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Coal
A consortium to conduct feasibility study on Dighipara coal mine
State-owned Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd (BCMCL) signed a Tk 167 crore deal with a foreign consortium to conduct a feasibility study at Digipara coal mine to develop a mining area for extracting about three million tonnes coal a year. BCMCL secretary Md Abul Kasem Pradhania, German based MIBRAG Consulting International GmbH project manager Amir Khandaker, FUGRO Consult GmbH project director Rolf Baltes and Runge Pincook Minaroo Limited of Australia representative Simon Askey Doran signed the feasibility deal on behalf of their organizations on Tuesday. State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid said the government is actively contemplates to explore local coal by protecting the nature with a view to making the country into a middle income one by the year 2021. “We will develop the Dhigipara coal field using underground mining method with more concentration on environment as well as welfare of local peoples,” said the state minister while addressing a deal signing programme on feasibility study of Dhigipara Coal Field at hotel Sonargaon.  As per the deal, the consortium will conduct feasibility study within 24 square kilometers to assess the economic viability of the coalfield between June 1, 2017 and September 30, 2019.    Petrobangla and the , Energy and Mineral Resources Division have already handed over exploration licence of 4,000 hectare of Dighipara coal mine area to the BCMCL. Addressing the programme the state minister pointed out that around 865 million metric tons of coals are reserved at various coal fields in the country. “The socio-economic condition of people will be changed tremendously once the exploration begins properly, he observed. The minister said latest technology will be adopted to develop the coal fields by protecting the nature and without occurring any damage to the agricultural land. Dighipara coal field was discovered by state-run Geological survey of Bangladesh (GSB) in 1995. Four boreholes were drilled to confirm the coal deposits at the depth of 324-455 metres. Coal deposits of Dighipara basin is the second largest among the discovered coal fields in Bangladesh, having more than double coal deposit than that of the Barapukuria basin. Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman, Energy and Mineral Resources Division secretary Nazimuddin Chowdhury, German ambassador to Dhaka Dr. Thomas Priznz, Australian ambassador to Dhaka Julia Niblett, Petrobangla Chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah, Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Managing Director Engr. Habib Uddin Ahmed and senior official concern attended at the signing function.  
Contact signed for feasibility study of southern and northern part of Barapukuria Coal Mine
February 18, 2017 Saturday 11:00 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
State-owned Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Limited (BCMCL) signed an agreement with USA firm John T Boyed Company and Bangladesh based Mozumder Enterprise for feasibility study for the extension of existing underground mining operation. The study will be conducted jointly in the southern and northern part of the basin of Barapukuria Coal Mine without the interruption of present production activities. President and CEO of John T Boyed Company John T Boyd II and Company Secretary of BCMCL Md Abul Kashem Prodhania signed the agreement on behalf of their respective companies at a signing program in Dhaka on February 16. Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) have already established a 250MW coal-based power plant beside the Barapukuria Coal Mine which is now in production. 80 per cent of the coal of this mine are used in this power plant for power generation. Recently BPDB is started to construct another 275MW coal-based power plant beside the existing where the coal of Barapukuria Mine will be used for power generation. Barapukuria coal mine is the country’s lone coalfield which started production from 2005. Annual production of this mine is about one million tonne. Presently coal is being extracted from the central part of the basin beside two other parts northern and southern situated in the virgin part are waiting for extraction. The southern part and far southern part of the lease area are potentially important for mining. As per primary report the northern part is viably possible for underground mining where the bedrock thickness is more than 80 meter above the top coal seam-6. According to the feasibility study agreement the companies will determine the geological and hydro-geological conditions, assess the resettlement requirements and prepare the resettlement action plan, 3D seismic survey, exploration drilling, mine design and assess the project feasibility. Also there will be detailed economic analysis and to determine if the project is economically viable or not, mining method, actual reserve, yearly production rate and mine life. Acting Managing Director of BCMCL Engr Habib Uddin Ahmed said if the feasibility study report shows the mining of coal from both parts is economically viable then the coal will be extracted.  He also added that the companies will jointly study 4.5 square kilometers area which will end on June 2018. Total estimated cost of the study will be Tk 68.32 crore.  
