Coal News of Phulbari – Bangladesh

News on coal resources & coal basins of Bangladesh

Archive for July, 2009

Strategy for Sustainable Energy

Posted by phulbarinews on July 12, 2009

EP Report

The government is planning to replace some irrigation pumps with solar panels in Chalanbil areas, set up some small hydropower plants in small river streams and install 50 MW capacity wind turbine in the coastal areas as a short-term measure to face the nagging power crisis. And in the longer-term, the government is in the process of installation of nuclear power plant.

Prime Minister’s Adviser for Energy and Power Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury revealed the recent government plans for overcoming the country’s energy crisis besides ongoing efforts of energy conservation and efficiency at a roundtable titled “Strategy for Sustainable Energy” at CIRDAP Auditorium on June 23.   

He said the government is undertaking the interim steps as the resource diversification would take some time while the people will not remain idle and will want electricity. “We’re giving emphasis on power generation as well as on energy conservation and efficiency.” He said the Prime Minister does not hesitate to take decision as all know while some direction on solving energy crisis has been given in the budget.

“We’ll fulfill the government commitment… we’ll win,” said the Prime Minister’s Adviser, seeking cooperation from parliament members, energy sector experts, academics, economists and trade body leaders, who attended and took part in the discussion of the roundtable.

He said a crisis period opens up the thinking process and stimulates innovation while no problem can stand before human being if they can utilize the innovations. He added that some steps have been taken to face the power shortage. “We should overcome the Bibiyana gas field within a couple of weeks. We have undertaken initiatives for dual-fuel power plants and few dedicated single-fuel power plants. We should think deep before taking any big decision on coal mining.”

Energy and Power, the country’s first and only fortnightly on the energy sector organized the roundtable, marking its step into 7th years of publication. EP Editor Mollah Amzad Hossain gave the address of welcome to kick off the roundtable while an energy expert from among non-resident Bangladeshis Engr. Khondkar Abdus Saleque presented the keynote paper.

The Prime Minister’s Adviser disclosed the government’s interim and long-term plan to face the energy crisis as well as dwelt on the energy sector programs as reflected in the national budget 2009-10 and the election manifesto of the ruling party as speakers at the roundtable expressed concern over the situation and put forward recommendations to overcome the crisis. 

Engr. Khondkar Abdus Saleque   

Presenting the keynote paper of the roundtable, Engr. Saleque gave an overview of the present energy situation and problems being suffered by the country’s energy sector, and suggested possible short, medium and long-term strategy to overcome the crisis.

Bangladesh is suffering from disquieting energy crisis with electricity generation ranging from 3,200-4,000 MW against present demand of 5,200 MW. Around 20 percent of the power plants are over-aged and fuel inefficient. They perform infrequently, as a result.

Energy crisis stalled industrial growth and operation of existing industries, trade and commerce are facing serious setback while electricity shortage impedes power generation. The inefficient power plants consume huge gas, with which the present demand for electricity could be met if the plants were energy efficient.

Exploration and development of natural gas resources has almost reduced to zero while exploration of coal continued to remain uncertain, development of renewable energy insignificant and there is no meaningful progress of regional energy cooperation.

Small hardcore group of technical experts and energy professionals are dominated by inefficient politically blessed civil and military bureaucrats while no petroleum engineer, energy economist and professional miner is in active service. Public sector companies lack required capacity, pilferage and theft are rampant. “The patriotism of the management group is questioned… we can construct one Jamuna Bridge every year if we can stop theft and pilferage.”

Absence of market-based pricing encourages inefficient use of energy while IOC and IPP development and operations are not monitored professionally. “Industries might have encouraged to use energy efficiently if the price increases by an affordable level.”

Present proven gas reserve is believed to be depleted by 2015 while IOCs spent 5 years cooling period in blocks 5 & 10 and recently relinquished, and very little activity are visible in other blocks. BAPEX is not technically and technologically equipped to accomplish assignments in allotted blocks while potential offshore remains unexplored. Some 1,870-1,900 mmcfd of gas is being produced at present from 79 wells of 17 gas fields. Of which, three Petrobangla companies – BGFCL, SGFL and BAPEX – are producing 47.3 percent from 48 wells of 11 fields and IOCs are producing 52.7 percent from 31 wells in 6 fields. The capacity of national gas grid is also saturated. More than design capacity withdrawal and absence of non-stream pigging have caused low pressure.

Of the present level of gas production, power generation consume 807 mmcfd, fertilizer 167 mmcfd and others like industries, domestic usage, CNG, seasonal and commercial usage consume 912 mmcfd.

About 700 MW of power generation capacity remained idle while the nation suffers from an electricity shortage of 1,800 MW due to the gas crisis. Industrial growth is stalled, existing industries including export-oriented factories like RMG, pharmaceuticals and ceramics suffer setback. New entrepreneurs are discouraged in investment. 

All the subprojects conceived in 2005 for seismic survey, installation of pipeline compressor station and gas transmission pipelines under ADB financed GSDP failed to even start in four years. Cairn did not complete exploration in Magnama and Hatiya while Petrobangla and GOB failed to assist BGFCL to seal the gas leakage of Titas Gas field.

There are National Energy Policy, Power System Master Plan, Mines and Minerals Act, Mines and mineral Rules and Gas Sector Master Plan. Policies, acts and laws stressed on economic use of indigenous coal. Yet, we’ve only one under-performing coal mine – a black elephant. Huge poor quality polluted coal from neighboring country (banned for use in that country) get in through authorized and unauthorized manner.

The country is believed to have 65 Tcf equivalent High Heating Value and Low Ash Bituminous coal reserve in 5 discovered fields. Of them, two at Barapukuria (119-506 M) and Phulbari (150-240 M) are at shallower depth, two other mines at Dighipara and Khalaspir are at medium depth and Jamalganj is at significant depth (900-1,000 M). Geology in our coal belt indicate that water saturated soft, sandy, silty overburden at shallow depth is not ideal for underground mining due to poor roof support and presence of strong active aquifer.

Underground mining inevitably induce subsidence in mining command zone at any time during and even many years after mining completion. For multi-seam shallow depth, Barapukuria coal mine subsidence is inevitable impact. Subsidence at very early stage evidence poorly conceived, inappropriate mining technique and method. Barapukuria experienced water flooding and gas formation leading to mine closure and now subsidence. A recent visit of a NRB mining engineer identified poor mine management and operation – no health, safety and environment management plan, no ventilation plan and poor record keeping.

