• Friday, Sep 21, 2018
  • Last Update : 12:19 am

Barapukuria power plant closure likely again on Monday night

  • Published at 09:16 pm August 26th, 2018
web-barapukuria-coal-power-plant-dhaka-tribune-22.07.2018
File photo of the coal-powered Barapukuria thermal power plant in Dinajpur Dhaka Tribune

The government on August 20 partially resumed power generation in the plant to mitigate sufferings of the people of several northern districts during the Eid

Barapukuria Coal-fired Thermal Power Plant in Dinajpur, which partially resumed power generation in its 125MW unit right before the Eid-ul-Azha, will shut down again, possibly on Monday night, due to the ongoing coal crisis.

Abdul Hakim Sarker, chief engineer of the 525MW plant, said they needed 5,200 metric tons of coal every day for power generation.

“But we will have to suspend power generation again since our coal stock will end around 11pm Monday,” he said.

The government on August 20 partially resumed power generation in the plant to mitigate sufferings of the people of several northern districts during the Eid, which was celebrated across the country last Wednesday.

According to the plant’s Manager and Executive Engineer Mahbubur Rahman, a total of 5,000-6,000 tons of coal were in stock until August 20, and 70-80MW electricity could be generated from the second unit of 125MW capacity using that.

The power plant, which has three units, was shut down on July 22 after at least 142,000 tons of coal disappeared.

If supply is suspended again, the northern districts including Rangpur, Panchagarh, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Dinajpur and Thakurgaon will suffer unusual power cuts or low voltage problems until the problem is fixed.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Sunday said the government has decided to import 100,000 tons of coal to meet emergency need and a tender has been floated in this regard.

Talking to reporters at his office in Dhaka, he, however, said they were yet to decide from where the coal would be imported.

It may take until October for the power plant to return to operation in full swing, Nasrul said. He also hinted that the plant may resume operating partially within next month.

Bangladesh Power Development Board Director (public relations) Saiful Islam Chowdhury also confirmed the state minister’s remarks regarding coal import when contacted.

“We will choose the supplier based on the proper quality coal that we need,” he added.

After the coal scam grabbed the headlines in late July, sources at Power Cell, which works under the Power Division, said the government was considering importing coal for the coal-based power plants, including the one at Barapukuria.

Sources also said that Indonesia was at the top of the list of countries, which include Australia and South Africa too, from where the government was considering importing coal.