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25 November, 2015 00:00 00 AM
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Letters to the editor

For oil fired power plant at Rampal : Not too late to take this vital decision

Sir,
Going through the article 'Facts and concerns' in your 'Sunday Special' on 22nd. November, this writer would  like to state the real facts about the quality of Indian coal used in the Khulna Newsprint Mill's coal fired steam power plant back in 1960s. The coal, imported from India, was specified for a maximum of seven percent ash content; but it never had less than ten percent ash, and most consignments came having well over 16 to 17 percent ash! The coal was brought directly in sealed goods wagons by goods trains from India to our mill's railway siding in our coal yard; so there was no possibility of contamination en route or during unloading!
The result was regular fouling of the boiler's air pre-heaters due to high ash deposits there; and the power plant could not give full load. Also it had to be shut down frequently to clean out the pre-heaters and all exhaust gases passages, because of the excessive ash in the coal, which was deposited there! The situation deteriorated so much; that our power shortfall due to boiler fouling reached unacceptable levels! We were forced to convert the boiler fuel and firing system from coal to oil firing (furnace oil)! This also easily increased our steam generation capacity by over 35 percent! By adding more steam tubes and super heater tubes, we could then install, another turbo-alternator, using the excess steam capacity of our same boiler, but with oil firing. We also installed another paper machine; and increased overall plant capacity by another  forty percent of newsprint and mechanical printing paper!
This reality is based on this writer's hands on real life experience, as head of the power plant and overall plant expansion capacity team for which no foreigners were needed, despite the fact that there were even then around thirty foreign pulp and paper makers and other process technicians working there! Apart from the Plant Chief Engineer, all other engineers for running the power plant and engineering departments of the then largest industrial unit of the then EPIDC were local personnel!
We should therefore not be caught out by a repeat of the same problem being repeated again! With oil prices coming down; and oil quality ensured; we will be trapped by the low quality of coal imported from India for this plant; since freight for coal from other sources will be prohibitive! This writer seriously and sincerely believes that in the overall national interest we should seriously go for an oil fired steam power plant at Rampal! It is still not late for taking this important and viral decision!

Engr. S. A. Mansoor
Dhaka.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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