Iso Tech to set up 350MW power plant in Borguna district

18 August 2018 | Daily Independent 
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As part of providing electricity across the country, a private power generation company, Iso Tech Electrification Company Limited, will set up a 350-megawatt (MW) coal-based power plant in Barguna district. 
 
The company will implement the power project jointly with China Resource Limited, a Chinese power company, in Nishanbaria area under Taltoli upazila in Borguna district. 
 
“Like other private electricity generation companies, we're working to set up the power plant by 2022 at a cost of USD 540 million,” said Iso Tech Group managing director Md Moinul Alam. 
 
“We'll start generating 307 MW of power against the capacity of 350 MW. The produced electricity will be connected with the national grid,” he added. For setting up the power plant, the Iso Tech has signed an agreement with the Bangladesh Power Development Board. 
 
“We've allocated a total of 300 acres of land for setting up the project,” said the boss of the Iso Tech. 
 

Government to probe ‘illegal’ land acquisition for Barisal power plant

29 October 2018 | Shamim Jahangir | The Daily Sun 
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The government has allowed two separate investigations into ‘illegal’ land acquisition for implementing a coal-fired power plant in Barisal. 
 
A joint team of the ministry of power and energy and Power Development Board (PDB) will investigate the matter and submit a report to the authorities concerned. Besides, PDB will carry out a separate investigation into the issue.  
 
A joint venture of China-based Power China and local ISO Tech Electrification Company Limited will set up the 307MW supercritical coal-fired power plant at a cost of $540 million. A 300-acre site was selected for the project at Angujan village of Taltali upazila in Barguna. The authorities moved to allow the investigation after the villagers formed a human chain to protest against the land acquisition process that they said has left many landowners suppressed by brokers. 
 
On August 2, 2018, the villagers submitted a public petition to prime minister requesting the government to halt the project. Rafiqul Islam Jomaddar, local Nishanbaria Union Parishad panel chairman, forwarded the petition on behalf of the villagers. 
 
Rafiqul alleged that the company was purchasing lands with the help of illegal brokers suppressing the landowners. 
 
Locals said power plant is being constructed in coastal Barguna, an area surrounded by reserved land having wildlife and fish sanctuary. 
 
Talking about the land acquisition issue, ISO Tech site Director Engineer Murad said they have solved all the problems on land acquisition. 
 
BPDB on April 12 signed power purchase agreement with Barisal Electricity Company Limited for 25 years from the commissioning of the Barguna power plant. 
 
The Power Division issued a letter of Intent (LoI) in favour of the company in July 2018. It also received site the clearance certificate in June 2018. 
 
The joint venture company plans to submit the EIA before the department of environment anytime in October, sources concern said. 
 

Power China's subsidiary inks agreement for power station in Bangladesh

19 December 2018 | China Daily.com 
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Power China Hebei Electric Power Design & Research Institute Co, a subsidiary of Power China, signed an agreement for the Barisal 2×350 MW coal-fired power station on Aug 30, 2018, to offer preliminary design and technical consultation services. 
 
It signified the company's further step in expanding the Bangladesh's market after the S. Alam 2×660MW coal-fired power plant. 
 
The Barisal coal-fired power station, located at the Payra Port in Bangladesh, will be invested by Power China Resources Ltd and ISO Tech Group of Bangladesh. It is designed with two 350MW supercritical coal-fired power units, including two phases of construction. 
 
During the signing ceremony, Zhou Xinjun, chairman of Power China Hebei Electric Power Design & Research Institute Co, said that the company will organize a technician team with expertise in overseas projects and exert its technology advantage to build the Barisal plant into a benchmark project following the S. Alam project.

Stop coal-fired power plant in Barguna: TIB

9 February 2019 | The Daily Star 
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Expressing concern over setting up of a coal-based power plant at Nishanbaria union of Barguna, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said the plant will pose risk to the ecology and livelihood of locals. 
 
In a written statement, TIB urged the authorities to immediately stop installation of the power plant -- which has no clearance from Department of Environment, land acquisition, torture on land owner and harassment on locals. 
 
Iso Tech Electrification Company Ltd and Power China are jointly setting up the power plant. 
 
Executive Director of TIB Dr Iftekharuzzaman said though the court has put injunction over land acquisition following a case filed by victims, activities of the project have resumed with the help of administration and police. 
 
Locals who filed cases for compensation are being implicated in false extortion cases, threatened and even being assaulted, says a press release. 
 
Iftekharuzzaman said there is a legal binding of carrying out environmental impact assessment by a neutral, independent and renowned organisation in case of setting up such a facility but it has not been done. Moreover, without taking clearance certificate from Department of Environment, the power plant is being set up near Tengragiri Forest, which is known as the second Sundarbans, he said. 
 
“If the coal-fired plant is set up, it will destroy local biodiversity, especially the sanctuary of animals,” Iftekharuzzaman said. 
 
