- Power import from the plant will be possible from the middle of next March
- 750MW will be available from the plant’s first unit
- Govt is looking for alternative sources of energy to provide affordable, uninterrupted electricity
Indian business conglomerate Adani Group will export electricity from its Godda 1,600MW Power Plant, which is now under construction at Pathargama of Godda in Jharkhand, to Bangladesh from next March.
The update comes after the project missed several deadlines, the last being 16 December the previous year.
“A dedicated transmission line has been built to supply electricity from the plant to Bangladesh. Power import from the plant will be possible from the middle of next March,” Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, said after visiting the project site on Tuesday, according to a press release.
“Around 750MW [megawatts] electricity will be available from the plant’s first unit. But we need more electricity to meet demand next summer.
“Besides, we are looking for alternative sources of energy because we are working to provide affordable, uninterrupted electricity on a priority basis,” he added.
Power Division Secretary Md Habibur Rahman and BPDB Chairman Engineer Md Mahbubur Rahman also visited the site.
Meanwhile, local and international energy think tanks, including the Center for Policy Dialogue and the USA-based Institute of Energy and Economic Financial Analysis (IEEFA), have found that the cost of the Adani Power Plant will be an expensive source for Bangladesh.
IEEFA, an institute that examines energy markets, trends, and policy issues, claimed that the Adani Godda coal-fired power plant will supply costly power to Bangladesh and add pressure to hike power tariffs.
The tariff for power sold from the Godda plant to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will be almost double the initial expectation, notes a report released on 13 December 2022 from its Australian office.
Simon Nicholas, author of the IEEFA report, “Carmichael Coal Is Not Reducing Poverty in South Asia,” said coal is being imported from Carmichael (in Queensland, Australia) and railed 700 kilometres from port to the Godda power plant in Jharkhand state of India.
“The full cost of this is being passed on to Bangladesh. Power from Godda will then be exported to Bangladesh, reportedly costing almost double the initial expectation at around US$150/megawatt hour [MWh].”
Nicholas said the original plan for Godda was to use coal mined in Jharkhand, but it was later changed to use Carmichael coal.
The BPDB then entered into a power purchase agreement that allowed Adani to import coal into an Indian coal-mining state from Australia and pass the total cost on to Bangladesh.
Initially, the cost per kilowatt-hour (or a unit) of electricity from the Godda plant was estimated at Tk8.71. But BPDB officials fear that it will be around Tk15 due to the high cost of coal in the international market and high capacity charges.
Bangladesh is importing 1,160MW of electricity from India’s eastern and western regions through two cross-border lines.
According to the contract inked in 2017, Adani Power was supposed to supply 1,496 MW of electricity for 25 years from December 2021.
Due to the pandemic, however, the project completion was delayed and rescheduled for December 2022.