Delay in equipment imports threatens Barapukuria coal production

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Coal production at Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Limited is expected to be halted for four months due to a delay in importing equipment from China for the next phase of production.

A pause in coal mining could affect the electricity production of the adjacent coal-fired power plant, as the plant does not have enough fuel reserves to provide a steady supply for four months. Furthermore, any interruption of the Barapukuria coal-fired power station will also disrupt the electricity supply in the northern part of the country in the current scorching climate.

The Barapukuria Coal Mine Company was recently producing coal from the No. 1,310 phase of the mine, with daily production of around 2,000 to 2,200 tonnes, although production was supposed to be around 5,000 tonnes per day. day, company sources said.

Phase production was shut down on May 1, but Phase No. 1,306 – which is due to go into production next and was supposed to be prepared for production as of today – is not yet ready for production. In fact, the preparatory work has not yet begun.

Usually, it takes two and a half months to prepare for a production phase.

Engineer Md Kamruzzaman Khan, Managing Director of Barapukuria Coal Mine Company, however, says the complexities of importing equipment have already been resolved and the company is working to get the next phase started as soon as possible. .

“The complexity was related to the opening of the LC [letter of credit]. Pubali Bank was supposed to open the LC in February, but could not due to a dollar crisis. Later we approached Agrani Bank and he agreed.

“We are now looking to start production in the next phase from mid-August,” he told The Business Standard.

When asked if the mine has the reserves to last until the start of the next phase of production, Kamruzzaman replied, “At the moment there is a reserve of around 2.20 lakh tonnes. coal, which will be sufficient”.

But SM Wazed Ali Sarkar, chief engineer of the Barapukuria coal-fired power plant, contradicts and is worried.

“We have no reserves for four months. The coal company should reduce the travel time,” he told TBS.

The North could face a blackout

In 2018, power generation at the Barapukuria Coal Power Plant was suddenly suspended due to a shortage of coal. The plant remained closed for more than a month until the supply of coal resumed.

At the time, the North, especially Rangpur, Dinajpur and Rajshahi faced load shedding and low voltage.

Thus, if coal production at the Barapukuria mine remains suspended for four months, power generation at the thermal power station could stop, causing a massive disruption in the region’s electricity supply in this hot summer.

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