POST TIME: 18 September, 2016 12:52:54 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 September, 2016 10:01:15 AM
Siddhirganj costliest plant in the world
Combined cycle power projects

Siddhirganj costliest plant in the world

The Siddhirganj 335-megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant (CCPP) is the most expensive one in the world compared to other similar power plants at home and abroad that have recently been completed.

The Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division (IMED), the government’s watchdog, disclosed this startling fact in its evaluation report recently. 
According to the IMED report, the construction cost per kilowatt (kW) for the Siddhirganj combined power plant involves USD 961 while the second costliest power plant involves USD 854 per kW to construct a similar 747-MW power plant by Pakistan Electric Power Company in Sindh province of Pakistan recently. The third costliest power plant is also in Bangladesh –Haripur 412-MW power plant. The per-kW construction cost for the Haripur power plant was USD 847. 
It cost USD 800 per kilowatt for construction of a 1,500-MW Texas FGE in the US which is the fourth such costliest power plant in the world. 
Another power plant in Bangladesh, Ashuganj 450-MW power plant, however, cost much lower and the per kW cost for the project amounted for USD 317.
The IMED also noted that there was no dual fuel system in the Siddhirganj 335-MW combined power plant. The plant will be dependent only on natural gas instead of a dual fuel system. So, power production may stop if gas supplies are disrupted or postponed. 
The IMED has expressed apprehensions that power production may come to a halt as a result of an interruption or halt in gas supplies in the near future since the agreement to provide gas is only for 18 years. This agreement was signed on August 18, 2015.
On October 5, 2015, Spanish nationals working for power plant construction company Isolux Ingenieria were withdrawn from the project on security grounds. This withdrawal came in the wake of the murders of two foreigners in the country. The state-owned Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB) is implementing the project with joint funding from the World Bank (WB) and the government.
The EGCB has signed an agreement with two foreign construction companies for the Siddhirganj project in Narayanganj district.
The joint venture of Isolux Ingenieria SA and Samsung C&T Corporation, a Spanish-South Korean consortium, obtained the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract and started work in August 2012.
The combined cycle technology allows the plant to produce higher energy with lower gas consumption.
Such cleaner technology reduces carbon emissions while ensuring higher thermal efficiency. The plant will deliver at least 2.49 billion kWh annually, which accounts for 6 per cent of the total electricity delivered to the national grid.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved the project in 2007.
In 2008, the World Bank (WB) provided USD 350 million to construct a 300-MW gas turbine power plant in Siddhirganj.
In the face of increasing power demand and gas shortages, the government decided to convert the peaking power plant to an energy-efficient 335-MW combined cycle power plant.
Later, the WB approved an additional USD 177 million in financing to enhance reliable, low-cost electricity supply in Bangladesh. This additional financing will enable the completion of the construction of the 335-MW combined cycle power plant at Siddhirganj. 
Besides, the government is providing Tk. 609 crore and the EGCB Tk. 435 crore from their own funds.  When project director Nazmul Alam was contacted, he refused to comment on the issue. 
The IMED also noted that there is a contradiction between the bidder and implementing agencies on the issue as there is no clear-cut condition in the agreement. The report also pointed out that though the project work was scheduled to be completed within December 2016, the bidder has completed only 78 per cent of the physical work till date.