Tuesday, 16 Jul, 2024
Tuesday, 16 Jul, 2024
The Daily Post
Quick Rental Power Plant

Tk 667 crore paid despite sitting idle

Rajshahi Bureau

Tk 667 crore paid despite sitting idle

The Power Division paid Tk 667.59 crore as capacity charge to the Quick Rental 'Northern Power Solutions' (Power Plant) in Rajshahi. The plant was supposed to produce 438 crore units of electricity in 10 years, but it produced 133.89 crore units. Production was halted for seven of the 10 years (2,649 days).

Engineer Enamul Haque, MP from Rajshahi-4 (Bagmara) constituency, owns Northern Power, which is set up on the site of the Power Development Board at Katakhali on the outskirts of the city. The diesel-powered power plant has a generating capacity of 50 MW. It cost Tk 300 crore to build.

According to the Power Development Board (PDB) report, Northern Power Solutions generated 133.89 crore units of electricity for about 10 years from 2011-12 to 2021-22. It costs Tk 2,216 crore to generate this amount of electricity. In the first year, the average production cost per unit was fixed at Tk 15.70. In the next four years, the cost per unit was slightly higher. In the financial year 2020-2021, the production cost of Northern Power's electricity was Tk 10.50 per unit. However, in the last fiscal year 2022-23, the cost of production per unit increased to Tk 25.41. That's a lot more than the previous 10 years.

The report also found that Northern Power Limited produced 24.40 crore units of electricity in 2017-18, the highest in 10 years which cost Tk 308.44 crore. The cost per unit is Tk 12.64. Under the agreement with the government, Northern Power is supposed to operate 303 days a year. But in 2021-22, there were only 55 days in operation. In these 55 days, only 6 crore units of electricity are produced. It has received Tk 84.11 crore from the government as fuel cost to generate this amount of electricity. And the power plant got Tk 1.87 crore for maintenance.

According to sources, Northern Power has been given Tk 8.07 crore in 2011-12 fiscal year, Tk 73.63 crore in 2012-13, Tk 72.06 crore in 2013-14, Tk 72.92 crore in 2014-15, Tk 71.53 crore in 2015-16, 79.15 crore in 2016-17, 2017-18.  Tk 66.97 crore has been paid in 2019-20, Tk 1.68 crore in 2020-21 and Tk 82.58 crore in 2021-22. On the other hand, the power plant was closed for 78 days in 2011-12, 275 days in 2012-13, 246 days in 2013-14, 236 days in 2014-15, 240 days in 2015-16, 210 days in 2016-17, 162 days in 2017-18, 236 days in 2018-19. In 10 years, Northern Power sat idle for 2,649 days. Despite sitting idle, he got Tk 667.59 crore as capacity charge.

Engineer Enamul Haque, owner of Northern Power, said, "We do not want to sit the plant idle. The plant had to be closed half the time due to fuel shortage. The government cannot provide fuel."

Jamil Akhter Khan, manager of Northern Power Limited, said furnace oil is the main fuel for power generation. We go into production as soon as we get instructions from PDB's National Load Dispatch Center. The electricity we generate is connected to the national grid.