However, Petrobangla is maintaining silence on developing the Phulbari coal-fired plant project, as planned mining there by Asia Energy was foiled by bloody resistance by affected locals.
While addressing a seminar recently, Dr Sultan Ahmed, director of the Directorate of Environment, said quality of coal and transportation of the fuel are the main concerns regarding the coal-fired power projects. - See more at: http://www.daily-sun.com/details_Experts-suggest-less-import,-more-use-of-cheap-local-coal_756_1_1_1_5.html#sthash.2tYa4Tha.dpuf
The government is putting high emphasis on coal-based electricity generation, with a long-range target of producing 20,940 megawatts of electricity by 2030, but opting for greater use of imported coal despite huge deposits of the fuel lying unused in local mines.
As planned, 8,000 megawatts of the electricity will be produced from local coal while the rest 12940MW from imported coal.
The government has already chalked out a plan to achieve its electricity-generation target using imported coal alongside local coal that lies in huge reserves in the country’s five coalfields.
However, energy experts said it would be impossible to produce such a huge volume of electricity from imported coal as power-generation cost would be much higher—hence, not viable—in that case.
Policymakers say political consensus is a must to go for extracting large quantities of coal lying in the local coal fields unused for ages.
“If you go for imported coal, power tariffs would be between Tk 7 and Tk 8 per unit with coal price at $140-$150 per tonne. The tariff will come down to Tk 4.50 per unit if local coal is used for power generation,” said Prof M Tamim, former energy adviser of a caretaker government.
He also said a sustainable electricity-production method would keep the power tariff at Tk 5-6 per unit. “LNG would not be sustainable method as only few countries like Japan use LNG for electricity generation.”
BD Rahmatullah, former director-general of Power Cell of the power ministry, said, “The government should keep the power tariffs at tolerable level through exploration of local coal and gas which are the cheapest fuels for power generation.”
Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury said the Prime Minister identified the Rampal power project as one of the six fast-lane projects to be implemented on a priority basis.
“We will adopt ultra-supercritical technology in the Rampal power project and implement it quickly, also maintaining the highest standard,” the PM’s adviser said.
“Our government will give top priority to coal-based electricity generation,” State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid said.
“Initially, we will use imported coal for electricity production as it would be very tough to produce large volume of electricity using local coal. We need political consensus to extract large quantity of coal for power generation,” the state minister told daily sun.
He said they want to finalise the coal and energy policies immediately as the demand for gas is increasing day by day. Also, the government is focusing implementation of half of the power projects depending on coal as alternative to gas.
He said the government will implement the coal-fired projects maintaining all the compliances and using proven technologies.
As of January 2014, the country has a gas reserve of 15.32 trillion cubic feet (t
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