The Rampal Thermal Power Plant in Khulna began power generation again on an experimental basis on Friday, a month after the first trial production halted due to cyclone Sitrang.
Under the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited (BIFPCL), Unit 1 of the plant started generating power in the wee hours of Friday with permission from the National Load Despatch Centre.
The load test of the unit will be attempted to reach 660MW in phases, BIFPCL Deputy General Manager Anwarul Azim told The Business Standard.
He said if the targeted power generation is achieved, the first unit will go into commercial production in December. The second unit is supposed to go into commercial production in June 2023.
Earlier, the experimental power generation of the first unit began on 15 August but halted on 24 October due to cyclone Sitrang. The load test of the unit reached 400MW last time.
Sources related to the project said after several stages of testing, the National Load Despatch Centre will issue the certificate of commercial power generation capacity.
The BIFPCL is expected to supply electricity to the national grid commercially in the month of December. Besides, around 80% work on the second unit has been completed.
To meet the growing electricity demand of the country, an initiative was taken to construct a coal-based Rampal Power Plant in the Sapmari-Katakhali and Kairgdashkathi areas of Rampal upazila of Bagerhat district along the Mongla-Khulna highway.
Bangladesh and India signed an agreement in this regard in January 2010. On 29 January 2012, two countries' state-owned companies Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and NTPC Limited, formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, formed a joint venture company Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (BIFPC).
On 1 August 2013, the power plant received clearance from the Department of Environment.
The construction process of the two-unit power plant with a production capacity of 1,320 MW started on 24 April 2017. At present, the physical progress of this project is about 90%.