The third unit of Barapukuria 525 MW coal-fired power plant restarted early yesterday after 52 days following resumption of coal production by Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited.
The plant was shut down due to coal crisis on July 22.
Three units of the plant operated by Bangladesh Power Development Board at Parbatipur upazila are capable of jointly generating 525 MW power. Of them, the third unit has the capacity to generate 275 MW.
Abdul Hakim Sarkar, chief engineer of the plant, told The Daily Star over phone that they restarted all pre-processing on Thursday to resume power generation from the third unit after getting coal from BCMCL.
“Power from Barapukuria was synchronised with the National Grid around 2:30am today [Friday],” he added.
On September 9, the BCMCL resumed supplying coal to the plant.
Another 125 MW unit would restart as early as possible, said the chief engineer.
Coal production at BCMCL started on September 8, said its newly appointed Managing Director Abdur Rahman.
“We are supplying all the produced coal to the nearby plant so that they can resume power generation,” he said. The mine is producing roughly 1,400 tonnes of coal every day and the volume would double in a couple of weeks, he added.
The BCMCL authorities suspended coal production on June 16 for developing fresh coal pockets underground as the stock of existing pocket was consumed.
A high official of Petrobangla on July 16 detected disappearance of 1.45 lakh tonnes of coal from its 17-acre stockyard, which ultimately led to shutdown of the plant.
The market price of the disappeared coal was estimated at Tk 230 crore.
Three high officials of BCMCL including then managing director Habib Uddin Ahmed, general manager Abu Taher Md Nuruzzaman and deputy general manager AKM Khaledur Islam were suspended and Abul Kashem Prodhania, general manager and company's secretary, was transferred to PGCL in Sirajganj on July 19.
Anisur Rahman, manager (Admin) of BCMCL, also filed a case with Parbatipur police on July 24 brining corruption accusation against 19 officials. The Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the scam.
As public suffering was on the rise in eight districts of Dinajpur and Rangpur regions, PDB operated one of the units on August 20 for eight days.