May 21, 2013 | 10:35 PM (BD Time)
21 May, 2013 Tuesday
Extra oil use by rental power plants raises import bill
. Anisul Islam Noor
Most rental power plants are illegally using 0.5 litres additional imported oil in power generation violating the agreement with Power Development Board (PDB), which raises the country's import bill in foreign currency.
PDB has identified such 13 power plants and realised US $1,58,397 or around Tk127 crore from the power plants as fine till April.
The errant rental power plants are 55MW Sikalbaha (Chittagong) furnace oil based power plant, RZ power (Thakurgaon) 50MW of Rahimafroz, Meghnaghat 100 MW power plant and Siddirganj 100MW power plant of Orion group, Modonganj (Narayanganj) 102 MW power plant of Summit group, Khulna 115MW power company limited, Ghorashal (Narsingdi) 45MW Agrico power plant-i and 100MW plant-ii, 40MW Khanjahan Ali (Noapara) power plant, 40MW DPA power generation international Ltd at Pagla, Diesel based Deshenergy (Siddhirganj) 95.77MW and 55MW Agrico (Khulna) Power plan. As per the deal, the government provides 0.22 litres imported oil in generating a kilowatt of electricity.
However, the rental power plants are now using 0.26-0.27 litres imported oil to generate a kilowatt of electricity. The government has to provide subsidy in importing oil, though it is a clear waste of the country's forex, experts said.
On the other hand, the rental power plant owners have blamed on the quality of imported oil, which forces them to use additional oil. They denied any waste of oil.
The Ministry of Power and Energy has already formed a committee headed by additional secretary Mofazzal Hossain to investigate and evaluate the matter. Chairman of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) Abu Bakar Siddique denied the allegation of the power plant owners.
"The question of low quality does not arise, as the imported oil is tested at Eastern Refinery in Chittagong before its supply to any power plant," he told The New Nation.
BPC is importing the same quality of 180 TST furnace oil and 25 sulfur diesel as it imported ealier. Some generate estimated electricity using the same quality of oil, why some fail to do so, Abu Bakar questioned.
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