Uncertain situation of gas supply and improper strategy to explore further petroleum resources implies early exploration and exploitation of coal resource to extract maximum with minimum impacts. Well-proven safe technologies are in practice in many countries to explore 85-90 percent coal in place through ensuring proper safeguard against impacts. Bangladesh is grappling unnecessarily with coal policy despite having several approved documents. Non-miners are confusing policymakers raising unnecessary concerns in round table discussions and TV talk shows.

The government is contemplating to set up imported coal-based power plants while the coal market is volatile. Market players like Japan and China have much higher buying capacity. Imported steam coal will be expensive for Bangladesh considering transportation cost, dredging of river channels to facilitate access of medium and deep draft coal-carrying vessels in all seasons and setting up of a coal terminal. It would take 4-5 years in any case to provide the facilities.

Mining our own coal by utilizing modern mining techniques and appropriate methods by reputed mining companies will be far more economic. But we need strong regulatory mechanism and transparent investor-friendly policies. Mine affected community needs to be adequately compensated and properly rehabilitated. Their jobs should be regenerated.

Maritime boundary disputes in the Bay of Bengal must be resolved on top priority basis for petroleum exploration while Bangladesh must prepare its case for UN by the assistance of the NRB professionals. Selected IOCs must be engaged without delay for the undisputed offshore blocks. IOCs holding Magnama and Hatiya exploration must be pushed and supported to complete the works. The capacity of Bapex might be scrutinized, but it should get all support to build its manpower and resources to accomplish its assigned tasks.            

Dispute with Niko should be resolved and Niko-Bapex JV should resume exploration at Tengratilla and further development of Feni as soon as possible. Blocks 5 and 10 and other blocks should be leased out in transparent manner. Leakage of Titas Gas field must be professionally investigated and redressed on priority basis.

Bangladesh can allow private sector or public-private partnership to set up at least one more crude oil refinery. Singapore and Netherlands thrive on refinery business which Bangladesh may try to replicate. Furnace oil can be an ideal option for future power plants along with gas and coal. LPG can meet domestic and commercial fuel requirements. Even vehicles can use LPG. Naptha can be used for fertilizer. JPO can earn foreign exchange.

Government should convert all government vehicles to CNG within a given target while use of CNG in irrigation pumps can be explored and river vessels can be converted to CNG/LPG. The price of gas to CNG should not be readjusted. It will encourage use of inefficient appliances. Price of diesel should be made market based. CNG facilities must be expanded in the north-western and south-western region with the expansion of gas grid. Strict monitoring of conversion and fuelling stations must continue.

The extraction of NGL for wet gas stream of Beanibazaar and Kailashtilla remained due for long. The required plant expansion and setting up of a new plant at Kailashtilla fall flat due to mishandling of tender by SGFL. Extraction of NGL will create opportunity to expand capacity of LPG production from our NGL and meet the requirement for out-of-gas grid fuel requirement.

Possibilities of expansion of Karnaphuli Hydro-Power Plant may be explored while all possible mini-and-micro hydro prospects can be explored. Incentives can be provided to expand solar power. Possibilities of using solar power can also be explored for irrigation pumps. Mandatory provision of using solar panels can be imposed for all new multistoried buildings and existing shopping malls in major city areas. Private sector may be encouraged to set up wind power generation wherever feasible while all forms of bio-fuel should be encouraged. Some plants can be set up using municipal solid wastes in major cities. Saw dust and sugarcane wastes can also be explored for power generation.

Key Note Recommendations 

NRB brainstorming must have given some important clues to finalize the coal policy. A brief and concise coal policy should be adopted without further delay. Coal exploration under the contracts already signed must be pursued without delay. The country should immediately start installation of some coal-based power plants under PPP. Other coal-based industry may also start construction of their projects simultaneously with the commencement of coal mining. Market growth consistent with the coal production should be ensured to consume entire coal to be produce in the mine while all the future power plants should have dual-fuel provision. All fuel inefficient and age-old plants may be phased out progressively. BERC act may be amended to include upstream segment of petroleum and coal.

BERC must be manned with relatively young, farsighted dynamic professionals to make it effective. Without making BERC truly effective, required FDI may not come to energy sector. Energy companies must be made truly autonomous and allowed to operate commercially. Company board should be constituted with professionals. Efficient use of energy may be encouraged through market-based unregulated energy pricing.

Dr. Eunus Akon

Former Chief Geologist, Atomic Energy Commission

We know all the problems of the energy sector as well as their solutions. But, we could not solve the problems. Although 40 percent of the population has access to power officially, only 10-15 percent has access to power in reality at present. The electricity supply situation in the rural areas reflects the situation.

The present day technology permits open pit mining. But, lack of proper motivation and, sometimes reverse motivation, held back the progress of coal mining. Adequate and proper compensation and rehabilitation can help solve the mining problem.

All concerned reached a consensus for coal mining and are saying mining is a must. But, who will do it. Somebody will have to take the lead. I hope that Prime Minister’s Adviser for Energy Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury will take the lead.

There are apprehensions over nuclear power. There should not be any apprehension over the option. It’s a very good option for sustainable energy as the fossil fuel will be exhausted ultimately.

Dr Nafis Ahmed

Non Residence Bangladeshi, Independent Consultant   

Human resource condition in the energy sector has become critical. We should pay close attention to the problem. Expansion of solar energy during last 4-5 years was very positive. We can think of micro hydro power units as Indonesia using it in rural areas.

Muinul Ahsan

Former Director, Petrobangla  

Even if we think that the gas reserve will not exhaust by the year 2015, the energy sector plan should be undertaken considering that the gas will be exhausted by then. Onshore and offshore gas exploration should be immediately planned. Petrobangla expertise is unlikely to help much, but it’s possible to develop mining engineers shortly through providing two-year training to civil engineers.

We’ve a perception that underground mining in Barapukuria will be safe, but there is a serious risk of subsidence. In case of open pit mining, the land can be reclaimed within 10-12 years. Those who are protesting open pit mining, they might be otherwise politically motivated.

Shamsul Islam

Former PDB Chairman  

We cannot say the officials in the government lack patriotism. The government is doing fine. We’ll have to consider what resources we have. We are creating pressure on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for power. They have also achievements.

We’re trying to make markets the heavens. We’re constructing centrally air-conditioned markets having escalators, but very often we don’t see customers.