Category: Coal
Asia Energy agrees to sign MoU for 2,000 MW plant
November 12, 2016 Saturday 11:33 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
GCM Resources plc, the parent company of Asia Energy Corporation Bangladesh Pty Ltd, is pleased to announce that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been agreed with China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd. The MoU provides for parties to engage and mutually investigate the feasibility of a joint venture with respect to the development of mine-mouth coal fired power plants generating up to 2,000MW in total at the Phulbari Coal and Power Project site, said a press release on Saturday. China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd, is a subsidiary of China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), which in turn is a core member of China Energy Engineering Group Co Ltd, a super central state-owned enterprise of the People`s Republic of China. CGGC`s businesses cover the design, construction, investment and operation in power, water conservancy, highways, railways, bridges, municipal works, airports, ports, waterways, industrial and civil buildings, as well as real estate and coal mining amongst others. The Executive Chairman of GCM, a London based resource exploration and development company, Datuk Michael Tang, stated: "We are delighted to have established this relationship with China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd, one of the largest and most respected engineering companies in the region and look forward to working with them for the mutual benefit of both parties."
Category: Coal
Plans for introducing departments and courses on coal studies in five universities
October 8, 2016 Saturday 10:04 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
In an attempt to strengthening the academic footing on coal related studies, the government has taken initiatives to introduce coal power plant and coal-mining related departments and subsequent courses in five public universities of the country. These five universities are- Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology (DUET), Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET) and Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET). The attempt of introducing academic discipline on coal is taken as the government has taken many large coal-based power projects to generate electricity. There are also attempts taken to extract indigenous coal from mines located inside the country. Talking with energynewsbd.com, A T M Mostofa Kamal, deputy secretary of power division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources said that a meeting to discuss on this issue will be held on October 13 in Bidyut Bhaban of the capital. “There will be a meeting to discuss on October 13 in Bidyut Bhaban in the city where we have invited Vice-Chancellors of those five universities, Secretaries from several ministries and stake holders concerned,” he said. “Since the government is going to take many mega coal-based projects and we need skilled manpower in future, we are thinking of introducing these departments and courses in the universities,” he added. About the latest government attempt, Professor Saiful Islam, Vice-Chancellor of BUET told energynewsbd.com that he would attend the meeting. “There we will discuss if introduction of these new courses or departments is important or not,” he said adding that BUET would place their own suggestion and recommendation. It is to be noted that the Power Division has already prepared a road map to generate around 20,000MW of electricity from coal-based power plants by 2030. Of the targeted amount, 11,250MW of electricity will be generated using domestically produced coal, while the rest will be generated using imported coal.
Category: Coal
Eighteen firms submit EoIs for Dighipara coal mine
June 8, 2016 Wednesday 9:37 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
Eighteen international firms submitted expressions of interest (EoIs) for a feasibility study for the development of Dinajpur’s Dighipara coal field. Talking with energynewsbd.com, Md. Aminuzzaman, Managing Director of the state-owned Barapukaria Coal Mine Company (BCMCL) said that they have recently received EoIs from eighteen firms. The eighteen companies includes - USA based Golder Associates, Indian Tata Group, UK based FWS Consultants Ltd and China based CCPG. “We will evaluate the EoIs of these companies and among these companies applied, seven companies who will be deemed best suited to do the work will be short-listed through a full fledged evaluation process. We will send Request For Proposal (RFP) documents to the shortlisted companies,” he said. A company will be later shortlisted from the RFP receivers to assign for the task, he added. On April 4, 2016, BCMCL invited expressions of interest from international firms to develop and carry out complete geological and geo-technical study to determine technical and economical feasibility of Dighipara. The study would include the following activities: exploration planning, supervision and management of exploration activities. The feasibility study will start in October 2016 and finish in March 2019. The government plans to set up a series of coal-fired power projects to generate 20,000MW of electricity by 2030. But no arrangement has so far been made to import coal for the projected goal. So, the government plans to develop the local coal mines to meet the demand. However, all the planned coal-based power plants still remain on paper. In 1995, Geological Survey of Bangladesh discovered Dinajpur’s Dighipara mine, which has a proven coal reserve of 150 million tonnes. The BCMCL, a company of Petrobangla, will implement the projects. The project’s main objectives would be to identify the total reserve ofDighipara coal basin (within 24 sq-km) and to develop a coal mine of 3 million tonne production capacity per year in the central part of the basin (within 6 sq-km). Petrobangla and the EMRD have already handed over exploration licence of 4,000 hectare of Dighipara coal mine area to the BCMCL.  
