Barapukuria Coal Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor
(Redirected from Barapukuria 3rd Unit)

Barapukuria Coal Power Plant is a 525 MW mine-mouth coal-fired power plant in Rangpur division, Bangladesh.


The map below shows the location of the plant, in Phulbari and Parbatipur upazilas, Dinajpur district, Rangpur district.

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Background on Units 1 & 2

The Barapukuria Coal Power Plant is an existing 250 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station which is owned and operated by the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) in Dudhipur, Dinajpur province in Bangladesh.[1] Currently the plant has two 125 MW units, but operators are seeking to add an additional 250 MW unit.

The plant was commissioned in 2006 and consumes approximately 450,000 tonnes of coal a year which is supplied by the nearby Barapukuria coal mine.[2][3] In its 2011-12 annual report BPDB states that the cost of coal was 354.63 crore Taka. [3.5 billion taka = approx $US44.9 million at July 2013][4] and that the plant had a load factor of 58%.[1]

Unit 3 Expansion

Barapukuria's Unit 3 is a proposed 250 megawatt expansion of the existing plant. The expansion of the power station is listed by the BPDB as having been approved by the Cabinet "Purchase Committee" with a nominal commissioning date of March 2016.[5] [6]

In 2012, the Bangladesh Power Development Board reported that no progress had been made on the project despite three extensions of the notice for submission of tender for the plant.[7]

In October 2015, it was reported that construction work on the project had begun. The report listed the plant at 275 MW and stated that it would consume 600,000 tonnes of coal annually, with 75 percent coming from Barapukuria Coal Mining Company.[8] Commissioning is planned for 2018.[9][10]

On December 3, 2017, it was reported the new unit was undergoing testing and would be completed soon.[11] In April 2018 it was reported that "development work" on the unit would continue through the end of the year.[12] The unit was reported to be operating in July 2018.[13]

Coal shortages

In July 2018 the plant's three units were shut down due to coal shortages from the nearby Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd (BCMCL). Allegations have been raised that coal has been sold illegally by the government, since there are no technical reasons for the shortage.[13] The plant resumed producing power in September, with the "disappearance" of 142,000 tons of coal still a mystery.[14]

Financing for Unit 3

In January 2014, Chinese private bank Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) provided Bangladesh with a loan of US$224 million to increase the capacity of the 250MW Barapukuria coal-fired thermal power station by 275 MW. The remainder of the estimated cost of the US$330.52 million project was to be funded by the Government of Bangladesh.[15]


In November 2019, Market Forces,, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan (BAPA), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) and Waterkeepers Bangladesh co-published the report, “Choked by Coal: the Carbon Catastrophe in Bangladesh,” to expose the possible consequences of building 29 coal-fired power stations in Bangladesh, including the Barapukuria station. The report identifies how if these coal-fired stations are built, Bangladesh’s coal capacity will increase by “63-fold, from 525 MW [megawatts] today to 33,200 MW.”[16]

Labeling the production of coal-fired power stations as a “colossal act of self-sabotage,” BAPA, TIB, and Waterkeepers Bangladesh emphasized how Bangladesh is “already one of the countries most affected by climate change.” They want the Bangladesh government to understand that producing coal-fired power stations would make Bangladesh a country that is both affected and “responsible for climate change.” Citing the “vested corporate and political interests of China, Japan, India, and the UK,” the three groups explained how Bangladesh “cannot become the dumping ground for coal” that foreign countries want to profit from.[16]

As a result, the three groups “call upon the [Bangladesh] Government to freeze all the under-construction coal-based power projects.” Until each project is assessed for its environmental impact “by expert entities without any conflict of interest,” no coal-based power stations should be built. Furthermore, Bangladesh should remain committed to developing and implementing renewable energy., one of the publishers of the report, cited how a group of climate activists in Bangladesh “have an alternative plan to generate 55% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2041.”[16]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Bangladesh Power Development Board
  • Parent company: Bangladesh Power Development Board[17]
  • Location: Phulbari and Parbatipur upazilas, Dinajpur district, Rangpur district, Bangladesh
  • Coordinates: 25.5537569, 88.9486312 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross capacity: 525 MW (Units 1 & 2: 125 MW, Unit 3: 275 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • In service: 2006 (Units 1 & 2), 2018 (Unit 3)
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source: Barapukuria coal mine
  • Source of financing: Unit 3: US$224 million in debt from ICBC; US$106.52 million in equity from the Government of Bangladesh[15]

Contact details


Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bangladesh Power Development Board, "Annual Report 2011-12", Bangladesh Power Development Board, page 44.
  2. Bangladesh Power Development Board, "Annual Report 2011-12", Bangladesh Power Development Board, page 48.
  3. "Barapukuria Coal Power Plant", Global Energy Observatory website, accessed July 2013.
  4. Bangladesh Power Development Board, "Annual Report 2011-12", Bangladesh Power Development Board, page 75.
  5. Bangladesh Power Development Board, "Power Generation Project From 2013 to 2017", Bangladesh Power Development Board, January 20, 2013, page 3.
  6. Bangladesh Power Development Board, "Annual Report 2011-12", Bangladesh Power Development Board, page 44.
  7. "3rd Time Extension Notice for submission of Tender for Extension of Barapukuria Coal Fired Thermal Power Station by 250 MW + 10% (3rd Unit) Project," Bangladesh Power Development Board, 08-05-12
  8. "Barapukuria coal power plant adds another unit," Daily Star, October 19, 2015
  9. "Barapukuria Thermal Power Plant:40 pc works of 3rd unit completed," Business News 24, Aug 2, 2016
  10. "Feasibility study deal for expansion of Barapukuria coal mine on Feb 16," Dhaka Tribune, Feb 14, 2017
  11. "National grid to get 275MW from Barapukuria power plant’s third unit," Dhaka Tribune, Dec 3, 2017
  12. "Barapukuria workers threaten strike from April 21," Daily Star, Apr 21, 2018
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Barapukuria power plant shut down after 142,000 tons of coal disappear," Dhaka Tribune, July 22, 2018
  14., Dhaka Tribune, 14 Sept. 2018.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "China offers hard loan of $224 million to Bangladesh to expand Barapukuria power station,"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Choked by Coal: the Carbon Catastrophe in Bangladesh, Market Forces, 6 Nov 2019.
  17. "Power Generation Project From 2013 to 2017" Bangladesh Power Development Board, January 1, 2013.

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