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Bangladesh’s transmission projects held up due to COVID-19 [free access]

May 12, 2020

The implementation of Bangladesh’s power transmission projects has been severely impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, the large number of projects awarded to Chinese contractors or that employed Chinese subcontractors/workers are getting delayed, due to the workers and/or equipment from China not being able to reach Bangladesh.

 

Some key domestic projects affected are the Southwest transmission grid expansion project; Infrastructure development for power evacuation facilities of Rooppur nuclear power plant (RNPP); Replacement of Ashuganj old 132 kV air-insulated switchgear (AIS) substation by new 132 kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation project; and Development of transmission infrastructure at the Mirsharai Economic Zone for reliable power supply.

 

Of the above, the Southwest transmission grid expansion project is very crucial. On completion, the project is supposed to provide more efficient power transfer to the load centres of the southern and western zones. It involves the construction of the 126-km-long, 230 kV Barisal–Faridpur and the 104 km-long, 400 kV Bogra–Rohanpur transmission lines, along with substations, transformers, and associated extensions and connections. The project is slated for completion by June 2023.

 

The power evacuation facilities of the RNPP entail the construction of 609-km-long (20-km river crossing), 400 kV power lines along with eight 400 kV bay extensions and 60-km-long, 230 kV power lines along with four 230 kV bay extensions. This will help with qualitative upgradation of the country’s power system for the integration and safe operation of the NPP. The project is slated for completion by December 2022.

 

The modernisation the Ashuganj old substation will reduce the chances of grid failure and ensure reliable power supply to Dhaka as well as Ashuganj and its neighboring areas. The project is expected to be completed by December 2020.

 

The transmission infrastructure project at the Mirsharai Economic Zone entails the construction of about 17-km-long, 400 kV double-circuit power line, and a 230/33 kV (2x120/180 MVA) GIS substation and extension of another 230 kV GIS substation with two new 400 kV bays. The project is slated for completion by June 2020.

 

Cross-border projects have also been affected, including the 500 MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) back-to-back station at Comilla North (Bangladesh) for transfer of power through Surjamaninagar (India)–Comilla North,  and the 400 kV Rahanpur to Monakasha border transmission line in Chapainawabganj district to import power from India (Jharkhand) to Bangladesh. The projects are expected to be completed by December 2020 and December 2021, respectively.