The Rampal Power Plant is an under construction coal-firedpower station Rampal Upazila of Bagerhat District in Khulna, Bangladesh whichcapacity will be 1320 megawatt and after implementation, it will be the largestpower plant of BD.
This project will occupy an area of over 1834 acres islocated 14 km north of the world’s largest mangrove forest Sundarbans.Bangladesh India friendship powercompany (BIFPC), consists of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), India& Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPBD), is executing this megaproject. Bangladesh & India government both are providing 15% of thisproject. Another 70% is financing Exim Bank, India. As coal-fired power plant has high negative impact on theenvironment, environmentalists have taken position against this project fromthe beginning of this project. They claims that fly ash, bottom ash which contains As, Pb , Hg, Ni, Cd, Cr, Ra like toxics & radioactivemetals, will produce from this power plant & these toxics will cause forvarious diseases (particularly lungs diseases) of the natives & destroy environmentalbalance.
From former experiences & calculations, this project will affect 25km radius from the project place.Hence, Sundarbans is 14 km far away thisproject, so it will suffer for this project. Besides, the plant will need toimport 4.7 million tons of coal per year, vessels will use for carrying thecoal & these vessels will use the root of Poshur river which flows insidethe Sundarbans.These vessels will produce sound which will disturb the animalsdaily life.
Also, Pashur is not a deep river & waves produced by vesselswill cause for sedimentation of the river & gradually it will lose itsnavigability.For containing its navigabilility, dredging is must. But dredginghas a great impact on the river’s ecosystem & the ecosystems arecorrelated.
So, the entire ecosystem ofSundarbans will affected. Moreover, the coal carrying vehicles are not oftencovered. Environmentalists are suspecting that the vehicles may disperse large amountof sulphar, coal dust, fly ash & other toxic chemicals throughout the lifeof the project.
These will pollute water of the river & will reach insidethe forest because of the tide.Also the power plant will use 219,600 cubicmeters of water everyday from the Poshur river & will discharge treatedwaste water back into the river. The treated water will pollute the river’swater & will increase overall temperature of the river.
Because of pollution& temperature rising, the river species will fall in trouble & some ofthem will migrate & others will disappear. This power plant will alsoproduce huge amount of SO2, NO2 which are highly toxic gases. The government of Bangladesh rejects the allegations that thecoal-based power plant would adversely affect the world’s largest mangroveforest. Government is saying that the plant will not have any negative effecton the mangrove forest because the plan & design of this project is highlysophisticated & environment conscious. They explained that high qualitycoal will be imported from Australia/Indonesia.
The coal will contain lowsulpher & low ash . The design has incorporated the system for a Flue GasDesulfurization (FGD) plant which will take out 98% of sulpher from coal.Similarly low knox burner will take care of 95% of NO2. Mercury, ash &other heavy heavy metals will precipitate by Electrostatic Precipitator(ESP).The requirement of water use will be minimized by dry ash collection method& closed loop water recycling.
The temperature difference between intake& discharge water will be restricted to 2 degree Celsius by usingMultistage Effluent Treatment. After treatment, the gases will be emitted by a275 m tall chimney which will not affect the environment around the powerplant. The government also ensuring that,during transportation, the coal willbe specially covered. So, there is no chance for scattering.Also, the plantwill have a completely covered coal storage for three months reserve.Governmentrules out the claim about noise pollution .
Besides, the fly ash will be takenaway from the plant by the cement factories of the region. The producedcarbon-dy-oxide will convert into supercritical carbon-di-oxide which has manyapplications. Coping with the increasing populations power requirement,weneed to establish power plant.But we also have to concern about our environmentspecially Sundarbans, the ‘lungs’ of our country.Every species are supportingthemselves for containing the balance of the ecosystem of Sundarban.Ifecosystems collaspe, Sundarban will destroy gradually.After all, considering allaspects, it is impossible to keep the pollution at level zero of the powerplant.
If we & our government may conscious about the pollution ,pollution’s impact on nature & we all have true patriotism & environment friendly behaviour ,we will bebenefited from this power plant. In future, we have to consider renewable friendly sources (like solar) for generating power like otherenvironment conscious country.