Prof. Dr. SM Mahfuzur Rahman

Dept. of Finance, DU 

The cost-benefit analysis of coal remained ignored. Before going for coal mining, we’ll have to analyze the cost of mining and possible benefits out of the mining. These things are not being discussed as such. We need to evaluate how much the government would have to pay for the mining and the return on the investment while the cost and benefit of the local people and the people of other parts of the country should also be looked into. Since coal is a non-renewable energy, to whatever extent we will extract, it will be a loss of the nation. So, we’ll have to see whether the nation is getting benefit in consistent with the losses.

We will also have to evaluate the losses of land, population, environment, displacement of structures. Then will have to see who will pay the rehabilitation cost. We’re losing all aspects of the coal mining with the time passes because it will not only give us coal, there are also other minerals, which we can extract and export to other countries. There are also other coal-linked industries in the country. Those could also be benefited out the mine. We must start coal mining project without any delay.    

 The question of royalty will arise only when we’ll consider export of coal.      

Prof Dr. Hossain Monsor

Dept. of Geology, DU 

It’s not that we’ll get a good scenario in open cast coal mining. But it will provide us with 90 percent recovery, which will be viable. The coal reserve in Barapukuria is in a shallow depth. Let’s start open cast mining. I urge the government to take measures to start open cast mining. He apprehended whether the Barapukuria coal would be possible to extract after the year 2011. 

Annisul Huq

FBCCI President 

As a non-technical people, we the businessmen are being confused at every seminars and discussions in this regard. We believe whoever says and whatever they say. We value one’s opinion if he says the gas is not exhausted. But, we want to know from the policymakers: “Should we invest or should we plan for investment?” 

The government has inherited the problem as very little of the power generation took place in last 5-7 years. The election manifesto of the ruling party gave a roadmap. We hope the roadmap will be implemented.

Coal is being used across the world. But we’re not being able to use our coal.  We have given the mandate to the government for five years. Now, it has to decide. The honeymoon period is over, now the people will want to see the output. It is possible to maintain environment and rehabilitate the people of the mining command areas. The coal resource of Bangladesh is confined only within 100 square kilometer area. Since we will need coal to generate power, we’ll have to start thinking now how we can rehabilitate the people of the area and give them an improved livelihood as compared to present situation. 

The businessmen can generate their own electricity if they get diesel at the price of present level.

Prof. Dr Ijaj Hossain

Dept of Chemical Engineering, BUET  

Government alone cannot solve this big problem. “It’ll have to generate 4,000 MW in next four years. Is it possible?” It took 40 years to reach the existing generation capacity of 4,000 MW. Some 3,500 MW of electricity is being generated from the old plants. Of which, around 2,000 MW will not be available from these plants in next 4-5 years as the plants will go out of order.

Dr Asaduzzaman

Director, Research, BIDS  

We are saying same words frequently for a long time, but it does not get solved. It’s obviously for inaction. I don’t know who is benefiting from this inaction and who is not. “We need to know who’s getting the benefit by keeping the whole population in the trouble.”

It’s true that different opinions open up different ways of solving a problem. But all the problems cannot be solved together. “We have two options of gas and coal in hand. It’s not a love tryst.” Whatever we do with coal mining – be it open mining or underground mining – the parliament members should decide on it. Where are the MPs from the north Bengal. It’s humanitarian problem. The MPs of the region should form a caucus and motivate people through talking to them. There is also a huge divergence among the technical people. Why don’t the government imposing a coal supplementary duty, which the MPs will place before the people of the region to give them a sort of confidence that the whole population of the country bear with them.

The gas reserve would not exhaust so quickly. The gas production might have fallen due to lack of exploration.

Md. Abdul Wadud, MP   

Of course, we the MPs from the north Bengal can work in a caucus in this regard, but we a policy decision first. But the opposition political parties are also equally educated. They have also the wisdom what we have. If we try to motivate the people in favor of coal mining, the opposition will also take the course of reverse motivation. “Then, the people will ask us what we’ll believe. What reply we have for them?” We’ll be able to implement it if we get a technically concrete decision. The foreign friends will always look for their benefit, but we’ll also preserve our benefit.

Imran Ahmed, MP   

The people of Sylhet have not received any tax for gas. However, I want to start my discussion offering support to the coal tax proposal. It is realistic that the country cannot move ahead without energy. It is realistic too that it would be very difficult to get energy as required. I would like to draw attention of the Adviser to see whether it would be possible to install imported coal-based power plant if our coal extraction is delayed. “We’ll remain one step ahead.”

It’s true that the old power plants are going to be out of order fast.

I think the industries can be provided with subsidized diesel price so they can generate their own power.

Brig. Gen. Enamul Huq, MP   

The political decision on the coal mining would depend on the technical decision. He requested the technical people to take a quick decision. We could pass the last January, the peak irrigation season, in some way or other, assuring the farmers that manage it for this season somehow and there will be no problem in the next January. “They will not leave us in next January if we cannot provide them with electricity.”

Abdul Awal Mintoo

Former President, FBCCI  

We’re making hue and cry as we’ve problem and we want solution. Who will give the solution? During the period 1998-2000, there was a power generation deficit of 700 MW. Now, the deficit rose to 1,200 MW. The deficit would have been even worse unless the private sector generated 1,400-1,600 MW captive power. Some 80 percent of the factories generate their own electricity.

The gas resources still remained unexplored in Bangladesh. If there is gas, exploration would take around 10 years. If extracted, there is problem in transmission. And if transmitted, there is problem in distribution and there is problem of compressor. “It seems to me seeing the situation that somebody is dieing out of jealousy.”               

Using coal started in the year 1708. Nothing is an asset until it explored and used for the well-being of the people. Coal is not an asset until we can use it for poverty alleviation.  

Roundtable Recommendations

— To form a caucus of MPs in the north-western region of the country to motivate people for open cast mining of coal immediately;

— To give a concrete technical decision based on which MPs could motivate people in favor of coal mining;

— To adopt a brief and concise coal policy without further delay;

— To immediately start installation of some coal-based power plants under PPP;

— Progressively phase out all fuel inefficient and age-old plants;

— To make energy companies truly autonomous and allowed to operate commercially;

— To encourage efficient use of energy through market-based unregulated pricing;

— To think of micro hydro power units

— to pay close attention to the problem of human resources; to develop mining engineers through providing two-year training to civil engineers;

— To undertake energy sector plan considering the gas will be exhausted by 2015.