Though the land is classified as "Khas" (government) land, some brokers introduced them as owners of the land and are selling those to the companies at much cheaper rate than the government price, said TIB. 
 
Terming the project “suicidal”, Iftekharuzzaman called upon the government to cancel the project. 
 

Coal fired power station of Barisal at Cherished goal

7 July 2019 | Sherajul Islam Shiraj | Barta24.com
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Construction work going on for Barisal Coal Power Plant. Photo: Barta24.com
Government had inked deal with a number of companies to build coal fired power stations. Of these the Barisal 307 MW project has done visible progress. The builder Vendor has expressed their determination to go for production by 2022.
 
But the Barisal coal fired power station which is being built by Barisal Power Company presented a different picture. The company signed the contract with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) in 2017. Within a short time they have almost completed the land development work. 
 
Engineer Anowar Hossain informed that about 150 acres of land will be required for the power station. But we are progressing keeping the idea of second phase. It means that to build the second unit another 250 acres of land will be required. We have completed land filling work of 2 hundred acres. The land required for the first unit is now fully developed. 
 
Overall we have completed 70 percent of the land filling work of the two units. We are going to start the construction of civil work including the dormitory building. Anowar Hossain informed that simultaneously work of the main power plant will begin. 
 
Land filling at Barisal Coal Power Plant. Photo: Barta24.com
The complex matter of Bangladesh’s development work is land acquisition and rehabilitation of the affected people. Though such problem existed elsewhere but it was not so much problematic here. Only 132 shelterless families lived here temporarily. They have been given land after purchasing those on behalf of the company. They are now living with satisfaction to a place half a kilometer away from the project site including Ayub Ali. 
 
While visiting the site it was found that hundreds of machineries are running without any recess. Excavators are cutting earth and dressing the land. Heavy goods are being shifted with the help of cranes. Bulldozers are leveling the land while rollers are compacting earth. To ensure compaction water is being dried up buy using hammer. On the West side temporary sheds have been built up by the side of river Payra. 
 
The project is being implemented jointly by ‘Power China Resource Limited’ of China and ‘ISO Tech Electrification Company limited’, an associate of ISO Tech group of Bangladesh.  
 
The project cost has been estimated at Taka 4500 crore (540 million US dollar). According to agreement Vendor will supply electricity to government for 25 years. The price of each unit of electricity has been fixed at Taka 6.77 ( according to the rate of each ton coal at 120 dollars). If the coal price comes down then the price of electricity will also go down.  
 
Managing Director (MD) of ISO Tech group Md. Moinul Alam said that according to the agreement with the government we will have to complete the construction of power plant within 45 months. Several organizations including Power ministry, Land ministry, Environment and Forest Ministry, BIWTA and local administration are directly cooperating with us. So we express are gratitude to them. 
 
The MD said that local people are also helping us. If we don’t get the cooperation of all then we cannot complete the project within the stipulated time. We hope that taking the help of all we would be able to supply power in the national grid within a short time. 
 
He said that our partner ‘Power China Limited’ is a globally reputed coal fired power station builder. They have built coal fired power stations in Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Cambodia and many in many other countries. They are now producing 30 thousand MW of electricity around the world.  
 
In the power station the employment opportunities of 3500 people will be created. We have plans to set up school, college, hospital and different religious institutions in the project site keeping the necessity of the people of the locality. 
 
Barisal Power Company informed that they would sink deep tube wells to ensure pure drinking water as there is dearth of sweet water in the area. 
 
Deputy Commissioner of Barguna, Mostaine Billah told that the power station is the priority project of the government. I think that after completion of the project the economic picture of this area will be changed. We want that the project be implemented. The project people have assured us that they will not do such work which might affect the environment. We are also aware about it.  
 

