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Country’s biggest power plant starts commercial operation With this, country’s power generation capacity reached to 19,630 megawatts The commercial commissioning of the first unit of the country's largest coal-fired Payra Power Plant project in Patuakhali has officially started at 5.30pm Thursday. Due to pandemic situation, the station started operation without any publicity. With this, country's power generation capacity reached to 19,630 megawatts (excluding captive power). AM Khurshedul Alam, acting managing director of the Bangladesh-China Power Company Limited (BCPCL), the project implementing company, confirmed it to the The Business Standard. The unit with 660 megawatts capacity came into the operation, when country is power saturated. Moreover, increased power generation capacity has now become a burden for the power sector as electricity demand reportedly dropped by 30 percent. Therefore, the plant is likely to become an economic burden for Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) as it will need to pay about Tk 160 crore in capacity charge every month apart from the energy purchase cost. The Payra power plant project, launched in March 2016 following a Bangladesh-China joint venture. Earlier, the BCPCL had a plan to go for the commissioning in the first week of February. The test run of the first phase of the Payra 1,320MW Thermal Power Plant project, delayed by a year, finally started on January 13 this year. However, the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus impeded the commercial commissioning of the country's largest coal-fired power plant project in Patuakhali. The plant's two units are expected to generate 1,320MW power once the project is completed.