Category: Coal
Coal India eyes export market in Bangladesh
May 27, 2016 Friday 11:10 AM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Coal India Limited (CIL) intends to export coal and is in talks with power companies in Bangladesh for striking supply deals. This is the first time Coal India will be exporting the fossil fuel on a commercial basis. Coal India subsidiaries, Bharat Coking Coal and North Eastern Coal fields, plan to supply coal to Bangladesh power companies. It is likely to be transported to Haldia port in West Bengal from where it could be forwarded through sea route to ports in Bangladesh. "CIL`s coal is likely to be cheaper than the ones supplied from Indonesia because we would save on logistics. The coal produced by these two subsidiaries are of high quality that can compete with Indonesian coal," a Coal India official said. CIL is an Indian state-controlled coal mining company headquartered in Kolkata. It is the largest coal producer company in the world and contributes around 82 per cent of the coal production in India, according to the Wikipedia. At present, power companies in the country are full-to-brim with 22 days of fossil fuel stocked and are going slow on fresh procurement. Having grown at around 10% last year, Coal India is saddled with some 55 million tonnes of pit head stocks. "Coal India could not afford to export coal till last year because the fossil fuel was in short supply. The scenario changed last year when the company managed to pull up production at a considerable pace. Surplus stocks at pit head and slow lifting by power companies have prompted us to explore the international market. We have sent a team of senior official to Coal India. They are in talks with power companies in Bangladesh," the official said. Apart from local Bangladeshi companies Coal India has also initiated talks with NTPC`s joint venture in Bangladesh, the 1,320 mw Maitree Project at Rampal in Bagerhat district. The project is a 50:50 JV between NTPC and the Bangladesh Power Development Board. "We are in talks with Coal India for procuring coal. In case they offer the fuel at a price that would economically viable for us and supplying to us technically feasible, we are ready to procure it for our proposed plants that are likely to be ready within the next couple years. At a proposed capacity of 1,320 MW, we would require around 4 million tonnes of coal every year," said Ujjwal Bhattacharya, managing director Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company. "During 2003-04, Coal India did supply coal to Nepal and Bangladesh. However, these supplies were more for rescuing the two countries from lack of availability of coal. Volumes sent were small, 1 lakh tonne for Bangladesh and some 40,000 tonnes for Nepal. With changed scenario we are looking at commercially competing with foreign players," said the CIL official. Source: The Economic Times    
Category: Other Countries
No trace of methane gas in Jamalganj coal field
April 19, 2016 Tuesday 11:06 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
No extractable gas was found in Jamalganj coal field, the largest coal field of the country where two recent drilling works took place to find out the reserve of Coal bed Methane (CBM) gas. “After drilling two wells in the coal field, we have reached into the decision that the coal field might not have any extractable coal bed methane (CBM) gas,” a Petrobangla official told energynewsbd.com on Tuesday. “The mine has such depth that we did not find it commercially viable to extract gas from there,” he said. “Extracting coal from the mine might not be possible any more. They have to wait for some new method or Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) method to extract those which is a long shot,” he added. Mining Associates Private Limited (MAPL), an Indian consultant company, conducted a feasibility study for the State-run Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) to facilitate CBM extraction at Jamalganj coalfield. The drilling work in Jamalganj coal field started in January 5. MAPL was appointed as the consultant to determine the thickness of the coal seams, permeability and the roof and bed conditions for the coal seams to assess whether the Jamalganj coal field offers commercial possibility for extraction of CBM. A total of Tk 23.37 crore was spent for the project. In June 21 last year, Pterobangla signed the contract with MAPL. The duration of the project is up to June this year. The Jamalganj coalfield was discovered by a UN-Pakistani mineral survey team between 1962 and 1965 during a geological and geophysical survey in the Jamalganj-Jaipurhat area. Jamalganj coalfield, with an estimated reserve of about 1.053 billion tonnes of coal, is the deepest and largest coalfield in Bangladesh. It has seven coal seams in the depth range between 600 metres and 1,100 metres below the ground surface. The coal layer is assumed to be 40 metres wide. Compared to other coalfields in Bangladesh, with coal occurring at 150 to 500m depth, Jamalganj coal is considered to be too deep to be exploited by conventional underground or open pit mining. “We had planned to drill three wells there. The drilling works of two wells have already been completed and another one is going on there. We have found some trace of CBM there but that amount is not commercially extractable,” Mortuza Ahmad Faruque, the project monitoring consultant of the Jamalganj coal field project told energynewsbd.com.  “We have drilled the first well down to 1,080 meter and the second well down to 1,100 meter,” he said.  