— To provide businessmen with diesel at the price of present level;

— To impose coal supplementary duty;

— To install imported coal-based power plant if local coal extraction is delayed;

— To undertake overhauling of fertilizer factories during the peak irrigation season of December-January; prior to the season, there should be adequate buffer stock of fertilizer.

— To replace some irrigation pumps with solar panels.


Date: 01 July 2009, Bangladesh


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Suggested Steps to Improve Electricity Supply System

Posted by phulbarinews on July 12, 2009

Shamsul Islam

Supplying adequate electricity to meet the ever-increasing demand of consumers is not an easy task. In our considered opinion the following steps may be taken to reduce consumer sufferings, supply electricity at reasonable voltage and frequency level, arrange additional supply of electricity, improve financial performance of the public sector undertakings, motivate electricity industry personnel for deploying better dedication in operation and maintenance of electricity system, create a better image of this industry to attract private indigenous entrepreneur.  Our priority for this sector may be based on the following important objectives:

a)    Creation of additional employment opportunity for the large number of unemployed youth and sustaining present employment opportunity for young girls and boys through uninterrupted supply of quality electricity and there by improve productivity in industries under operation. Our agricultural land is now very limited and shrinking. Therefore there is little scope for employing additional manpower in the agriculture sector whereas a large number of unemployed youth can be a serious problem for any country or government.

b)    Since building new large power plants based on nuclear technology or even coal as a fuel would take several years, whereas the country is suffering frequent load shedding and industrial production is being hampered, immediate avenue need be found out through increased production from existing generating units.

c)    Through investment by the private sector new smaller power plants may be established, however, there is an acute shortage of indigenous natural gas at some places of the country to be used as fuel for those small power plants. Production of electricity using HSD as fuel is comparatively rather expensive. One may be aware that many of the industries are reluctant to use their respective power generation capacity simply because of higher cost of producing electricity to meet even his own demand. Again there is an universal axiom of economy of scale in any production activity. Importing liquid fuel in any name requires expenditure of hard earned meager foreign exchange reserve of the country. But one liquid fuel (furnace oil) is cheaper than HSD whereas they produce the same electricity.

d)    Follow a comprehensive plan for finding out fuel for power generation and construction of new power plants in a coordinated manner.

e)    Electricity industry like any other industry is a business activity and without sound financial planning and performance, it cannot survive and thrive. Unless the industry is financially self-sustaining within a specified time frame and it is compelled to depend on government subsidy, it cannot meet the demand and expectation of the nation as far as electricity sector is concerned.

f)     Making adequate preparation and creation of trained manpower to adapt to the new technology, so that eventually we ourselves can do coal exploration and mining, arrange proper storage, undertaking washing and safe storage of coal in an environmentally friendly manner. Certainly we cannot pollute our rivers further through mishandling of these processes and procedure. Even ash handling and disposing of is now a developed technology. We cannot waste precious and extremely limited agriculture land for disposing of ash from a power plant. A large number of young people need be trained on coal exploration, coal mining, coal handling, coal washing, coal storage, running efficiently coal fired power plants, using ash for perhaps making building blocks and in other related activities.

g)    The national grid system in this country has developed considerably from the year 2002 to 2008. 1165 km of 230 kV and 370 km of 132 kV transmission line have been added by PGCB. Again 3150 MVA Sub-station capacity of voltage level 230/132 kV and 520 MVA of Sub-station capacity of voltage level have been added. This is a commendable achievement. The grid system on both sides of the Jamuna River from North to South has been developed in a systematic manner. The new generation capacity can now feed the grid system and thereby serve the entire country effectively.

h)    Effective and scientific value addition is a must to survive in this intensely competitive world. There is no alternative but to use innovation and deploy better productivity. The available electricity supply need be cautiously used with this in view. We are an over populated nation and our natural resources are very limited. But our people are generally hard working and innovative. As such we can attain a better situation through better planning and implementation.

I)     Adaptation of better personnel policy is a must. Unless a vision and a plan is implemented properly, success can not be attained. At present there is a sense of uncertainty and lack of direction in the mind of most of the employees of the public sector under takings. The already initiated reorganization process need be further explained to all the employees of the sector. They need to participate in the process.

j)     At present the nature of daily load curve is almost flat. There is no pronounced peak. This is perhaps because of shortage of capacity to meet the demand. However there is definite scope for using much lesser quantum of electricity by using irrigation pumps only when it is most needed and without lowering the water table unnecessarily. More than 50% of electricity is used in Dhaka and in Chittagong. Air conditioning load can be reduced very substantially through better design of large shopping malls. We must realize that we are a poor nation. Depriving other essential needs we can not loiter in large shopping malls maintaining very comfortable low temperature inside. The escalators need not be continuously in operation for going one or two floors up. Demand management is a must. We frequently compare our selves with neighboring countries and lament that we do not have enough of many things. We do not pause to think how many large air conditioned shopping malls are there in our neighboring countries.

Exploration & Mining of Coal

To meet our increasing fuel demand coal exploration and mining need be started forthwith. We have used many months to develop a comprehensive coal policy. This is a commendable task and it would provide guideline for all activities in this sector. However, we are in a hurry.

It was decided long ago that Petrobangla would have the overall responsibility to explore and mine coal resources. They needed a suitable strategic partner to provide modern technology and large external finance to join them in this nationally important and urgent task. Proposals for selection of such strategic competent partners were about to be finalized. In a meeting at the concerned ministry decisions were taken. Suddenly it was thought that a coal policy need be framed and adopted before any concrete action in coal sector. Meanwhile precious time is being lost and none is sure when a coal policy can be adopted and realistically implemented under a democratically elected government.

If we would entrust the responsibility of coal exploration and mining to Petrobangla and allow them to handle the situation effectively (like we did incase of natural gas), we shall certainly make a positive move in the right direction. For every mining location probably a different solution is needed. Those could be examined and settled through negotiation. Protracted negotiation and procrastination need be avoided. The country can not wait any longer. Unless mining of coal is started, coal fired power station construction can not be started in a large way. Importing of coal and their handling are comparatively difficult tasks. Importing furnace oil is easier.

The name Petrobangla would be welcomed by the inhabitants of the coal area. We must learn from the experience those may be gained by Petrobangla and its strategic partner through joint efforts. Let us make a beginning.

