Sylhet power plant award proposal sent back
Tuesday, 08 January 2008

Staff Correspondent
A cabinet body on Sunday approved seven costly short-term rental power plants while it sent back a proposal to accept the single bid of an Indian company for setting up 100MW unit at the proposed 150MW Sylhet power plant.

The adviser council’s purchase committee, headed by finance adviser Mirza Azizul Islam, approved the Power Division’s proposal of selection of four joint venture and foreign companies for setting up the seven rental plants with a combined capacity of around 260MW.

The committee didn’t approve the bid for setting up another 50MW rental power plant at Ashuganj as the price offered, by the responsive bidder Alstom Rental Power Company, was too high.

The committee approved selection of Energy Prima Consortium for setting up Shahjibazar 50MW, Kumargaon 50MW, Fenchuganj 50MW and Bogra 20MW power plants. The consortium offered to sell per unit of electricity to the government at 4.517 US cents from Shahjibazar, 4.148 cents from Kumargaon, 4.65 cents from Fenchuganj and 3.6 cents from Bogra.

It selected the bid of Kaltimax Energy and GBB consortium, which offered to sell electricity at 5.198 cents, setting up a 30MW power plant in Bhola.

The committee approved selection of Aggreko Power for 40MW diesel-run power plant in Khulna and Alstom for 20MW diesel-run plant in Bheramara. Aggreko offered 19.71 cents per unit while Alstom 21.77 cents.

The selected companies will set up readymade second-hand power plants within three to four months and the Power Development Board will purchase electricity from these plants for three years.

Apart from high price of electricity, the bidding process for the power plants caused controversy as different quarters raised the questions about the selected companies. The price of per unit electricity from these plants would be between Tk 2.52 and Tk 3.63 for gas-based plants and around Tk 14.00 for diesel-run plants. The PDB’s generation cost for gas-run plants is around Tk 1.30 while the cost for diesel-run plants is higher than Tk 14.00 for which PDB doesn’t want to set up diesel-run plants.

A Bangladeshi joint venture, Green Power Consortium, which offered the lowest prices for Ashuganj and Bhola plants, alleged that the tender evaluation committee didn’t give it scope for clarifying its alleged deficiency in the submitted bids.

Besides, power sector business people in the country alleged that although Kaltimax didn’t have rental power plant experience, it was selected for Bhola plant. The Kaltimax submitted documents showing experience but its website shows that it has no rental power plants anywhere.

Mirza Aziz said after the meeting that they had gone through all the allegations made by different quarters and didn’t find the allegations substantiated.

He said they would give the PDB subsidy to purchase power from these rental power plants. Power secretary M Fouzul Kabir Khan said they wanted to set up the three-year rental plants to mitigate ongoing power crisis as around 2-3 years would be needed to set up the big plants like 450MW Sirajganj and 450MW Bibiyana power plants.

Mirza Aziz told reporters that the committee sent back the Power Division’s proposal to award a Tk 495 crore turnkey contract to the single bidder Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited for setting up the 100MW single cycle unit at the proposed 150MW Sylhet combined cycle plant.

He said the tender procedure wasn’t followed properly and the revised ‘development project proposal’ that sought more allocation for the plant was yet to be approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council.

He said the PDB might have to invite re-tender for the plant, if it fails to clarify the tender procedure and get approval of the ECNEC.

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