Category: Coal
Govt plans PSC for coal sector
April 9, 2016 Saturday 5:41 AM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
Like the gas sector, the government is now planning to formulate a production sharing contract (PSC) for coal sector to boost up the coal extraction through joint venture initiative with the foreign companies. The Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) have already asked its Hydrocarbon Unit to prepare a draft for the PSC for the coal extraction. Md Harun-ur-Rashid, Director General of Hydrocarbon Unit told energynewsbd.com that they have recently organised a seminar to find out how the production sharing contract will be prepared. He informed that EMRD Additional Secretary Muhammad Ahsanul Jabbar and experts at the seminar express their views about the PSC. An expert opined that Petrobangla with its long experiences can go for ‘coal exploration and development’ through the PSC modality. In this modality, the investor shall take the responsibility for technical and investment risk in the development of coal fields as his liability and enter into contract with the client to produce a defined amount of coal per year, he said. The coal that will be produced will be shared between the client and the investor or contractor, added the expert. The client will offer coal to the contractor as return on the contractor’s investment. The client will get his share of coal free and the contractor’s share of coal will be paid by the client, the expert said. An official of Hydrocarbon Unit opined that under this arrangement, the contractor takes all the risks while the client gets the benefits of foreign investment at an upfront agreed terms and conditions. The contractor shall be given due return on his investment for exploration during mining operation. The official said that a model coal PSC could be an attractive option for extracting coal and the contractor should be selected through competitive international bidding process. He said that if Bangladesh could extract its coal with its own resources then that would have been better but as the resources for doing so is limited, that can’t be a feasible solution under the current circumstances. This PSC is defined as a contract between a host government and petroleum company for the exploration and production of petroleum resources where the company`s costs are recovered from a percentage share of production and the balance is shared between the government and the company, he said. Petrobangla through its companies is carrying out the exploration and development of gas, oil, coal and other minerals to meet the growing energy demand of the country along with the absolute control of Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the IOCs on behalf of the government, he said. In 2006, Petrobangla was given with the license to develop Dighipara coal field for development. Coal mining is a high risk capital intensive industry. Considering the risk involved, Government may provide budgetary support in the form of equity or share capital to a public sector enterprise, experts said adding that the possibilities of getting financial assistance from multilateral funding agencies could also be explored. M Tamim, a Professor of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Engineering of BUET told energynewsbd.com that PSC is rare in coal sector in other countries. “But we can do that. We have to consider some facts though that the companies will be interested only if they get rational share”, he said. “The rational share depends on royalty and tax which should be done in proper way,” he added.  
