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.