Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said every house of the country have now come under electrification as she announced cent percent electricity coverage after inaugurating 1,320 MW Payra Thermal Power Plant, the largest of its kind.
"The biggest thing is that we have been able to light the houses of every people," she said at the function here.
By opening the coal-fired Payra thermal power plant with Ultra-Supercritical Technology, Bangladesh has achieved another milestone of implementing the government's pledge to bring 100 percent people under electricity coverage by "Mujib Borsho", which is going to end on 31 March.
The prime minister called the March a month of achievement of Bangalees, saying that her government has been able to open the power plant this month when the nation is observing the "Mujib Borsho" marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the country's Independence.
"The journey towards light has started," she said while inaugurating the power plant on Monday.
The premier said that the power plant is a gift for the nation ahead of the holy Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.
Sheikh Hasina, at the time, thanked the Chinese president and the prime minister for their cooperation in setting up the Payra power plant.
The prime minister, in person, visited the district for the first time to open the power plant built here since Bangladesh likewise the world has been rattled with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Payra power plant was built on 1000 acres of land beside the Ramnabad River at Kalapara Upazila of the southern Patuakhali district at a cost of 2.48 billion US dollars and Bangladesh has become the 13th country in the world to use the ultra-supercritical technology in producing power.
The first 660 MW unit of the power plant went into commercial operation in May 2020, utilising the 400 kv Payra-Gopalganj Power Transmission while the second one started operation in December 2021.
Apart from the 1320MW thermal power plant, construction work of another power plant is underway while the government has also a plan to build another 1320MW power plant and a solar system power plant in Payra.
The Payra Thermal Power Plant was developed by Bangladesh China Power Company Limited (BCPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) and Bangladesh's state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL).
Bangladesh-China Power Company (Pvt.) Limited and Consortium of NEPC & CECC signed the EPC contract on 29 March 2016 to implement the Payra 1320 MW Thermal Power Plant Project in the fastest possible time.
Bangladesh is now ahead of India and Pakistan, among the South Asian countries that have brought 98 per cent and 74 per cent of their population under the electricity network, according to data from the World Bank.
The power generation capacity has rocketed to 25,514 MW in February 2022 from 4,942 MW in January 2009. Of them, 1160 MW of electricity is being imported and 19,626 MW is being locally produced.
In 2009, only 47 percent of the population had access to power. Per capita power generation has increased from 220 kWh to 560 kWh and distribution losses of electricity have been reduced by 5.85%.
Electricity has been provided to the local chars Sonarampur, Ashuganj, Rangabali, Monpura, Sandwip, Hatia, Nijhum Island and Kutubdia through submersible cables.
The prime minister released 1320 pigeons, the symbol of peace, after unveiling the nameplate of the 1320MW power plant and went round the central control room of the plant.
Earlier, a guard of honour was given to the premier on her arrival at the helipad adjoining the Payra Thermal Power Plant.
Later, 200 fishermen boats decorated with various colours welcomed Sheikh Hasina by waving flags and playing songs as soon as the prime minister arrived at the coal jetty.
A festive mood has been prevailing in the areas from the tourism spot Kuakata to the Payra power plant and their neighbourhoods which get a facelift with various eye-catching things.
PM's Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, Secretary of the Power Division of the ministry Md. Habibur Rahman, and Ambassador of China to Bangladesh, Li Jiming, spoke on the occasion.
Director General (DG) of BCPCL Engineer AM Khurshedul Alam gave the welcome address.
An audio-video presentation on the progress of the power sector and the Payra Thermal Power Plant was also screened on the occasion.
The ministry presented the prime minister a memento while a song titled "O jonaki ki shukkhe oi dana duti melechho(On what ecstasy, oh firefly, spread up your' s those twin wings)" dedicated to Sheikh Hasina was played.