Generation drops to less than half | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 19, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 19, 2010

Kaptai Hydropower Plant

Generation drops to less than half

The country's only hydro-powered plant in Kaptai with a capacity of producing 230 megawatts (MW) of electricity is now generating only 96 MW as only two of its units out of five are currently in operation.
The remaining three units are out of order, sources said, adding that unit number four will be activated shortly.
The two other units will also be restored soon, engineer Ferdous Ali, manager of KHPP told the Daily Star, yesterday. Only units two and five are currently in operation, he added.
Two foreign companies-- Italian and Japanese are carrying out the repair work worth Tk 388 crore.
The government will pay back the total amount to the companies within the next 40 years, said Ali.
Jalal Uddin, project director of KHPP, said the restoration works are going at a snail pace due frequent changes of companies which were appointed for repair works. Power production remained at standstill for the last fifteen days as unit one also went out of order.
Every year power generation in the KHPP comes down to 10 to 20 MW during dry season due to a drastic fall in the Mean Sea Level (MSL), which needs to remain at least 88 ft. In dry season MSL drops down to 68 ft.
However, operation resumes in full swing during the monsoon. In spite of having a MSL of 96.45 ft we cannot utilize our capacity to the fullest as three units are currently out of order, said Ferdous Ali.
For the last couple of years, mechanical fault had become a regular phenomenon hampering power production severely.
In the rainy season of 2008, the KHPP had produced 230 MW as all five units were active.
Earlier, in 2008 the government made a contract worth Tk 175 crore with an Italian company for renovating unit three. However work was halted due to fund constraint of the company.
Later, a new contract was made with yet another Italian company but it failed to complete the job within the stipulated time which was last June. A couple of more months may be needed to activate unit three, sources said.
A Japanese company started working on Unit 4 on January 17 2010. Power generation may resume in the unit shortly.
Besides, a contract worth Tk 213 crore was also made with the same company to restore units three and five. They will start working on those as soon as unit four is fully activated.

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