Shamsul Islam, Former Chairman, BPDB


Date: 01 July 2009, Bangladesh

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Water Management in Coal Mining Project: Case Study Phulbari

Posted by phulbarinews on July 12, 2009

Zubayer Zaman

Water management is one of the major aspects of coal mining, specially for open pit mines. As Phulbari has been planned for open pit operation, its water management plan is a much discussed about matter. EP’s this issue cover report covers Asia Energy’s prepared detailed management plans for water management with adequate fund allocation and its clear commitment.

There is no arguing about the fact that Bangladesh has good quality coal at open pit mineable depth and has the potential to provide long term energy solution for the country. But the point is how Bangladesh would ensure safe and economic extraction of its coal resource against the experience of Barapukuria underground mine which represents a poor match of mining method for the type of thick coal deposits Bangladesh has. Bangladesh has an estimated reserve of about 2,500-3,000 million tonnes of coal but at mineable depth the amount is not more than 1,500 million tonnes as Jamaganj (>1000 million tonnes) is not considered technically and economically feasible as of today for mining for its greater depth.

This quantity of coal is pretty limited and maximization of resource recovery is a must (wherever possible) to attain long-term energy security for the country. Any wrong decision or selection of wrong mining method without taking into consideration of geological and hydro-geological reality of the coal basins will jeopardize the potentials of this sector. Barapukuria has become a very good example in this regard. Bangladesh can’t afford to leave 90% of its valuable coal resource beneath the ground as wastage only for choosing wrong mining method while the country has been in serious crisis of primary energy fuel.

Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh) Pty Ltd, the subsidiary of UK-based GCM Resources plc has proposed to establish and operate an open pit coal mine in Phulbari. Phulbari is one of the most well explored and credibly assessed coal fields in Bangladesh. Geological data revealed that it is the shallowest coal basin and ideal candidate for open pit mining. The proposed mine has the potential to recover more than 90% of the deposit, can deliver much needed coal at affordable prices along with other valuable co-products that will come out only as a process of open pit coal extraction. All the potential impacts associated with open pit mine development have been thoroughly assessed and management plans have been prepared with particular importance on water issues. Many of the Project documents are open for public, uploaded on Project website. It would be worth useful to look into the water management issues of Phulbari Coal Project as water management has been raised as a contentious issue for open pit mine development in Bangladesh.

Dewatering & Open Pit Mining

The overlying or underlying sediment and rocks of coal seams in a coal bearing basin may contain water bearing strata (aquifer). Open pit mine development in such situation requires dewatering and depressurization of the aquifers through continuously pumping out of water to keep the mine pit dry and maintain safe working conditions. This potentially lowers the water table within and outside the mining area and makes water inaccessible for many operational shallow and/or deep tube-wells within the influence area, mostly used for irrigation and domestic purposes. Therefore, efficient water management is a critical issue for the successful operation of an open pit mine as well as to maintain the existing water supply system to the environment and community. Open pit mining operation has been successful in different parts of the world including India, Germany, Australia, Indonesia, Greece, Thailand, USA, South Africa managing the overlying and underlying aquifer systems in complex geological and hydro-geological situations.

Underground water withdrawal is not uncommon in Bangladesh and widely practiced in Phulbari region to meet irrigation and domestic water needs. In Dhaka, some 6,480 million litres of water per day is being extracted from the underground aquifers. There are some 200 functional deep tubewells within 10 kilometres of the Phulbari mine site, and some 15,000 shallow tube-wells (STW). During the dry season, the deep tube-wells alone pump more than 1,000 million litres per day for irrigation purposes. The cumulative volume of groundwater extracted by the shallow tube-wells would be significantly greater (about 1,800 million litres per day) than the deep tube-wells. Barapukuria Power Plant and Barapukuria Mine also withdraw significant amount of water, some 78 million litres and 24 million litres per day respectively.

Hydrogeology of Phulbari

The sediment and rock in Phulbari basin contain both aquifers and aquitards that require dewatering and depressurization for open pit mine development. The main aquifer is the really extensive, Upper Dupi Tila Formation, some 100m thick.  It underlies the Madhupur Clay and is the main source of domestic and irrigation water in the Project area. 

Water Management Plan

All potential water issues associated with open pit mine development have been thoroughly studied and groundwater model has been developed for the Phulbari Coal Project. A Water Management Plan has been prepared to minimize the impacts of mining operations on the natural water balance of the region and offer benefit to environment and community. It is learned that experts from the vastly experienced and successful coal mining and power company, RWE of Cologne Germany, have checked various water issues especially the proposed water injection program and have been engaged to work with Asia Energy during the early years of the Phulbari Coal Project implementation to make the system full proof. Asia Energy has clearly affirmed its position that they have technical and management skills and commitment to manage all the water issues efficiently and adequate funds have been allocated to ensure it. The water management plan of the Project comprises many components, major issues include:

  • Mine water balance 
  • Dewatering system
  • Mitigation works
  • On-site mine water management
  • Comprehensive water monitoring program

Water Balance

The mine water balance has been based on various climatic and major mine and community water demand operational scenarios over the life of the mine. For community requirements, it considers irrigation, aquifer injection and town and mine potable water demands. A mine water balance is complex.

The flow chart indicates that the Project will have excess water throughout the year.  During the wet season excess water will need to be discharged off-site into nearby watercourses. The amount to be discharged is not significant comparing to the bank full capacity of the local river courses.  During the dry season, there is sufficient water for:

  • Irrigation for agriculture. 
  • Aquifer injection purposes
  • Water supply to Phulbari Township; and
  • Water for riparian and downstream irrigation uses.


The groundwater level must be pulled down to create dry conditions in the mining area so that the generally low strength aquifer sequence materials (sands, gravel and clays) can be safely excavated.  Mine dewatering is usually undertaken for a variety of geo-technical (material strength considerations), mining and safety reasons. This is a well-proven way to maintain dry working conditions, prevent flooding and ensuring the stability of the mine walls and mine haulage road pavements.

Mine dewatering can be achieved in Phulbari by pumping continuously from a ring of dewatering tube-wells around the mine and on benches, and installing pumps in special sumps on the mine floor to remove any surface water. Computer modeling indicates that some 80 to 100 dewatering tube-wells are required at any one time to cumulatively pump some 6,000 liters/second (L/s) to achieve the target.

Depending on the geological and hydro-geological conditions around the mine site, mine dewatering will induce water level draw-down away from the pit. This may restrict availability of water to the surrounding community for irrigation and household purposes. A number of well-tested mitigation measures have been planned to manage the impacts, to make water available to the impacted community. Asia Energy is confident that the proposed mitigation works (internationally reviewed) will minimize the impacts and will offer benefit to environment and community.

