Phulbari power station (Sinohydro)

From Global Energy Monitor

Phulbari power station (Sinohydro) is a proposed 4,000-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Rangpur division, Bangladesh. Coal for the plant would come from the proposed Phulbari coal mine.

The 2,000 MW Phulbari Coal Project (China Gezhouba) is also proposed at the location.

The Phulbari Coal Project (Asia Energy) was an old 1,000 MW proposal for the location by the same company.


The map below shows the location of Phulbari upazila, the approximate location of the project, in Dinajpur district, Rangpur division.

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GCM Resources, formerly Asia Energy Corporation, is a British company established with the sole purpose of building a coal mine and power plant in Phulbari. The company, as Asia Energy, had an earlier proposal for a mine and power plant in the 2000's (see Phulbari Coal Project (Asia Energy)). That proposal was met with considerable resistance, with three people having been killed and more than 200 injured by police in a public protest against the proposal in August 2006.

In September 2018, GCM Resources announced that China's Sinohydro Corporation (of Chinese engineering and construction firm PowerChina) would undertake a pre-feasibility study for a 4,000 MW Phulbari mine-mouth power plant. GCM stated that this was a separate proposal from the earlier 2,000-MW proposal with China Energy Engineering Corporation's China Gezhouba, the Phulbari Coal Project (China Gezhouba).[1] A report released in November 2018 concluded that the proposed Phulbari coal mine could power 6,000 MW of coal capacity.[2]

In January 2019, GCM Resources signed a joint venture agreement and EPC contract with PowerChina for the proposed development of two 1,000-MW mine-mouth coal-fired power units with an approximate investment of US$4 billion.[3][4] In March 2019, GCM signed a second Joint Venture Agreement with PowerChina in relation to the second phase (2 x 1,000MW units).[5]

According to the GCM Resources 2019 Annual Report, "PowerChina has seen feasibility studies and proposals for the 4,000MW Phases I and II completed." Additionally: "The arrangements with PowerChina also carry an obligation to conduct any required power plant feasibility studies, facilitate the inclusion of the Project in the ‘One Belt, One Road Initiative’ of the People’s Republic of China, and assist with financing the power plants."[6]

In July 2019, GCM Resources announced it had entered into a bilateral agreement with China Nonferrous Metal Industry and Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) to jointly manage the Phulbari coal mine project.[7]

In February 2020, GCM Resources said it had secured a US$1.5 million increase to its existing loan facility of US$3 million with Polo Resources Ltd, raising the total loan amount to US$4.5 million. GCM planned to use the loan on its partnerships with PowerChina, Power Construction Corp of China, and China Nonferrous Metal Industry's Foreign Engineering and Construction Co for the development of the Phulbari coal & power project.[8]

As of June 2020, feasibility studies were underway.[9]

On October 15, 2020, GCM Resources announced that it signed a framework agreement with China Nonferrous Metal Industry's Foreign Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd (otherwise known as NFC) and Power Construction Corporation of China, Ltd (PowerChina). In the two weeks after the announcement, there was increased trading activities involving GCM shares and at least thrice they had to announce Price Monitoring Extension to extend the auction call period. (An opinion piece highlighted that since the refusal of the government to renew GCM's licence for its exploration work, GCM has been maintaining low-level exposure within Bangladesh, thereby avoiding media scrutiny. Instead, the current management of the company was seeking intervention of the Chinese government.)[10]

Under the agreement, NFC was intended to acquire an interest of 5% of the joint venture entity from GCM, based on a valuation of the project to be agreed upon with GCM or its affiliate or investment partner holding the balance of ownership of the project. NFC would arrange financing for the project on acceptable, market-equivalent terms, and would in principle be appointed as the exclusive engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) contractor for the project.[11]

In March 2021, GCM Resources shares rose after Bangladesh JV Partners reaffirmed commitments.[12]

In September 2021, following the Chinese President's address to the United Nations General Assembly, it was reported that GCM remained committed to delivering the Phulbari Coal and Power Project "in a form that fits in with the Bangladesh Government's Energy and Power Sector development ambitions" and including new coal capacity.[13]

