The Bangladesh government has cancelled 10 planned coal-based power plants after taking their environmental impact into consideration.
The Integrated Energy and Power Masterplan needs to set the coal-based power generation target at a reasonable level while taking the overall situation into consideration, said State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid at a press conference at the Secretariat in Dhaka Sunday.
The power plants were part of the 2010-2011 electricity masterplan but were not implemented in time. There was a discussion about scrapping the projects at the time.
In addition, Bangladesh’s signing of the Paris Agreement and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s role as the chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum have made it “essential for us to generate electricity through more environmentally friendly means”, he said.
Since 2008, Bangladesh had approved the construction of 18 coal-based power plants. Now 10 of them have been cancelled.
The Ministry of Power had proposed scrapping the projects for the past few years as work stalled.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to cancel the plants because they were not built in time,” he said. “There won’t be a shortage of electricity due to their cancellation. New plans will be made for the future after analysing how much power each area needs.”
“Considering the power plants we have and those to be added, the 13,000 MW power plant should be excessive by 2041.”
In its ‘masterplan’ for the power sector, the government had set a target of producing 60,000 MW of electricity by 2041. The plan had estimated that 35 percent of this would be produced by gas and LNG, 35 percent from coal, 15 percent from imported and renewable fuels, 10 percent from nuclear power and 5 percent from oil.
But several organisations have pushed the government to revise its plans as coal is harmful to the environment. They also advised increasing the share of renewable energy sources as an alternative.
In the past few years, several international donors have also changed their stance on the issue, which has led to uncertainty for the future of coal-based power projects.
The masterplan for the power sector adopted in 2010 is reviewed every five years, Hamid said.
“The past year and a half have seen a worldwide change in energy and power due to the COVID pandemic. We have to rethink the situation because of new technology, new possibilities and changes in energy prices.”
PLANTS CHOPPED BY THE GOVERNMENT:
Two 660 MW coal-based power plants in Patuakhali
1,200 MW super thermal power plant in north Bangladesh
522 MW coal-based power plant project in Mawa
282 MW coal-based power plant project in Dhaka
282 MW coal-based power plant project in Chattogram
565 MW coal-based power plant project in Khulna
1,320 MW coal-based power plant construction project in Moheshkhali
700 MW Bangladesh-Singapore ultra super critical coal-based power plant construction project
1,200 MW CPGCBL-Sumitoma ultra super critical coal-based power plant construction project