Exploration of Dighipara Coal, mega coal fired power plant
Korea pushes for joint venture
A South Korean consortium has shown interest to develop the Dighipara coal field and setting up a mega coal fired power plant through joint venture in northern part of the country.
The business consortium includes Korean Resources Corporation (KORES), Korea Western Power (KOWEPO), Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) and Luxon Global.
On behalf of the consortium, KORES Chief Executive Officer Shin-Jong Kim recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in this regard.
The letter mentioned that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Petrobangla and the Minister of Knowledge Economy of the Korean government last year to develop a coal mine and a coal-based power plant through joint venture in Bangladesh.
Based on the last year’s MoU, the Korean consortium would like to suggest a joint development of Dighipara coal field and a coal fired power plant, the letter said.
KORES will develop the Dighipara coal field in collaboration with Petrobangla, the letter suggested, adding that the KOWEPO also wants to install and operate a coal fired power plant jointly with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).
KORES is a state enterprise of South Korea while KOWEPO is a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
“The detailed study is required to decide a definite mine plan but there is a high possibility that underground mining method will be viable,” Shin-Jong Kim said in the letter.
“The joint feasibility study with BPDB is required to install the power plant. The proposed location should be in Dhaka or Chittagong where power demand is high and infrastructures such as power transmission, wiring and water supply is well established,” he added.
It’s a good new as the Korean consortium interested to install a coal-fired power plant at Dhigipara coal field, Petrobangla chairman Prof Hossain Monsur told daily sun.
“Petrobangla will wait to decide on the Dhigipara coal field until the coal policy is finalised,” he said.
Dighipara is one of the five coal zones of the country where geologists earlier confirmed a probable reserve of nearly 200 million tonnes of high-grade bituminous coal.
According to Petrobangla, there are seven layers in the Dighipara coal mine. The thickness of every coal layer is 72 metre and the depth of the pit is 120 to 400 metres.
So far, five coal fields have been discovered in the country with an estimated total reserve of 3.3 billion tonnes of coal.
Of the fields, the Barapukuria mine has a reserve of around 389 million tonnes of coal and the company will extract 10 to 20 percent of the total reserve through underground mining within the next 30 years.
Bangladesh has so far extracted less than four million tonnes of coal from the Barapukuria coal field after resuming its production.