The government is counting a monthly loss of Tk 130 crore due to delay in laying a high-priority transmission line that would take electricity from the Payra power plant to Dhaka across the River Padma.
According to official sources, the amount is being paid as “capacity payment” to 1320 MW Payra power plant, a Bangladesh-China joint venture project, which is now ready to supply electricity to the national grid for distribution in Dhaka adjoining areas.
In this case the capacity payment means the government’s commitment to purchase power generated at the plant at an agreed-upon rate. The government still has to pay the plant for its generation (capacity) even if it is unable to buy the electricity from it.
The government is not ready to purchase electricity from the plant as it has failed to complete work on the 164.6 km 400 kV double-circuit transmission line that would supply power from Mongla to Dhaka’s Aminbazar via Maowa connected by the national grid.
The project has hit some hurdles in crossing the mighty river, where a multipurpose bridge is being built to connect Dhaka with the country’s south-western region.
The official document of Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), the implementing agency, shows the project was scheduled to be implemented by December 2020. After repeated extensions, the schedule has now been set for December 2021.
Officials, however, apprehend the project might not be completed even by the latest deadline due to a major constraint in the work on crossing Padma River.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, acknowledged the loss government is incurring and the hurdles the project is facing.
“We are trying to resolve the issue,” he told UNB adding “We have nothing else to do but to wait.”
Power Division officials blamed the excessive delay on Padma Bridge construction authority which was tasked to lay foundations for the construction of towers within the river area.