http://newagebd.net/45451/phulbari-project-misleading-information/#sthash.elAykTrK.dpbs The Phulbari tragedy of August 26, 2004 was definitely an unnecessary event but it was also the turning point of the campaign by local people against the onslaught by Asia Energy imposing a disastrous mine on them. Only human sacrifice could stop them, at least for some time, and people since then have been on guards with determination to halt any further move of Asia Energy on their soil. Forrest Cookson’s article (Some misleading information about Phulbari project, Op-Ed, New Age, September 2) was an odious attempt to undermine the national committee to protect oil, gas, mineral resources, power and ports for its efforts to stand by the people to be affected by the proposed Phulbari coal mine. As an economic consultant, retired, Cookson did the detailed cost-benefit analysis of the Phulbari project for Asia Energy and also a socio-economic survey of the Phulbari area; and now he is reaffirming his stand in favour of Asia Energy. The main question is: if the project was beneficial to the people, then why were they giving life to stop this project? By the cost-benefit that analysis he did, it was definitely beneficial to Asia Energy through a cooked report; but the project would have created havoc in the area from its very start. We, environmental activists of the national committee to protect oil, gas, mineral resources, power and ports, always suggest four steps of studies of any type of development project — economic viability, technical feasibility, social acceptability and environmental impact. An open-pit mining at Phulbari could be made economically viable by created data; but in the real sense, its land cost, compensation cost for houses and crops, rehabilitation cost, excavation cost, de-watering cost, operation cost, etc, together may surplus the benefit that was to be achieved. A modelling institute may find whatever amount of annual de-watering could be possible by calculation but may not be possible in the real sense. For social acceptability, what alternate livelihoods were offered to the people? We cannot ignore its environmental impact in multifarious directions. If all the studies mentioned above are done properly and made public, there remains no ambiguity; and only then, a really good project brings no disaster but brings joy to all stakeholders. Cookson claimed that Phulbari coal would have been low-cost power generating source compared with the rental power costs. His benefit projections are made without considering all the costs to be incurred for developing the mine. His revenue estimates are ambiguous. People in this country have no interest in the share price index of Asia Energy. The mine and the adjacent area will definitely turn into a desert if it can be developed in keeping with the de-watering model proposal. But in our view, it is an impossible task to de-water and withstand more than 300m deep ditch into the Dupi T
The consultant would also guide the company in finding cost-effective coal sources for the ultra super-critical coal power project. It would suggest countries from which coal could be imported or if the power company purchased a coal mine in Indonesia or any other coal exporting country.
http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/tender-late-this-month-40131 Running almost a year behind schedule, the Bangladeshi-India Friendship Power Company is going to float a tender in late October to build the proposed 1,320-megawatt coal power plant in Rampal close to the Sundarbans. The company would ask bidders to arrange financiers to build the power plant. The project would need $1.7 billion investment, 30 percent of which would be funded by the friendship power company, while the rest to be derived from single or multiple international financiers. “We have appointed German consultant Fichtner as the owner's engineer,” said VS Kamrakar, managing director of the company. Fichtner has already finalised the project design memorandum. Kamrakar said within late October, Fichtner would complete the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) tender documents and an international open tender would follow. The consultant would also guide the company in finding cost-effective coal sources for the ultra super-critical coal power project. It would suggest countries from which coal could be imported or if the power company purchased a coal mine in Indonesia or any other coal exporting country. The contact for construction of the Rampal power plant was expected to be awarded by January to February next year, said Kamrakar. After the Bangladesh-India Friendship company was formed in 2012, it was thought that the EPC contract would be awarded by early 2014, with the target to begin commercial power generation from 2017. The Indian National Thermal Power Company (NTPC) and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) hold equal stakes in this joint venture company. Located 14 kilometres northwest of the Sundarbans and four kilometres from the declared ecologically critical area (ECA), selection of the Rampal site for the plant drew huge flak from the public. The government has been defending its selection saying the plant would not affect the world's biggest mangrove forest. An environment impact assessment (EIA) for the project prepared by the Centre for Environment and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) was approved by the environment ministry last year. The plant would use surface water from the Passur river so that the project does not affect underground water table. It also includes residential and social facilities, water treatment plant, sub-station, jetty, coal handling system and coal silo, ash handling and disposal facilities, and switchyard, including sub-station. The project area spreads on more than 1,834 acres of land, all of which has been acquired. As per a government decision, for every kilowatt power sale from this plant, the Rampal locality would get Tk 0.03. This roughly totals Tk 27 crore or more a year. This fund would be used for building roads, hospitals and other infrastructure in Rampal. Other than fears of emission of harmful chemicals from the plant, experts say transport of imported coal throu
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