Barapukuria power station

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Barapukuria power station is an operating power station of at least 525-megawatts (MW) in Phulbari/Parbatipur, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Bangladesh. It is also known as বড়পুকুরিয়া.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Barapukuria power station Phulbari/Parbatipur, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Bangladesh 25.5537569, 88.9486312 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2: 25.5537569, 88.9486312
  • Unit 3: 25.553438, 88.95048

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - bituminous 125 subcritical 2006
Unit 2 operating coal - bituminous 125 subcritical 2006
Unit 3 operating coal - bituminous 275 subcritical 2018

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) [100.0%]
Unit 2 Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) [100.0%]
Unit 3 Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): 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[1]


The Barapukuria Coal Power Plant was a 250 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station commissioned in 2006. In 2018, the power station's capacity was expanded by 275 MW. It is owned and operated by the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) in Dudhipur, Dinajpur province in Bangladesh.[2][3][4]

According to reporting from April 2023, Unit 2 of the power plant had been out of service since 2019 over equipment failure.[5]

Unit 3 expansion

Barapukuria's Unit 3 was originally proposed as 250 MW. The expansion of the power station was listed by the BPDB as having been approved by the Cabinet "Purchase Committee" with a nominal commissioning date of March 2016.[6][2]

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 was 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]

Unit 3 financing

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 250 MW 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.[1]

Incidents and disruptions in operation

In April 2023, Unit 3 had shut down for two days due to a burst pipe.[5][14]

In June 2023, an employee of a company contracted at the power station was killed in a truck accident.[15]

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.[16]

In April 2021, the average annual coal production during the third contract period (2017-2021) for the Barapukuria coal mine was reportedly 840 thousand metric tons against an actual average annual demand of 1,200 thousand metric tons. In turn, the power station was chronically underperforming ("for most of its time, [the plant] could not generate half its capacity").[17]

Coal shortages continued in 2022 and early 2023, leading to power outages. In June 2022, it was reported that only 275MW unit was working, as the coal production had been suspended since April at Barapukuria coal mine.[18] However the situation seems to have stabilised later in August 2022. [19] In January 2023 it is reported that at the 274 MW-capacity unit, operational capacity was fluctuating between 24 and 250 MW. The other two units could generate 85 MW of electricity each.[20]

In June 2023, government officials said that the power station had been producing at only half its capacity, contributing to a load shedding crisis in the country.[21]

In July 2023, Unit 1 of the power station was shut down due to a coal shortage, and Unit 2 was offline for renovation work. According to local reporting, all three units of the power station were "never operated simultaneously."[22]

In December 2023, production at Barapukuria Coal Mine was temporarily suspended. There was reportedly enough coal to run Barapukuria power station for two months.[23] The mine resumed operations in February 2024.[24]

Environmental & public health impacts

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. The report identified 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.” It highlighted that the Barapukuria power station – Bangladesh’s only operational coal plant at the time – was toxic and inefficient, raising concerns about larger coal plants under construction in Bangladesh.[25]

The power station has serious impacts on water and land.[26] For example:

  • "Testing found that the coal ash pond had significantly contaminated well water and irrigation water with toxic heavy metals. Lead levels were 35-395 times higher than the WHO drinking water standards while chromium was 8,025-18,675 times higher."
  • "Coal ash pond overflows onto cropland, contaminating food production areas."[25]

Contact details


Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "China offers hard loan of $224 million to Bangladesh to expand Barapukuria power station,"
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Annual Report 2011-12," Bangladesh Power Development Board, 2011-2012
  3. "Barapukuria Coal Power Plant," Global Energy Observatory website, accessed July 2013
  4. "Barapukuria (BPDB) Coal Power Plant," Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt, accessed in December 2021
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Barapukuria coal power plant unit-3 shut over technical glitches," The Business Standard, April 29, 2023
  6. "Power Generation Project From 2013 to 2017," Bangladesh Power Development Board, January 20, 2013, page 3
  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, 2012
  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, August 2, 2016
  10. "Feasibility study deal for expansion of Barapukuria coal mine on Feb 16," Dhaka Tribune, February 14, 2017
  11. "National grid to get 275MW from Barapukuria power plant’s third unit," Dhaka Tribune, December 3, 2017
  12. "Barapukuria workers threaten strike from April 21," Daily Star, April 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. "Barapukuria coal power plant unit-3 operation resumes," Dhaka Tribune, May 1, 2023
  15. "বড়পকুরিয়া বিদ্যুৎ কেন্দ্রের ভিতরে দুর্ঘটনায় নিহত ১," ভোরের কাগজ, June 1, 2023
  16. "Barapukuria thermal power plant resumes production after 53 days," Dhaka Tribune, September 14, 2018
  17. "How is the Barapukuria coal mine doing?," The Daily Start, April 4, 2021
  18. "Barapukuria plant: Shortage of coal may halt power generation". July 7, 2022. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. "Production problems at Barapukuria power plant may start easing in 2 weeks: official". August 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. "Power cuts are back in some areas despite fall in demand during winter". January 17, 2023. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. "At least 2 more weeks needed to resolve power crisis: Nasrul Hamid," City News Dhaka, June 4, 2023
  22. "কয়লা সংকটে বন্ধ বড়পুকুরিয়া বিদ্যুৎকেন্দ্রের এক ইউনিট," দেশ রূপান্তর, July 27, 2023
  23. "Production at Barapukuria Coal Mine suspended," Dhaka Tribune, December 30, 2023
  24. "Coal mining resumes at Barapukuria after 1.5 months," Dhaka Tribune, February 16, 2024
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Choked by Coal: the Carbon Catastrophe in Bangladesh," Market Forces, November 6, 2019
  26. "Power Div rejoinder, (CREA) reply," The Daily Star, November 29, 2021 (related to Matarbari Coal-Fired Plants: Nature sacrificed for power, November 17, 2021)

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.