Coal from India won’t be used as fuel at Rampal power plant: company

The coal imported from India will not be used as fuel for the thermal power plant in Bagerhat’s Rampal, the authorities have said.

The consignment of 3,800 tonnes of coal will be used for the construction of one of four stockyard floors, Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Ltd said in a statement on Saturday.

The company will never import coal from India to fuel the plant. It is sourcing the coal for fuel from Indonesia, Australia or South Africa. A tender has been called for the procurement of the coal for fuel as well, according to the statement.  

The consignment of Indian coal left the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port of Kolkata for Bangladesh on Friday, The Hindu Business Line reported.

The exporter of coal is Godavari Commodities and it is handled end to end by ZS logistics, the company said in a statement

It expects 20,000 tonnes of Indian coal to be sourced from SMP Kolkata to Bangladesh every month.

The Bangladesh government has recently cancelled 10 planned coal-based power plants after taking their environmental impact into consideration.

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”, said State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu.

Since 2008, Bangladesh had approved the construction of 18 coal-based power plants, including the 10 scrapped now.

Activists have for years demanded that the government scrap the 1,300MW Rampal Power Plant project as well due to its close proximity to the Sundarbans mangrove forest.

The transportation of coal, waste materials and ashes or smoke will damage the environment of the area, they warned.

The government claims that the use of modern technology will minimise the environmental damage.

India’s Exim Bank has provided $1.6 billion loans to build the $2 billion plant. Indian state firm Bharat Heavy Electricals is constructing the plant.