Coal will be extracted from the country’s lone Barapukuria mine in Dinajpur through a new method from today to boost productions significantly.
“We will apply a new method from tomorrow [today] to double the existing coal production from the mine,” Md Quamruzzaman, managing director of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL), told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
He said Long Wall Top Coal Caving (LTCC) method would be applied to pull out coal from “1210 longwall face” of the second slice located in the mine’s central part. Currently coal giants China, Russia and Australia are using this method.
Earlier, “longwall method” was applied to extract coal from the same sixth seam of the mine when only 2000-2500 tonnes could be extracted every day.
Quamruzzaman said under the new method, the daily production would stand at around 3,000 tonnes. After one to two months, the production would go up to 5500-6000 tonnes.
The owner of the mine, BCMCL, has planned to extract 5.5m tonnes of coal from the second slice.
Chinese company XMC, with another consortium led by China National Import and Export Corporation (CMC), has been producing coal from the mine since 2005. The first phase of the mining ended in August last year when around 4.2m tonnes of coal was extracted.
Coal production at the site remained suspended for the last two months due to maintenance and development work, he said.
The mine has a reserve of 390 million tonnes stretching over 6.68 square kilometres of Barapukuria under Parbatipur upazila, according to a 1985 study of the Geological Survey of Bangladesh.
Quamruzzaman said Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) procures 80% of the coal for use at the only coal-fired power plant near the mine. The 250MW plant, now producing 120MW electricity, needs around 2,500 tonnes every day.
Some steel mills, heavy industries, and brickfields also buy coal from the BCMCL.
The BPDB spends $105 a tonne while others pay $140-150, the BCMCL chief added.
Installation process for another 250MW coal-based plant at Barapukuria is underway by the BPDB while the BCMCL has plans to set up a 50MW captive power plant in the mine area.
Apart from fuelling the new plants, a boost in the production would also help the state-owned firm to sell more coal to the industries and other consumers, said Quamruzzaman.