State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid on Sunday said the government will import 100,000 tonnes of coal from abroad to meet the demand of the Barapukuria coal-fired power plant.
“We’ve already floated a tender to import the coal,” he said while exchanging Eid greetings with reporters at his office.
The state minister said the move was initiated as part of the contingency plan to manage any difficult situation.
He, however, said it is yet to be selected from which country the coal will be brought. “We’ve just invited tender in this regard and the selection will be made after submission of bids by suppliers,” he said.
The Barapukuria coal-fired power plant was forced to shut down on July 22 following an unusual shortage in coal supply by the nearby Barapukuria coal mine.
The shutdown of the power plant led to a huge power cut in the country’s northern region.
The coal shortage appeared when the operation of the coal mine was suspended due to change in shaft and it was identified that about 144,000 tonnes of coal disappeared from the coal storage.
The government formed a number of committees to probe the coal disappearance.
Nasrul Hamid said the Barapukuria power plant is expected to resume partial operation from September next and it might be fully operational from October.
Responding to a query, he said the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will not have any impact on the electricity tariff.
He, however, said the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has the ultimate authority to decide the readjustment of power tariff.