National, Back Page

Discovery of 1 lakh MT coal reserve

Barapukuria power plant gets new hope


Published : 20 Dec 2021 10:04 PM | Updated : 21 Dec 2021 04:17 PM

The total coal reserve at Barapukuria coal mine has reached four lakh tons giving new hopes for Barapukuria power plant to operate longer now.

The state-owned Barapakuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL) has disclosed information on the new coal reserve at a recent meeting of the Energy Division.

Mohammad Kamruzzaman Khan, Managing Director of the BCMCL said that earlier it was estimated that there were three lakh tons of coal in the mine. The Chinese contractor-CMC has lately surveyed there for the total reserve and informed that another one lakh tons or a total of 4 lakh metric tons of coal are present for extraction.

In the previous order, the target of extraction of one lakh tons or 1.5 lakh tons of coal along with 50,000 tons has been taken up and accordingly the Chinese company CMC has continued to extract coal.

Currently, some 126 local workers are engaged in this work and coal is being extracted in two shifts. On average, 2500 to 3000 metric tons of coal is extracted per day.

The Energy Division had feared that the coal would run out before the plant expires. As a result, the power plant will become unusable. Discussions have been going on for the last two and a half years. 

An official of the BPDB said that when the power plant was built at Barapukuria, it was thought that the government would develop nearby mines besides Barapukuria. But later, the government has change its decision considering the environmental issue.

At a recent climate conference, Bangladesh decided to reduce its use of coal. At the conference, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also announced the closure of several coal-fired power plants in the country.

Barapukuria coalfield has been discovered by the Geological Survey of Bangladesh (G.S.B) in 1985. On 4th June 2005, first management and production (M&P) contract has been signed between BCMCL and Chinese consortium (XMC-CMC) for the production of 4.75 million tons of coal. 

The activities of this contract were started in September 2005 and completed in August 2011. It was possible to produce about 3.651 million tons of coal from the central part during that time.

The second contract (management, production, maintenance and provisioning-MPM&P) has been signed between the BCMCL and Chinese consortium (XMC-CMC) for the production of 5.50 million ton of coal. 

It was possible to produce about 5.50 million tons of coal from the field up to 10 August 2017 last. Later, a 3rd contract (management, production, maintenance and provisioning-MPM&P) has been signed between the BCMCL and Chinese consortium (XMC-CMC) for the production of 3.205 million ton of coal. 

The activities of this contract have been started on 11 August 2017 and will be completed on 10 August 2021. About 2.377 million ton of coal has been produced up to June 2020 under this contract. It will be possible to produce rest of the coal (0.828MT) from the reserve of the central part.

Related Topics