BANGLADESH is fourth on the list of countries with the most coal-power capacity in pre-construction, already announced, or in the planning stages, with 10.9 gigawatt, according to a report released on April 26 by the San Francisco-based non-governmental organization Global Energy Monitor.
Although Bangladesh is reported to have abandoned many coal-power plants, with 10.8GW being phased out by 2021, it has not followed through on what the government initially announced in 2020. Bangladesh began construction of coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 2.6GW in 2021, increasing the number of such plants under construction from four to six, for a total general capacity of 6.7GW. Once the plants are operational, Bangladesh’s coal-power capacity will be four times what it is now (1.8GW). Such a situation adds to Bangladesh’s debt burden through unused power overcapacity, which is estimated to be $1 billion per year as of 2021, which the government pays for stranded power capacity under guaranteed power purchase agreements.
While Bangladesh has already officially announced that more than half of its 10.9GW coal-power capacity is in pre-construction status, Vietnam ranks third with 20GW, India ranks second with 23.9GW, and China ranks first with 158GW, for a total of 280GW of capacity in pre-construction status worldwide. More than 2,400 coal-fired power plants are now operational in 79 countries, totaling approximately 2,100GW, with an additional 176GW of coal-power capacity under construction at more than 189 plants and 280GW planned at 296 plants.