Category: Coal
Barapukria calls for EoI for Dighipara coal mine
April 4, 2016 Monday 10:31 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
State-owned Barapukaria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) has invited for expressions of interest (EoIs) from international firms to conduct the feasibility study for the development of Dighipara coal field at Dinajpur. ABM Kamruzzaman, General Manager of Planning and Environment of BCMCL told energynewsbd.com that the firm will develop and carry out complete geological and geo-technical studies. “Through those studies, we will determine technical and economical feasibility of Dighipara,” he said. Kamruzzaman also said that the study will cover the following areas: exploration planning, supervision and management of exploration activities. After getting EoIs from prospective firm, we will prepare a shortlist. “After having those studies being conducted, we will seek request for proposal (RFP) documents and other relevant papers from the shortlisted firms only.” He informed that the last date for submission of EoI is on May 15 this year. “The feasibility study will start on October 2016. The tentative completion date has been fixed on March 2019,” he said. In 1995, Geological Survey of Bangladesh discovered Dinajpur’s Dighipara mine. The mine has proven to have a coal reserve of 150 million tonnes. The government has a plan to set up series of coal-fired power projects to generate 20,000MW of electricity by 2030.  But no arrangement has so far been made to import coal for the projected goal. Thus to meet the demand the government is going to develop the local coal mines. However, all the planned coal-based power plants still remain on paper for coal sourcing crisis. The BCMCL develops the country’s lone coal mine, which has a reserve of 390 million tonnes stretching over 6.68 square-kilometres in Parbatipur upazila.
Category: Coal
Govt mulls finalising draft coal policy without export provision
April 3, 2016 Sunday 10:15 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
The government is going to finalise the draft of the long-expected ‘National Coal Policy’, leaving out the provision of exporting coal, sources said. The policy however keeps the provision of joint venture exploration and development between the local and foreign companies through bilateral agreement. Sources said that in March 21 this year, a letter signed by Md Mokammel Haque, a Deputy Secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) asked the Hydrocarbon Unit , an organization under the EMRD, to finalise the draft. In that letter, the EMRD asked to consult with Petrobangla, Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) and other organisations concerned to figure out whether the draft policy needed any addition or amendment. GSB has already submitted its observations about the policy. The Hydrocarbon unit and Petrobangla will soon submit their observations, an official with the EMRD said. The draft policy which consists of 27 sections said that the main purpose of the draft policy is to ensure steady supply of coal to tackle the base load along with other energy resources for long term periods. The draft policy talked about developing the main coal mines of the northern parts of Bangladesh as well as finding new exploration options there to make that region a hub for power and energy. One of the main aims of the draft policy is to establish energy security through maintaining a balance between coal demand and coal extraction. Through this the usage of valuable coal could be optimized in accordance with socio-economic issues and economic progress of the country. The policy considered the increased usage of coal in ensuring energy security and producing electricity and put restriction on exporting coal unless it becomes necessary to protect public interest. As per ‘The Mines Act 1923’, the Chief Mine Inspector will be appointed and the office will be established. The Chief Mine Inspector will supervise the mine activities under ‘The Mines Act 1923’. To develop the discovered coal mine, organisations will be selected through competitive tender process, the draft policy said. The foreign companies will be selected through bilateral agreement to work in joint venture, the policy added. Md. Nehal Uddin, Director General of GSB said that they have submitted their opinion on the issue. “The draft policy could be finalised if the government wants it.” An official with the Hydrocarbon Unit said that they will finalise the policy after consulting with everybody. In 2005, the first step was taken to make a coal policy. Infrastructure Investment Facilitation Centre (IIFC) published the first coal policy in Dec 2005. That policy was based on foreign investment for extracting coal in open-pit method. During the 2001-06 tenure of BNP-led government, the committee made four editions of that policy but could not implement any. Later the caretaker government published sixth and seventh editions in March and June 2007 respectively. In January 2008, another committee headed by former BUET VC Abdul Matin Patwary published the eighth edition of the draft coal policy. But in the face of massive protests, the draft was shelved. Immediately after the Awami League-led government came into power in 2009, fresh initiatives had been taken to prepare a new policy. The first committee headed by former Energy and Mineral Resources Division secretary Mohammad Mezbahuddin was formed in April 2010 during the Awami League government tenure. On September 8, 2011, the government second committee formed the 15 -member’s expert committee in this regard. The government has estimated that five coal mines – at Barapukuria, Dighipara, Phulbari, Jamalganj and Khalashpir – likely hold a reserve of approximately 30 billion tonnes. Among those the country is now lifting around 3,000 tonnes per day from Barapukuria and using those for 250 megawatt thermal power generation. The coal reserve area of Barapukuria at Dinajpur was discovered in 1985 with a proven reserve of 303 million tonnes lying between 118 and 509 metres below the surface, while the Phulbari coal reserve area in Dinajpur, discovered in 1997, contains 572 million tonnes sitting 150 to 240 metres from the surface. The coal reserve at Khalashpir in Rangpur was discovered in 1989 and has a proven reserve of 143 million tonnes lying between 257 and 483 metres in depth, while Jamalganj in Joypurhat was uncovered in 1962 with a proven reserve of 1.05 billion tonnes between 640 and 1158 metres from the surface.  The reserve at Dinajpur in Dighipara was discovered in 1995 and has a proven reserve of 150 million tonnes laying between 328 and 407 metres in depth.  
