The Rampal Power Plant is an under construction coal-fired power station at Rampal Upazila of Bagerhat District in Khulna, Bangladesh which capacity will be 1320 megawatt and after implementation, it will be the largest power plant of BD. This project will occupy an area of over 1834 acres is located 14 km north of the world’s largest mangrove forest Sundarbans. Bangladesh India friendship power company (BIFPC), consists of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), India & Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPBD), is executing this mega project.
Bangladesh & India government both are providing 15% of this project. Another 70% is financing Exim Bank, India. As coal-fired power plant has high negative impact on the environment, environmentalists have taken position against this project from the beginning of this project.
They claims that fly ash, bottom ash & slurry which contains As, Pb , Hg, Ni, Cd, Cr, Ra like toxics & radioactive metals, will produce from this power plant & these toxics will cause for various diseases (particularly lungs diseases) of the natives & destroy environmental balance.From former experiences & calculations, this project will affect 25 km radius from the project place.Hence, Sundarbans is 14 km far away this project, so it will suffer for this project. Besides, the plant will need to import 4.7 million tons of coal per year, vessels will use for carrying the coal & these vessels will use the root of Poshur river which flows inside the Sundarbans.These vessels will produce sound which will disturb the animals daily life.
Also, Pashur is not a deep river & waves produced by vessels will cause for sedimentation of the river & gradually it will lose its navigability.For containing its navigabilility, dredging is must. But dredging has a great impact on the river’s ecosystem & the ecosystems are correlated. So, the entire ecosystem of Sundarbans will affected. Moreover, the coal carrying vehicles are not often covered.
Environmentalists are suspecting that the vehicles may disperse large amount of sulphar, coal dust, fly ash & other toxic camicals throughout the life of the project. These will pollute water of the river & will reach inside the forest because of the tide.Also the power plant will use 1.
6 million cubic meters of water everyweek from the Poshur river & will discharge treated waste water back into the river. The treated water will pollute the river’s water & will increase overall temperature of the river.Because of pollution & temperature rising, the river species will fall in trouble & some of them will migrate & others will disappear. This power plant will also produce huge amount of SO2, NO2 which are highly toxic gases. The government of Bangladesh rejects the allegations that the coal-based power plant would adversely affect the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Government is saying that the plant will not have any negative effect on the mangrove forest because the plan & design of this project is highly sophisticated & environment conscious. They explained that high quality coal will be imported from Australia/Indonesia.The coal will contain low sulpher & low ash .
The design has incorporated the system for a Flue Gas Desulfurization (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 using Multistage Effluent Treatment. After treatment, the gases will be emitted by a 275 m tall chimney which will not affect the environment around the power plant. The government also ensuring that,during transportation, the coal will be specially covered.
So, there is no chance for scattering.Also, the plant will have a completely covered coal storage for three months reserve.Government rules out the claim about noise pollution . Besides, the fly ash will be taken away from the plant by the cement factories of the region.
The produced carbon-di-oxide will convert into supercritical carbon-dy-oxide which has many applications. Coping with the increasing populations power requirement,we need to establish power plant.But we also have to concern about our environment specially Sundarbans, the ‘lungs’ of our country.Every species are supporting themselves for containing the balance of the ecosystem of Sundarban.If ecosystems collapse, Sundarban will destroy gradually.After all, considering all aspects, it is impossible to keep the pollution at level zero of the power plant.
If we & our government may conscious about the pollution , pollution’s impact on nature & we all have true patriotism friendly behaviour,we will be benefited from this power plant. In future, we have to consider renewable & environment friendly sources (like solar) for generating power like other environment conscious country.