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PM Sheikh Hasina to inaugurate Matarbari coal-fired plant in Dec

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In a significant development, the inaugural unit of the Matarbari coal-fired power plant located in Maheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar, is set to commence operations by December, injecting an impressive 600 MW of electricity into the national grid. The esteemed inauguration is expected to be conducted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself, as disclosed by project officials earlier this week.

On June 23, a vessel transporting 64,300 tonnes of coal from Indonesia arrived at the Matarbari plant, marking a crucial milestone in the project’s progress. Spanning 1,414 acres of land in Matarbari and Dhalghata unions of Maheshkhali upazila, Cox’s Bazar district, this 1200 MW power plant was constructed with Japanese funding on the coastal area, accompanied by the development of port infrastructure and a jetty dedicated to coal unloading from ships.

The ongoing efforts by the Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCL), the implementing company for this mega project, are evident during recent visits to the site. Remarkably, the jetty for coal discharge near the power plant is nearing completion, with vessels already making use of the facility. The transformation of the area due to this project has been significant, according to officials.

The operational phase of the power plant will require a daily supply of 13,104 tons of coal, necessitating the construction of coal discharge jetties and silos. A massive 90-acre ash pond and a second 600-acre one have been established for ash storage during the plant’s projected 25-year lifetime. Furthermore, an 80-acre coal yard has been prepared for efficient coal storage.

An agreement signed in 2014 between the Government of Bangladesh and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) outlines the project’s funding details, with an estimated cost of Tk 51,800 crores. While JICA will provide Tk 43,921 crore as project support, the remaining Tk 7,933 crore will be sourced from the Bangladesh Government and CPGCBL’s own funds.

Progress on the project has been substantial, with approximately 95 percent of the jetty and physical infrastructure already completed, and 90 percent of the overall physical infrastructure work accomplished. Nazmul Huq, Executive Director of the Matarbari coal-fired plant project, has expressed confidence that the power plant will be operational at 600 MW capacity even before the formal inauguration in December, aiming for full functionality by January 2024 when the first unit is scheduled to be commissioned. The second unit is expected to follow suit in July, with both units contributing to the national grid.

Executive Director Huq has also assured that strict environmental measures are being adhered to, with minimal impact on the environment during coal transportation and usage. The implementation ensures that coal is directly transported from the jetty to the plant, preventing environmental pollution.

As the Matarbari Coal Power Project gains momentum, it stands as a priority project for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, further exemplifying the nation’s commitment to expanding its energy infrastructure and ensuring a sustainable future.

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Quota Reform Leaders Reject Govt Talks, Vow to Continue Protests

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Quota Reform Leaders Reject Govt Talks, Vow to Continue Protests

Leaders of the quota reform movement have resolutely refused to negotiate with the government, insisting that their movement will persist until their demands are met.

In a Facebook post, Hasnat Abdullah, a coordinator of the movement, declared, “No discussion through stepping onto blood.”

Asif Mahmud, another prominent leader, echoed this sentiment, stating, “There can be no dialogue with bullets. I would prefer death over this betrayal.”

He further elaborated, “On one side, there are bullets. On the other, there is a call for dialogue. We can’t sit for dialogue while stepping onto the blood of our brothers.”

Earlier, leaders of the quota reform movement accused the government of escalating the law and order situation towards violence, asserting that their movement was peaceful until the government’s intervention.

Vowing to continue their struggle, Asif Mahmud stated, “We will continue our protests till we achieve our demands for reformation of the quota system, reopening of the halls and campuses, making university campuses terror-free, withdrawing political forces from the campuses, and punishing the killers and attackers.”

He added, “The people of the country have encircled those who tried to corner us. No conspiracy will be able to derail our movement.”

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PM Sheikh Hasina Calls for Investment in Marine Resource Extraction

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Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged both local and international investors to invest in the extraction of marine resources from Bangladesh’s extensive sea areas.

“In order to fortify the blue economy through the diverse utilization of our marine resources, I call upon local and foreign investors to seize the opportunity to invest in Bangladesh. This will enable us to harness more of our marine resources,” she announced.

The Prime Minister made these remarks during the inauguration of the Bangladesh International Aquaculture and Seafood Show-2024 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka.

She emphasized the importance of adhering to proper standards in the collection, distribution, and processing of fish to boost exports, aiming to make fish the country’s second-largest source of foreign currency.

Sheikh Hasina pointed out that her government has made limited progress in harvesting fish and other sea resources from the deep sea due to a lack of interest from local investors.

“Therefore, we need foreign investment to advance in this area. This is the reality we must face,” she noted.

She also suggested that both local and foreign investors can collaborate in joint ventures or invest separately in this sector to achieve better results.

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Met Forecasts Rain and Thundershowers Nationwide

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The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has forecasted light to moderate and moderately heavy rainfall or thundershowers, accompanied by temporary gusty winds, across all eight divisions of the country over the next 24 hours, starting from 9 am today.

In its weather bulletin issued this morning, the BMD stated, “Light to moderate rain or thundershowers with temporary gusty wind is expected in a few places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions. Additionally, one or two places in Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, and Barisal divisions may experience similar conditions, with moderately heavy falls anticipated at several locations in Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions.”

The bulletin also highlighted that the current mild heat wave sweeping across the Rangpur division and the districts of Tangail, Chuadanga, Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra, and Netrokona may persist.

Daytime temperatures are expected to rise slightly, while nighttime temperatures are likely to remain nearly unchanged throughout the country.

On Wednesday, the highest recorded temperature was 36.7 degrees Celsius, observed in Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Rajarhat. The lowest temperature recorded today was 26.0 degrees Celsius, noted in Bandarban and Teknaf.

Over the last 24 hours, rainfall amounted to 16 mm in Bandarban.

For the capital, the sun will set at 6:48 pm today and rise at 5:21 am tomorrow.

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