company, will supply the regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) required for fuelling the Reliance Meghnaghat combined-cycle power project.
Fuel will be supplied to the project through a proposed 24-inch diameter gas pipeline from Kutumbpur. Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL), a subsidiary of the PetroBangla, is responsible for the pipeline construction.
Water required for the project will be sourced from the Meghna River. It will be drawn at the rate of 1,096m³/hr and discharged at the rate of 206m³/hr.
Off-take agreement and transmission of power
The power generated by the project will be supplied to the national grid through the existing 400kV network operated by Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), the state-owned transmission utility.
Power will be evacuated through the existing 400kV circuits, which are connected to the nearby 230/132kV existing substations at Meghnaghat and Aminbazar.
BPDB signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Reliance, in September 2019, for the offtake of electricity generated by the project. The PPA is valid for a period of 22 years.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Industrial Development Bank (IDB) are co-financing the Reliance Meghnaghat project. ADB has agreed to provide $330m to Bangladesh’s Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (PowerDivision), while IDB will provide the remainder.
The project site is located approximately 36km south-east of Dhaka and 45km from Dhaka Airport.
Road access is through the Dhaka-Chittagong highway located approximately 1km from the site.
Adroit Environment Consultants prepared the environment and social impact (ESIA) report of the project.
Power sector in Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s electricity consumption per capita is one of the lowest in Asia, with just 68% of the population having access to electricity. At 348kWh, the per capital generation too is lower compared to other developing countries.
Bangladesh has set a goal to increase its GDP by 7% annually, which requires the power supply to grow at the rate of 10% a year.
The total installed power generation capacity in Bangladesh was 13,179MW, as of March 2017.
RBLPL’s investments in Bangladesh will complement the nation’s vision to provide electricity to all by 2021, as outlined by the government’s Power Sector Master Plan 2010. RBLPL has also proposed to construct a LNG terminal with a floating storage re-gasification unit (FSRU).