Category: Coal
Poland to provide technical support to Bangladesh extracting coal
February 23, 2016 Tuesday 10:03 PM By BSS
Poland has expressed its interest to provide technical supports to Bangladesh in extracting coal from mine through modern technology. A Visiting Polish delegation, led by Deputy Minister for Economic Development Radoslaw Domagalsli Labedzki, shown the interest as they met Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu at his office at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban here. The Polish deputy minister said Poland would increase its investment in Bangladesh as it has already done so in India. Speaking on the occasion, Amu said the trade and investment between Bangladesh and Poland has been increasing gradually though there is no direct Polish embassy in Bangladesh. He said Bangladesh has reopened its mission in Polish capital of Warsaw in April, 2015 to increase bilateral investment and commerce. He said an excellent atmosphere for investment in Bangladesh has been prevailing as the government has undertaken initiatives to establish 100 special economic zones. Additional Industry Secretary Begum Parag and Polish Non-Resident Ambassador in Dhaka Tomasz Lukaszuk were present on the occasion, among others.
Category: Coal
Drilling work for CBM exploration in Jamalganj coalfield starts
January 5, 2016 Tuesday 10:52 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid on Tuesday inaugurated the drilling work of three wells in Jaipurhat under the ‘Feasibility Study for the Extraction of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) at Jamalganj Coal Field’ project. During the inauguration, the state minister said that the government has relentlessly been searching for the alternative source of energy as the reserve of natural gas is on the wane. He said that ensuring the availability of alternative energy sources has become imperative. The government has been taking effective measures to figure out different energy sources including Liquefied natural gas (LNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and coal. “All sort of possibilities will be explored to keep the momentum of development that Bangladesh is enjoying currently”, he said adding that the country is progressing as per the vision-2021 and vision-2041. About the extraction of CBM, the state minister said that the availability of methane gas depends on the depth of the coal mine. There are good prospect of finding CBM in Jamalganj coal field which will be a blessing for the area as it will speed up the development here, he added. CBM is a naturally occurring methane gas found in coal seams. It is the methane usually found in coal, emitted from the face of coal mines. Under this project, the presence and estimation of CBM in the coal field will be measured. The total estimated cost of the project is Tk 2337.86 lakh. State owned Petrobangla funds the project. Petrobangla under the Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) has recently signed a deal with Mining Associates Private Ltd (MAPL), an Indian company, to conduct a feasibility study of coal-bed methane (CBM) extraction at Jamalganj coalfield. The Jamalganj coalfield was discovered by an UN-Pakistani mineral survey team between 1962 and 1965 during a geological and geophysical survey in the Jamalganj-Jaipurhat area. Jamalganj coalfield, with an estimated reserve of about 1.053 billion tonnes of coal, is the deepest and largest coalfield in Bangladesh. It has seven coal seams in the depth range between 600 metres and 1,100 metres below the ground surface. The coal layer is assumed to be 40 metres wide. Compared to other coalfields in Bangladesh, with coal occurring at 150 to 500m depth, Jamalganj coal is considered to be too deep to be exploited by conventional underground or open pit mining. Lawmaker Advocate Shamsul Alam Dudu, Petrobangla Chairman Istiaque Ahmad and Project Director M Akhtaruzzaman were also present at the occasion and gave their speeches.
