The cost of the 1,200-megawatt coal-fired power plant project at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar is likely to go up by 44.10 per cent to Tk 51,854.88 crore from Tk 35,984.46 crore.
The duration of the project, a fast track one and funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is likely to be extended by three more years to 2026 from the present deadline of 2023, said planning ministry officials.
The Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited which is implementing the project submitted a proposal to the Planning Commission seeking both the cost and the time extension of the project.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council is expected to review the proposal in a meeting on Tuesday.
When contacted, power plant project director Abul Kalam Azad on Sunday expressed unwillingness to disclose the reasons for the proposed cost hike of the power plant, saying that he is busy.
Planning Commission officials said that the inclusion of new components and the cost hike of some old components had been cited by the CPGCL in its proposal.
Developing a township in the project site and dredging to maintain navigability of the channel up to the jetty for coal transportation are the main new components, they said.
The officials said that the construction cost of boilers had been proposed to be increased by Tk 650.85 crore from Tk 8,037 crore.
The CPGCL has also proposed an increase in the costs of turbines and generators by Tk 642 crore from Tk 4,579 crore and the handling of coal and ash by Tk 192 crore from Tk 2,223 crore.
The project was taken in 2014 and a consortium of Japanese companies Sumitomo, Toshiba and IHI was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the project, in August 2017.
The JICA’s loans of Tk 28,939 crore for the original project are likely now to go up at Tk 43,921 crore as per the CPGCL proposal, said the Planning Commission officials.
A report by the London-based Financial Times on Jul 22, 2021 said that Japan’s financing of Matarbari plant embodied the tensions in the country’s fossil fuel policies as it risks falling out of step with moves to promote renewable energy at home and abroad.
The physical progress of the Matarbari coal fired-plant project until October 20 had been around 60 per cent, according to a report of the Planning Commission on fast track projects.
Since 2013, the government has started identifying some projects as fast track projects for their timely implementation.
Planning Commission officials said that almost all fast track projects saw cost and time overrun.
Dohazari-Ramu-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line, Padma Multipurpouse Bridge, Padma Bridge Railway Link, Payra Port and Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant are among the projects branded as fast track projects.