State-owned Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Limited (BCMCL) will sign a deal today with a consortium for conducting a feasibility study for the development of Dighipara coal field at Dinajpur.
The feasibility study will be conducted on a 24 sq km area. The project tenure is 27 months – from June 1, 2017 to September 30, 2019 – for the feasibility study. BCMCL, a company of Petrobangla, will implement the project.
“We will sign a deal tomorrow with a consortium of MIBRAG Consulting International GmbH, Germany, FUGRO Consult GmbH, Germany and Runge Pincock Minarco Limited, Australia to carry out the feasibility study,” BCMCL acting managing director Engineer Habib Uddin Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune on Monday.
He said: “The project’s main objectives would be to identify the total reserve of Dighipara 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.”
On April 4 last year BCMCL invited expressions of interest (EoI) from international firms to develop and carry out complete geological and geo-technical study to determine technical and economical feasibility of Dighipara.
Eighteen international firms submitted EoIs for a feasibility study. Now, BCMCL has finally selected the consortium for the job.
The feasibility study includes verifying old information, topographic study, 3D seismic survey, exploratory drilling, mine design and project feasibility assessment, assessment of resettlement requirements and preparation of resettlement action plan, determination of geological and hydro-geological conditions, mining method, actual reserve, yearly production rate, mine life, detailed economic analysis and to determine if the project is economical viable or not.
Petrobangla and Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) have already handed over the exploration licence for 4,000 hectares of Dighipara coal mine area to BCMCL.
BCMCL develops the country’s lone coal mine, which has a reserve of 390 million tonnes stretching over 6.68 sq km in Parbatipur upazila.
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. All the planned coal-based power plants still remain on paper for coal sourcing crisis.
Thus to meet the demand the government is going to develop the local coal mines.
In 1995, Geological Survey of Bangladesh discovered Dinajpur’s Dighipara mine, which has an estimated coal reserve of 150 million tonnes.