Mitigation Works

Aquifer Injection

One of the mitigation works planned to control the impact of mine dewatering activities in the Phulbari area is aquifer injection. This involves injecting water from the dewatering operation into the Upper Dupi Tila Aquifer at around 5 kilometers from the pit. This hydrologically isolates the impacts of dewatering within and outside the injection. Experience shows up to 30% of water from the mine dewatering operation can be injected into the aquifer with this system.

Certain geological and hydro-geological criteria are required for the successful operation of an injection system.  This includes:

  • An really extensive, thick, sedimentary sequence;
  • The target aquifer preferably overlain by a confining layer; and
  • A simple geological structure.

All factors and criteria are available at Phulbari. 

Aquifer injection is a proven technology and has been used successfully in many mining project in the world under strict environmental rules and regulations. For example, over 50 million metres3 of water per year is injected into 70 infiltration trenches and 150 recharge wells to protect wetlands near the Rhenish open cut lignite mines in Germany.  

Water Supply for Irrigation

Groundwater is the major source of irrigation water during the dry season and a substantial number of shallow tube-wells used for irrigation purposes will not be functional within the influence area of dewatering operation. Depending on the degree of water level draw-down and distance from the mine, reticulated water will be delivered to affected farmers by large diameter pipelines and trenches/canals from the mine dewatering system; or by construction of new deep tube-wells.  Sufficient water is available for the piped delivery system in the dry season (216ML/day) for two irrigated crops, thus allowing three crops per year.  Another advantage of this system is that the historical dry season water level decline will be ameliorated close to the injection bore field and shallow tube-wells (STW) will be able to operate for the whole irrigation season.

Water Supply for Domestic & Ecological Uses   

Groundwater is also the primary source of drinking water to the rural villages and township and Project must ensure safe drinking water to the affected households.  A reticulated water supply system will be developed to supply a portion of water from the mine dewatering operation to the affected households.  Deep tube-wells will be installed in isolated villages far off from the mine operation area to source water for reticulated water supply system. This will improve the water supply quality to the affected rural households.

Water may also need to discharge to surrounding water bodies from the dewatering operation to maintain current seasonal water levels and quality. Any surface water pumped from the floor of the mine will be treated to ensure it meets national water quality standards before releasing to the neighboring environment.

On- Site Water Management

The overall water management system philosophy is the preferential release of clean water for direct external use and to re-use treated dirty water on-site for mining purposes.  Water released from the mine site will conform to water quality discharge standards. On site water management for the Phulbari mine site comprises the following primary components:

  • progressive enlargement and linkage of noise bunds, visual mounds, flood levees and the ex-pit overburden dump around the periphery of the expanding mine;
  • in-pit water collection sumps and pump system to remove groundwater seepage and rainfall runoff to treatment/storage ponds
  • rainfall runoff collection system from disturbed surface works areas (such as haul roads, ex-pit overburden dump, mine service areas) to detention and sediment basins;
  • rainfall runoff collection system from undisturbed and rehabilitated surface works areas for release to watercourses outside mine bund areas;
  • collection of drainage seepage from ex-pit overburden dump to treatment facilities;
  • collection of sewage and treatment by facultative lagoons, then discharge to local wetland;
  • collection of industrial liquid waste in a dedicated oily waste treatment facility;
  • preferential re-use of ‘dirty’/treated water for mine purposes (dust suppression, plant wash down, landscape and rehabilitation, coal washery and fire fighting);
  • controlled water volume and quality discharge from the site; and
  • a comprehensive water monitoring program


Monitoring is the key to assess the impacts of mining operations and appropriate mitigation measures to be implemented to rectify the impacts. Asia Energy has developed a comprehensive monitoring system to monitor dewatering effectiveness, batter stability, aquifer injection performance, water chemistry, off-site discharges etc and to assess the requirement for local and regional mitigation works. A telemetric system for automatic ‘real-time’ measurement of key parameters (water levels around the mine, local and regional impacts; dewatering discharge and water injection volumes; water chemistry; etc) will be installed and operated 24 hours/day. In addition, a regular manual monitoring program will also be operational. 

Myths of Desertification Due to Dewatering

Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors including climatic variations and human activities. Phulbari is not located in an arid to semi-arid environment and the concern for desertification doesn’t have any scientific basis. The proposed land clearing and deforestation at Phulbari will temporarily occur but will be progressively replaced by nutrient enriched topsoil and 1,946 hectares of forests. Low salinity irrigation water will be supplied to agricultural land and the Madhupur Clay will support vegetation during the dry season. Desertification does not occur in Dhaka City, where, with similar geology, some 75,000 L/s of groundwater is extracted and water levels have declined in excess of 50m. Signs of desertification do not appear at the Barapukuria Mine nor Power Station nor open lignite mines after 50 years dewatering in Germany. There is no single evidence in the world where desertification happened due to mine dewatering.


Water management is one of the major aspects of Phulbari open pit mining operation. Asia Energy has prepared detailed management plans with adequate fund allocation and has made its commitment clear that the company will deal with care the various water aspects of the Project and its incumbent technical and environmental risks.  All management plans prepared for any mining project is a living document as the case with Phulbari and are expected to be continuously reviewed and updated and measures taken accordingly. Despite having a comprehensive water management plan for the Project, people still have concern about the management of various water issues especially mine dewatering issue and its impacts on surrounding environment and community. Besides the Project Proponent, the Government has a role to play to eliminate people’s concern and to assure that all water issues are well addressed and well managed and mining operations are environmentally and socially responsive. An independent monitoring system can be developed with data reviewed by some of Bangladesh’s renowned hydro geologists or by a panel of national and international experts to ensure the impacts of water level lowering are being managed and the benefits of the abundant water supply are being delivered. 

Zubayer Zaman: Geologist


Date: 01 July 2009, Bangladesh

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Coal, Not Gas, Is The Panacea For Bangladesh’s Energy Security

Posted by phulbarinews on July 12, 2009

Hafeezuddin Ahmad

There is growing concern about power availability and energy security facing the nation. This is acknowledged by Awami League government in its Five Priority Issues. The following is an analysis of the current Power Generation scenario (2009) with respect to the two primary fuels — Gas and Coal.

What Is The Ground Reality?

