Dilemma over selling Barapukuria power plant's ash

Dilemma over selling Barapukuria power plant’s ash

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Power Development Board (PDB) is in dilemma over selling dry fly ash of Barapukiria unit-3 coal-fired power plant as the lone bidder proposed to buy it at Tk 550 per tonne.

According to sources at PDB, the price is 55.36 percent less than the one the same company gave for its fly ash of two other units.

They said Olympic Cement Limited, a local contractor, had won a contract in 2015 to buy the fly ash at Tk 1232 per metric tonne from Barapukuria power plant’s unit-1 and unit-2, each having generation capacity of 125 MW.

Once the PDB failed to pick up a responsive bidder for Unit-3, the same company participated in the tender process and proposed to buy the fly ash at Tk 550 per tonne.

Officials said the PDB moved to sell its dry fly ash of Unit-3 having 175 MW generation capacity at Tk 1232 per tonne considering it as the bottom price. But when it floated tender with this price, it failed to get bidder.

The Unit-3 is consuming 2,600 metric tons of coal and produces 400-450 metric tons of fly ash which is being preserved at an ash pond located within power plant area. The ash pond has also been receiving ash from Unit-1 and Unit-2.

A Power Division document, obtained by UNB, shows that the authorities first invited an open tender on 16 October, 2016 and then on 21 November, 2017 for selling the fly ash of Unit-3.

But all the three bidders came out to be non-responsive by evaluation of the tender evaluation committee (TEC).

Again the PDB floated a fresh tender on January 18, 2018 for the third time. This time, among three bidders, Olympic Cement Limited came out to be the lone responsive bidder in the tender evaluation process

“Interestingly, the quoted price of the Olympic Cement for dry fly ash surprised the authorities as it was found to be at Tk 550 per metric ton which is 55.36 percent less than the estimated price”, said an official of the PDB on condition of anonymity.

He, however, said the Olympic Cement earlier signed a contract to buy fly ash from Unit-1 and Unit-2 at Tk 1232 per metric ton. But suddenly, the company stopped receiving the fly ash from the Barapukuria plant showing an excuse that the price of fly ash got a drastic fall in the international market.

He said the only ash pond at Barapukuria is now overloaded and there is no place to preserve the fly ash of Unit-3 at any place of the power project. As a result, the fly ash of the plant is now posing a threat to environment.

Official said the selection of the same bidder for the fly ash of Unit -3 at much lower price, which already violated the existing contract for Unit-1 and Unit-2, put them into dilemma for making decision in this regard.

So, they moved the tender proposal to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for its directive.

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