Category: Coal
Asia Energy reiterates its stance about Phulbari
December 21, 2015 Monday 11:26 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
GCM Resources, the parent company of Asia Energy which has exploration licenses and mining lease in Phulbari coal basin In Bangladesh has reiterated its commitment to work with the Bangladesh government and the local community to develop the Phulbari coal project including associated power plants. During the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held at London in December 18, the re-elected Chairman Datuk Micheal Tang, a successful Malaysian Chairman mentioned about his personal as well as company’s commitment to work with Bangladesh. A press release issued by the company in December 21 said, GCM through its subsidiary Asia Energy wants to be a part of the Government of Bangladesh’s initiative to generate 19,000 MW of power from coal by 2030. The release also mentioned that the Government’s decision to move quickly with large scale coal-fired power is supported by the UN’s Human Development Report 2015 released last week. This report positions Bangladesh at 142 out of 188 countries in terms of Human Development despite the very good work by the Government. The report goes on to re-affirm that there is a strong positive association between energy consumption and the Human Development Index. In other words the way to move Bangladesh to middle income and beyond is through adding significant power generation which will enable an industrial revolution and create large scale employment. GCM’s Chief Operating Officer and the company’s representative in Bangladesh Gary Lye who has just returned after attending the AGM said although Bangladesh is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, it is not itself a significant emitter of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. Per capita carbon dioxide emissions are substantially below other countries in the region. Even with the addition of the 4,000MW of electricity capacity which Phulbari coal could support, Bangladesh would still be one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world, even substantially less per capita than its neighbouring countries, Lye Mentioned. At the AGM, Datuk Micheal Tang also spoke of the important role coal and said that coal would not impact the climate in the region. He said that the coal has and will continue to play in the Asian region to power the economies of these countries and lift the living standards of the people. During the AGM, Tang gave the example of Chinese state enterprises to develop over 92 coal-fired power plants in 27 countries for a combined capacity of 107GW (Gigawatts). These projects are largely assisted by the China Export-Import Bank. Aside from China, South Korea and Japan are also expanding their coal-fired power generation capacities. Bangladesh’s neighbouring India has recently announced that it is on track to open one new coal mine per month and double its coal output by 2020.
Category: Coal
£3 million loan for Phulbari Coal Project may be drawn down
November 25, 2015 Wednesday 10:28 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
A two-year £3 million convertible loan facility for Phulbari Coal Project by UK-based GCM Resources plc, the parent company of Asia Energy Corporation Bangladesh Pty Ltd, may be drawn down as and when required. The loan agreement signed with a Malaysian-based investor investor Revenue Anchor Sdn Bhd for £3 million. GCM, the resource exploration and development company, said this in a press release reporting its preliminary results for the year ended on June 30, 2015. The release said the company will assist in financially supporting GCM`s activities as it continues to pursue approval of the project. The preliminary announcement was approved by the board of directors of the company on November 24, 2015, said the release issued on wednesday. The financial information of 2015 has been extracted from the financial statements of GCM Resources plc which will be delivered to the Registrar of Companies in due course, it said. According to the release, as of June 30, 2015, GCM had drawn down £0.2 million from the convertible loan facility £0.51 million as of November 19, 2015. GCM has identified a coal resource of 572 million tonnes at the Phulbari Coal Project in north-west Bangladesh. They are awaiting approval from the Bangladesh government to develop the project. In the Chairman`s Statement, Michael Tang, executive chairman, said: “The last twelve months have been challenging for the junior mining sector as commodity markets continue to deteriorate and raising new funding has become particularly difficult for any mining company that is not producing.” “In contrast to the decline in global demand for coal, Bangladesh, where GCM`s operations are located, is expected to see a significant increase in demand for high quality thermal coal in-country as the government continues to restructure the country`s power sector towards coal,” he continued. Michael also stated: “While achieving approval continues to be a challenge, the board believes that it is in the best interests of all stakeholders that the project is developed.” The board`s strategy is to present the project to the satisfaction of the government of Bangladesh and to secure an agreement that meets the objectives of both parties, he added. Understanding the importance of local community support, the company has continued its engagement activities throughout the year, retaining a working relationship with community leaders and understanding the views of local residents from a diverse range of backgrounds, the statement said.  According to the release, the company has met around 2,500 people since it first started its re-engagement activities in late 2012. Finally, the company saw the successful closure of the OECD examination on September 10, 2015 after a thorough and impartial examination which first started in December 2012, it read.  The company’s financial results reflect focus on keeping costs under control while pursing project approval. The company incurred a loss of £0.9 million for the year ended June 30, 2015, compared to £1.3 million last financial year and £3.2 million in 2013. Project related expenditure of £0.6 million for the year was also kept at a minimum £0.8 million in 2014.
