The much-talked about coal-fired power plants to be installed at Rampal and Matarbari would use ‘supercritical’ technology as their officials said that there was no ‘ultra-supercritical’ technology in coal-fired power generation which the government continued to propagate.
Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited managing director Ujjal Kanti Bhattacharya told New Age on October 27, ‘The term ultra-supercritical has been made popular by the manufacturers of steam generators for commercial purposes.’
The friendship company, a 50-50 joint venture of Bangladesh Power Development Board and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation, is implementing the controversial Rampal 1,320MW coal-fired power project near the Sunderbans.
Ujjal said that Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for Rampal plant, would supply steam generator of supercritical technology.
The bid document also required supercritical technology for steam generator.
Ujjal, however, claimed that there were advanced versions of supercritical technology in steam generator plants and one of the versions would be used in the Rampal project.
A top official of Bangladesh Coal Power Generation Company, which would implement Matarbari 1,200MW coal-fired power project, also said that they would use supercritical technology and there was nothing called ‘ultra-supercritical’ technology in coal fired power generation.
The company expects to sign engineering, procurement and construction contract with either of two shortlisted Japanese companies for its Matarbari power plant in a few months, said its managing director Md Abul Kashem.
Officials concerned said that there was no direct relationship between the technologies of steam generator plants and environmental impact of the plants as a better technology would also fire the same amount of coal although it would generate more electricity.
Additional features are required in coal-fired power plants to limit environmental impacts, they said.
In the backdrop of severe criticism against the Rampal power project, the government has been claiming that it would use ‘ultra-supercritical’ technology which would put minimum impact on the Sunderbans, only 14km off the location of the power plant in Bagerhat.
Environmentalists have been pressing the government to relocate the Rampal power plant arguing that emissions of the power plant, and transportation and handling of coal through the Sunderbans would destroy the biodiversity of the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country