Coal-fired power plant in Barguna despite environmental concerns

6 Aug 2018 | Sadiqur Rahman | Daily NewAge
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The government is facilitating the implementation of a 307MW coal-fired power plant in coastal Barguna surrounded by reserved lands having wildlife and fish sanctuary.
Amid world-wide concerns over climate change, the government continues promoting coal-fired projects along the climate vulnerable coastal zone in Bangladesh, violating its own promise to reduce carbon emission, said environment experts. 
Bangladesh Power Development Board on April 12 inked power purchase agreement with Barisal Electricity Company Limited for 25 years from the commissioning of the Barguna power plant. 
The company, a multinational venture of China-based Power China and local ISO Tech Electrification Company Limited, would install the supercritical coal-fired power plant at a cost of about $540 million on about 300 acres of land at Angujan village of Taltali upazila in Barguna in 45 months from the signing of the power purchase agreement. 
The company earlier proposed three locations – Taltali and Patharghata of Barguna and Dhankhali of Patuakhali – for the project, but the government approved Taltali surrounded by Tengragiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Laldia reserve forest and the River Payra linked to a Hilsha fish sanctuary in River Andharmanik, commany officials said. 
It is now constructing cofferdam for the project without obtaining environmental clearance from the Department of Environment. 
Local people expressed concern fearing hazardous impact of the coal-based project.  Gazi Chan Miah, president of Taltali unit of Bhumihin Samiti, an association of landless people, said that the project would damage the reserved forest, the natural shield against cyclone. He also expressed fear that effluents from the power plant would contaminate water of the fish hubs and arable lands.  
On August 2, villagers submitted a public petition to the prime minister urging the government to stop the project. Rafiqul Islam Jomaddar, local Nishanbaria Union Parishad panel chairman forwarded the petition on behalf of the villagers. 
Rafiqul alleged that the company was purchasing lands with the help of illegal brokers suppressing the land owners. 
Gazi said that politically influential brokers had forged documents to sell the lands to the company. 
ISO Tech, however, denied the allegation, saying that they purchased the lands from the real owners. ISO Tech managing director Md Moinul Alam said that land development work for the project was launched after getting site clearance as per a ‘no objection’ certification by the government. 
On September 10, 2017, Taltali upazila land office issued a ‘no objection’ certificate for the use of 310 acres of land for the project. 
Taltali range office of the Department of Forest on March 30, 2018 issued another NOC to ISO Tech stating that the ‘already purchased’ 230 acres of project land had no forestland. Moinul said that company purchased 160 acre lands spending Tk 25 crore till August 2. 
Assigned by the power company, private consultancy firm Environmental Quality and Management System completed an Initial Environmental Examination. According to the examination, the power plant would be constructed 6.38 kilometre north of Tengragiri Wildlife Sanctuary, 9.83km east of Laldia reserved forest and on the bank of River Burishwar-Payra estuary in the Bay of Bengal. 
The prefeasibility report by the company shows that the plant would require 1.2-1.5 million tonnes of coal per year. 
Moinul said the coal would be imported from Indonesia and Australia. He said that at least nine covered-vessels with 7000-tonne carrying capacity would transport coals from freighter anchored in the Bay to a coal unloading jetty of the project. 
Sharif Jamil, joint-secretary of environmental NGO Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan, told New Age that the power plant was being installed at the place on one of the three channels of the Ganges downstream for sea fish migration to the mainland water bodies. Citing that ‘supercritical power plant’ became obsolete in the developed world, Sharif said that such plant could not check pollution totally. 
He said, ‘The power plant would badly affect the surrounding forest areas and Hilsha sanctuary as the particular fish species is pollution-sensitive.’ 
Barguna district fisheries officer Shahed Ali said that more than 72,000 tonnes of Hilsha were caught in 2017 in two major rivers crossing over the district. 
He said that industrial installations on the shore of river systems must put negative impacts on the aquatic biodiversity. According to Carbon Brief map, the power plant would emit 1.23 million tonnes of carbon in the air annually. 
Carbon Brief is a United Kingdom-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. US-based CoalSwarm’s Global Coal Plant Tracker estimated that all the announced coal-fired power plants in Bangladesh would emit minimum 56 million tonnes of carbon in the air annually. 
According to a Power Division meeting on September 12, 2017, 21 new coal-fired power plants, including controversial 1320MW Rampal Power Plant at the close proximity of the Sunderbans despite protests in home and abroad, were being implemented in Bangladesh. Thirteen of the plants would be installed in five coastal districts, including Barguna. 
M Shahidul Islam, Dhaka University geography and environment professor, said that the government’s spree to install coal-fired power plants to boost electricity generation went contrary to its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution 2015 to check greenhouse gas emission, in which it promised to cut greenhouse gas emission by 5 per cent by 2030 in the power, transport and industry sectors. ‘All the coal-based projects need to be abandoned immediately,’ he said. 
Environment, forest and climate change minister Anisul Islam Mahmud admitted negative impacts of such projects, but said that the government favoured coal-fired power generation as economically viable choice. 
‘Carbon emission from the coal-fired power plants would be negligible,’ he claimed. 

Another 350 MW coal-fired Power Plant in Barguna

14 January 2019 | Energy Bangla 
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The government is up to set up a 350 MW coal-fired power plant in Taltoli Upazila of Barguna district. The contractors are already preparing the power plant site land. The power plant is expected to begin its operation in 2022. 
 
The project is being jointly implemented by China’s ‘Power China Resource Limited’ and ‘ISO Tech Electrification Company Limited’, a subsidiary of ISO Tech Group of Bangladesh approximately cost of about $540 million. Earlier, ISO Tech has completed the Power Purchase Agreement with the Bangladesh Power Development Board on 12th April of this year. 
 
The entire project will require 300 acres of land and the government will purchase power from this plant for a tenure of 25 years according to the agreement. The tariff to buy power from this plant is settled to 6.77 tk per unit though it’s highly dependable on the market price of coal. 
 
Firoz Chowdhury, the media advisor to ISO Tech said that, they will be installing a hospital having 50 beds in the local vicinity along with other community institution like schools, mosque, temple and madrasa. The project will create 3.5 thousand new employment opportunity, he added.