Category: Coal
Petrobangla gets first prize in BDF fair
November 19, 2015, Thursday 11:32:15:PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
State-owned Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) has got the first prize in the two-day Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) Fair 2015 held in the capital’s Sher-e-Banglanagar in Dhaka. Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited and Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited jointly attended this fair setting up stalls for displaying energy projects under the umbrella of Petrobangla. Second prize was awarded to the stall of sanitation while the third prize went to the stall of Ministry of Education, said organisers. The criteria of the selection were theme of the stall, interaction with the delegates and the design of the stall. A total of 41 stalls were set up in the fair by different government, non-government and public institutions to display various energy projects to the development partners. The BDF Fair 2015 began at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on November 15 that was ended on November 16. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the fair which was organised to showcase some of the mega power and energy projects. She visited many stalls along with speaker of the parliament, foreign and national delegates. The representatives of the development partners of Bangladesh attended the programme. They have showed their interest on development of coal mining in Bangladesh. Apart from displaying the energy projects, many seminars were held on the occasion.
Category: Coal
AGM of the BCMCL held
November 17, 2015, Tuesday 8:44:50:AM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Barapukria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL) in 2014-15 fiscal had extracted 6.76 lakh matric tonne coal against its target of extracting 7 lakh metric tonne coal. During the fiscal, BCMCL had earned Tk 853.84 crore by selling 5.22 lakh metric tonnes coal to 250 MW Barapukriacoal fired power plant of Power Development Board (PDB) and 3.14 metric tonne to other entities including brick fields. The information was disclosed during the 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the BCMCL held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) on November 12, 2015. Ishtiaque Ahmed, chairman of Petrobangla and the Board of Directors of BCMCL presided over the AGM. Ishtiaque said that the company made a net profit of Tk 379.47 crore in 2014-15 fiscal which was Tk 336.11 crore in 2013-14 fiscal. The company had deposited Tk 225.61 crore to the government exchequer in the 2014-15 fiscal. In the same fiscal year, the BCMCL successfully completed the extraction work from the 1212 longwall face of the second sluice. The company has been extracting coal from 1208 longwall face which is considered as the milestone for the company. From May 2013, BCMCL has adopted Loangwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC) for extracting coal from the coal mine. It had paved the way to adopt the usage of state of art technology in coal mining in the country. After the AGM, a dinner was organized at the BICC where Mostafizur Rahman, Minister of Primary and Mass Education, Chairman of Petrobangla and other officials attended.
Category: Coal
Court granted bail for 19 accused in criminal case
November 10, 2015, Tuesday 10:37:13:PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
Senior Judicial Magistrate of Dinajpur granted bail for 19 accused including Phulbari mayor in Asia Energy’s office attack and vandalism criminal case on Sunday. Their counsel Debol Kumar Sarker told energynewsbd.com Magistrate Krishna Kamal Sarker granted bail hearing their plea. All accused applied for bail after being physically present with their lawyers against a charge sheet submitted to the court after investigation by Phulbari thana police. Phulbari police investigated the case upon court order and submitted the charge sheet on October 31 this year against 19 accused adding 9 more people after investigation. Asia Energy filed case on December 8, last year for attack and vandalizing its local office and cars by local agitators on November 26 on the same year. It is to be mentioned that, as part of the routine community meeting for awareness on planned coal mine and power plant, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Energy Corporation Bangladesh Pty Ltd Gary Lye paid a visit to Phulbari on November 25 and 26 last year. After an open community meeting at the company’s core yard official went to office for rest. Suddenly a group of people lead by Phulbari mayor Manik Sarker Manik attacked Asia Energy’s office chanting slogans against the company and threatening staff. The attackers damaged office doors and windows and vandalized three vehicles’ at the office premises. Two officials were injured.  
Category: Coal
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