The Coal India Limited is interested to develop three major coalfields at Barapukuria, Khalespir and Jamalganj in Bangladesh.
A two-member team of the Indian company, led by CMPDI General Manager Debashish Ghosh, arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday to conduct a techno-economic feasibility study on coal mining.
They already made a presentation of their activities after meeting top officials of the Petrobangla, the state-run energy organisation of Bangladesh.
The team visited Barapukuria and Jamalganj coalfields in Dinajpur on Monday and goes to Khalaspir coalfield in Rangpur today, said an official of the Barapukuria Coalmine Company Limited (BCMCL).
To this effect, a high-powered delegation, headed by state minister for power and energy Nasrul Hamid, visited India last year.
Nasrul Hamid sought technical support from state minister for petroleum and natural gas of central India Dharmendra Pradhan for development of the unexplored coalfields.
The Indian team has come in a response to the state minister, an official concerned said.
“The Indian team is visiting our three coalfields and seeks information on them,” BCMCL Managing Director Habib Uddin Ahmed said.
“The government high-ups only know how they can support us. I think they will make a proposal on the basis of information after visiting the coalfields,” he said.
The government and private sector would require procuring around 71 million tonnes of coal annually for generating around 20,057MW of electricity from 22 coal-fired power plants.
Most of the power plants designed on imported coal due to controversy on the extraction of local coal.
The government has, so far, discovered five coalfields in Barapukuria, Dighipara, Khalaspir, Phulbari and Jamalpur.
Barapukuria coalmine is the country’s lone coalfield with the production capacity of one million tonne a year.
Barapukuria uses the underground mining method to extract coal from an estimated reserve of 390 million metric tonnes. The coalfield has a production capacity around 5,000 tonnes a day.
The BCMCL supplies an average of 2,000 tonnes of coal a day to the 250MW coal-fired plant in Barapukuria.
The BCMCL has initiated a feasibility study for the extension of existing underground mining operation of Barapukuria coal towards the northern side of the mining basin without interruption of the present production.
The Coal India is interested to get the extension work, official sources said.
The government would require 7 million tonnes of coal a year to generate 20,000MW by 2030.
The domestic coal production is now only 1 million tonne from Barapukuria coalmine.
It’s not possible to conduct open-pit mining at Dighipara, Jamalganj and Khalaspir coalmines as the coal is reserved at depth between 360 metres and over 500 metres there.
The coal reserve at Jamalganj is 1053 million metric tonnes in 640-1058-metre depth.
Besides, the coal reserve at Khalaspir field in Rangpur has been estimated at 685 million metric tonnes in 257-488-metre depth on 12 square kilometers areas.