  • Generation of power is nearly 90% dependant on gas resource.
  • Current gas supply is much short of demand. Several installed power plants are shut down; no new units will get gas; unless diverted from other users (fertilizer, industry, commercial, domestic).
  • Gas resource is fast depleting. Unless new discoveries are made, gas will run out within 10 years. New discoveries and production from these, if any, are at least 5-6 years away. It would appear that the mindset is still to bank on this primary fuel. Why ?
  • Extracting a bit of incremental gas from existing gas fields may increase current supply, but that would reduce the field’s life proportionately.
  • Coal reserves in north-western districts are significant,  to last for several decades. Except for Barapukuria, it is perceived that government is not pursuing with a sense of urgency. Why?
  • All new power plants should be coal fired. Our gas resource should be conserved for existing gas fired power plants. If significant discoveries are made in future, it could be used for more value added products i.e. fertilizer, petrochemicals and LNG.

What Should Be Done?

Coal mining must start immediately (in addition to Barapukuria), and construction of coal based power plants must start simultaneously, so that first coal would converge with first coal based power. The nation will have to cope with frequent load shedding, until in the interim, new power plants using oil or dual fuel (oil/gas) and strategically located, are set up urgently.   

Alternative Energy:

Clearly we, as a nation, must look at alternative energy sources. In the long term, renewable must be the answer, such as wind and solar. Whilst there are limitations (technical, safety and cost) in these areas, it is hoped that with future development and innovation in developed countries, which is going on with a sense of urgency, it would be possible to harness these for our future power need. There is also nuclear; government is in discussion for 1000 MW. We have already started on this path, and must persevere.

Power Generation 

Installed Power Plants

The current installed capacity is approximately 5551 MW, but the derated capacity is lower; estimated to be 5061 MW on 29-3-09 (due to plant ageing, wear and tear). Nearly 90% use gas as primary fuel. However, gas shortage,  plant maintenance and rehabilitation, have further reduced actual generation capacity. During March 09 average generation was around 3600 MW.  Demand is widely believed to range between 4400-4700 MW. So we are looking at 800-1100 MW shortfall.

To give an example, gas demand for power generation on 30-31 March 09 was 912 mmcfd, but only 745 mmcfd could be supplied, shortfall of 167 mmcfd (18%).  The maximum power demand (probable) on that day was 4600 MW. The maximum generation on 30-3-09 was 3803 MW,  so a shortfall of about 800 MW (17%). Consequently, load shedding was high. Interestingly, the highest ever generation was 4130MW on 17-9-07.  (source: BPDB-Petrobangla)

Pipeline Power Plants       

Over 1000 MW new capacity is supposed to be “under construction” during 2009/10, out of which 700 MW to be completed by June 09. However, all or most are gas based. How  will these be supplied with gas, when there is a net shortage already?  A net gas shortage does not mean there is shortage throughout the gas grid. If some of these units are located where there is already surplus gas or if additional gas can be produced from nearby existing fields, then well and good. However, if some units are in deficit locations, they would have to be converted, if feasible, into dual fuel (oil/gas) to be able to generate. This converted capacity would be added to the de-rated installed capacity as the “effective” capacity. If some units cannot be converted into oil, then they will have to remain idle until more gas is available. PDB can throw light on this.

Future Power Plants

New power plants (2000 MW plus “under process” and 1000 MW plus “new planned”) are envisaged to meet the projected demand under PSMP. It would be prudent to revisit such plans in the context of primary fuel availability.

What needs to be done ?

1. Unfortunately, the situation will not improve immediately so long there is a gap between demand and supply. Prudent load management can ameliorate the deficit situation.

2. Meanwhile there is urgent need to install new oil/gas dual fuel power plants to fill the gap between demand and supply (from existing plants and plants under construction plants which are converted into oil or dual fuel). (This exercise may already have been undertaken by BPDB-Power Division).

3. Maintenance and repair of all power plants must be given highest priority. This requires fast track emergency procurement of spares.

4. Conservation of available energy by mass scale use of energy saving bulbs; extreme prudence in the use of air-conditioners and national awareness against waste (switching off lights and fans whenever no one is around); maximizing day light timings in offices, shops and other public spaces.

5. Encouraging the use of captive generation in industrial and commercial entities by reducing price of generators and liquid fuels.

Gas Availability 

Gas Reserves, Demand and Supply

Bangladesh gas reserves are depleting. Production is unable to meet demand. Remaining reserves is estimated between 12-14 TCF (Proven 8.3 and Probable 5.5). This is likely to exhaust between 2015-2020. For example during 30-31 March 09, total gas produced was 1877 mmcfd, against normal demand of 2150-2200 mmcfd; so shortage was approximately 300 mmcfd (average 14-15%). Of this 745 mmcfd (39%) was to power plants, 206 mmcfd (11%) to fertilizer units, and 938 mmcfd (50%) to industrial, commercial and domestic consumers. (source Petrobangla). 

Gas based power generation

Currently, around 700mmcfd gas is supplied for power generation against demand of around 900 mmcfd, varying daily depending upon gas production, generation capacity of power plants, and diversion from other consumers. The fact is there is gas shortage daily. This inevitably results in reduced or no gas to some power plants, which were unable to generate to their operating capacity. The shortage would have been more; but for some power plants not operating due to maintenance and rehabilitation.

Increased effort for more gas discoveries

According to estimates from past surveys and studies (USGS and Norwegian Petroleum Directorate), there is 50% probability of Bangladesh having 32-42TCF undiscovered gas, and possibly more. Petrobangla is trying to increase production from its producing fields, and Cairns and Tullow are engaged in offshore exploration work (Blocks 16, 17, 18). All out exploration work is likely to yield positive result, given Bangladesh’s track record of successful drilling . (69 exploratory wells, 25 discoveries. 56 onshore exploratory wells, 22 discoveries, and 13 offshore exploratory wells, 2 discoveries). Despite the probability of some limited additional production from existing fields already, it would not be realistic to expect significant increase of gas production, what with Sangu depleting fast, and other unforeseen situations. The significant breakthrough would come only if new discoveries are made, unlikely before 2011, at the very earliest. Thereafter development and production would take another 3-4 years. So new gas, if any, is at least 5-6 years away.

What Needs To Be Done?    