In March 2022, GCM Resources raised £2.13m to be spent on developing its Phulbari coal and power project.[14] In addition, the joint venture agreements with Power Construction Corp of China (PowerChina) were extended for a further two years to March 15, 2024. Both companies had negotiated a partnership in developing the proposed coal mine based on a coal resource of 572 million tonnes at Phulbari in Bangladesh. These discussions covered key areas including finance, project development and mining operations.[15]

In December 2022, PowerChina agreed to an extension for a period of a further 12 months from December 2022 to December 2023 for the memorandum of understanding primarily focused on the Phulbari coal mine development.[16]


In December 2018, protesters with Phulbari Solidarity Group, Extinction Rebellion, and Reclaim the Power blocked the entrance to GCM Resources' shareholder meeting in London, in a protest against the proposed project.[17]

In August 2021, protesters from anti-mining and climate justice organisations occupied the entrance of the Bangladesh High Commission to commemorate the 15th Phulbari Day since the 2006 Phulbari Massacre. The Phulbari Solidarity Group and London Mining Network were joined by Extinction Rebellion Youth Solidarity, Global Justice Bloc and Fossil Fuel London in a vigil and protest. Organisers handed over a memorandum signed by 41 international organisations asking the Bangladesh High Commission to call for the end of coal mining and coal-fired power plants in Bangladesh, as well as the delisting of GCM from the London Stock Exchange.[18][19]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: GCM Resources, PowerChina
  • Parent company: GCM Resources, PowerChina
  • Location: Phulbari upazila, Dinajpur district, Rangpur division, Bangladesh
  • Coordinates: 25.516667, 88.883333 (approximate)
  • Status: Announced
  • Gross Capacity: 4,000 MW (Units 1-4: 1,000-MW units)
  • Type: Ultra-supercritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Mine Production: 16 million tonnes per annum[20]
  • Mineable Reserve: 572 million tonnes[20]
  • Mine Size:14,660 acres[20]
  • Coal Source: Phulbari coal mine[20]
  • Source of financing:

Articles and Resources


  1. "Prefeasibility Study for Further Mine-Mouth Power Plants," GCM, September 11, 2018
  2. "GCM Resources receives power plant pre-feasibility assessment "GCM Resources receives power plant pre-feasibility assessment," World Coal, November 6, 2018
  3. "GCM and POWERCHINA Inks US$4bn Power Deal," Energy Bangla, January 17, 2019
  4. "GCM, POWERCHINA to develop $4bn coal-fired power project in Bangladesh," Mining & Quarry World, January 21, 2019
  5. "GCM Resources, PowerChina ink 2nd coal-fired power plant JV deal at Phulbari," S&P Global, March 15, 2019
  6. "Annual Report and Accounts 2019," GCM Resources, 2019
  7. "GCM Resources signs agreement to develop its Phulbari Coal Mine," Vox Markets, July 11, 2019
  8. "GCM Resources Secures GBP1.2 Million Increase To Polo Resources Loan," MorningstarUK, February 3, 2020
  9. "Project Status," GCM Resources, accessed December 2021
  10. "Opinion: Ban GCM for claiming ownership of our coal," November 5, 2020
  11. "GCM Resources signs framework agreement with NFC," Energy Bangla, October 16, 2020
  12. "GCM Resources Shares Rise After Bangladesh JV Partners Reaffirm Commitment," Market Screener, March 17, 2021
  13. "Small Cap Wrap - 1Spatial, Beeks Financial Cloud, Crossword Cybersecurity and more...," proactive, September 27, 2021
  14. "GCM Resources raises £2.13m for Phulbari development," Sharecast News, March 3, 2022
  15. "GCM Resources extends PowerChina JV deal by two years," Morning Star, March 11, 2022
  16. "GCM Resources plc," MOU Extension - Phulbari Coal Mine Development, December 12, 2022
  17. "Environmental activists confront coal-mining executives at shareholders' meeting in London," Morning Star, December 28, 2018
  18. "Call to end coal mining in Bangladesh," Green World, August 31, 2021
  19. "Activists call for implementation of Phulbari agreement," Dhaka Tribune, August 26, 2021
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 International Accountability Project, "Phulbari Coal Project Fact Sheet," 2020

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