A vessel laden with 20,000 tonnes of coal reached the jetty of the Payra port yesterday for the first time in the history of the port.
“It is a memorable day for us as it has been the first coal vessel to reach the jetty of our seaport,” said Commodore Md Saidur Rahman, a member for harbour and marine at the Payra Port Authority (PPA).
The PPA managed all the works related to bringing the coal from Indonesia to Bangladesh, he said.
“The efforts would give a boost to the steps taken by the government to speed up industrialisation in the area.”
Bangladesh’s Bencon Seatrans Ltd imported the coal as port agent with the help of Germany’s Oldendorff Carriers Ltd through Xin Hai Tong 8, a bulk carrier of Hong Kong.
Mohammad A Malek, managing director of Bencon Seatrans, said his company would import all the coal needed for the Payra power plant through the port.
Bangladesh-China Power Company (Pvt) Ltd (BCPCL), a joint venture, would import 40 lakh tonnes of coal through Payra, which will boost the port’s earnings, Rahman said.
“No pollution will occur in the process of coal import. There will be cover on both the conveyer belt and coal to ensure that the environment remains unharmed,” said AM Khorshedul Alam, BCPCL’s managing director.
Three more coal-laden vessels will reach the port on September 25 and 26, Alam told journalists at an event on the occasion yesterday.
“Regular coal import will start from the first week of October.”
The power plant will start functioning as soon as coals reach Payra port, he said.
The first unit of the plant will start producing around 660-megawatt electricity from the next December for the national grid, Alam said.
Construction of several structures like jetties, terminal, connecting roads and bridges is going on under the supervision of a Korean consultancy firm.
The port may start its full-fledged operation by 2022, said its officials.
On August 13 in 2016, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the operational activities of Payra port as the country’s third seaport.