  • Petrobangla should ramp up its efforts to produce additional gas from existing fields. An accurate re-evaluation should be made of how much more may be reasonably expected in the next 3-4 years. Very close co-ordination is needed between Petrobangla and Power Division (BPDB), so that gas allocation and utilization is maximized. There should be no surprises. Power Division and Petrobangla’s accurate, regular and updated rolling status of pipeline projects is critical for calculating the capacity of the emergency new dual fuel oil/gas fired plants.
  • Bidding for new blocks, and awards to successful bidders, should be expedited on an urgent basis.
  • Cairns and Tullow should be encouraged to expedite their exploration program.   
  • Bapex should become much more active, thus reducing dependency on IOCs for exploration and at the same time is more cost effective.

Coal Mining

Coal deposits

The north-western region of Bangladesh (Barapukuria, Khalashpir, Phulbari, Dighipara and Jamalganj) have an estimated coal resource of 3.3 billion tons, a third of which (in Jamalganj) is very difficult to mine due to being at depths exceeding 640 meters. The others are at shallower depths of 118-509 meters. Out of 3.3 bln tonnes of resource, about 962 mln tonnes are well studied coal deposits at shallower extractive depths. These are at Phulbari (572 mln tonnes at 150-240 meters), and Barapukuria (390 mln tonnes at 118-509 meters). The Khalaspir (143 mln tonnes at 257-483 meters), Dighipara (150 mln tonnes at 328-407 meters) and Jamalganj (1056 mln tonnes at 640-1150 meters) coal fields require further extensive studies for their commercial use. It may be noted that Barapukuria and Phulbari deposits have coal seam sections that are at very shallow depths, and therefore are the most feasible and viable for commercial mining. More coal field discoveries are expected with more exploration.

What Does This Coal Mean In Terms Of Gas?

In contrast to about 12-14 TCF proven gas reserve remaining, our coal deposit is equivalent to several times more TCF of gas, considering 1 TCF gas = 38 million tons coal (heating value).

To express this contextually,

  • 3.3 billion tonnes north-western coal reserves (proven and probable) is equivalent to 87 TCF gas.
  • 962 million tonnes coal (Phulbari and Barapukuria) is equivalent to 25 TCF gas.
  • Barapukuria coal deposit is equivalent to 10 TCF gas.
  • Phulbari coal deposit is equivalent to 15 TCF gas.

Bangladesh’s proven and probable coal reserve have huge potential. There are indications of more coal deposit discoveries in future.  There is also the extraction of co-products, such as rock, aggregate, clay, kaolin, and sand, all of which are economically useful.

Naturally, it is not possible to extract 100% of the coal deposit. This depends primarily upon the method of mining and techno-economic realities. In Bangladesh conditions of the discovered coal fields, open pit mining would allow 90% extraction, underground only 20%. Open pit mining, well tested and reliable technology, is prevalent in many countries.

The depth of the coal seam is important; the deeper it is, the more intense is the technology, cost, and safety. Coal at un-extractable depths may be used for producing coal-bed methane and coal gasification, although the technology of the latter is being pursued and improved in many countries…this is relevant for our deepest coal reserves. Overlying rock characteristics including location of the aquifers (underground water bearing rocks) are also important. Environmental concerns, hazards, land subsidence, and dewatering cost are important factors.

Mining is associated with social and physical issues, i.e. relocation of human population, loss of livelihood, relocation of infrastructure and other obstacles, land and traditional homestead loss. There are environmental issues i.e. effect on water bodies, forest, atmospheric emissions, ground subsidence, ground water, etc.

These concerns are not specific to Bangladesh…they are part of mining activity, encountered all over the world. With serious commitment, and partnership amongst the stakeholders i.e. government, affected population, and miners, they have been removed or mitigated. The economic benefit accruing to the nation is the over-riding factor.  

How Much Coal Is Needed For Power Generation And What It Means To The Nation?

This naturally depends upon plant design and capacity utilization. It is estimated that a 1000MW power plant will need between 3.0-3.5 million tons thermal coal annually. Clearly, several thousand megawatts can be generated from our coal resource. One way of looking at it is that only Phulbari deposit can feed five 1000MW power plants for 38 years, assuming mining capacity of 15 million tons yearly. So Bangladesh can comfortably shift to 100% coal based base load power generation, sustainable over several years. 

Globally, coal is the most abundant and least expensive energy source. It accounts for over 50% of US electrical energy, 20% of Canadian energy, over 65% of Indian energy and over 70% of Chinese energy.  Better technology, improved combustion, increased levels of scrubbing, filtering of flue gas etc have resulted in greatly mitigated environmental concerns.

First coal from new mining will take 4 years. It takes 5-6 years for the development of coal based power plants. So if the process of coal mining and coal based power plant construction is taken up immediately and concurrently,  it would not only be feasible to meet Awami League’s manifesto pledge by 2013 but also put Bangladesh to energy self sufficiency and security in the foreseeable future.    

Top Priority Focus to Shift Power Dependency from Gas to Coal

  • Immediately throwing open the coal mining program (at present restricted to Barapukuria deposit only of 1 million tonnes yearly target), such that first coal from the new projects can start flowing within 4/5 years  (2012/13), by when the new coal based power plants would be ready. Parallel and simultaneous program to be undertaken to set up coal fired power stations.
  • Private and private-public investments should be mutually synergesic and parallel in the development of such a program. Already concrete projects/proposals are with government from foreign investors (Asia Energy’s “Exploration & Mining” Contract with GoB , Tata, South Korean group).
  • The advent of coal sector in the North West region should provide the engine for accelerated socio-economic development of Western Bangladesh (Rajshahi and Khulna divisions). This would include  development of infrastructure (roads, railway, port, and electricity), greater industrial activity, and access to improved education and health services. For this, an integrated and comprehensive Western Bangladesh Development Program is necessary; to be funded from pre-allocated part of the coal revenue inflow.
  • Proper Collection and Use of Coal revenue: A transparent accounting system is necessary (source and application). There may be progressive and sound examples of such systems in developing countries, which are involved in mining.
  • Coal Policy: Should it not be a component of the Energy Policy? Is there need for a standalone policy for coal? There is no standalone policy for natural gas. The Mines and Mineral Rules, 1968 (amended up to 2004) is a workable basis for regulating the sector, under the Bureau of Mineral Development. It may be further strengthened through amendments and/or new enactment.
  • Private sector (national and FDI) policies and contracts need to be honored in the process. Overall nation’s interest, economic and socio-environmental aspects and adherence to global norms and practice should all be underlying principles and mutually complementary.  

Hafeezuddin Ahmad: formerly Resident Representative and Country Manager of IFC Bangladesh – the private sector arm of the World Group)


Date: 16 June 2009, Bangladesh

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