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24 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
First China-built modern coal mine and coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh change lives of local people

"Chinese friends are really helping us."

Yuan Jirong, People's Daily
Barapuku Ria Coal-fired Power Plant S creenshot from v. people. cn

Editor's note: The Balapuku Ria coal-fired power station, built by China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (CMC) in north-western Bangladesh, is the first modern coal mine and coal-fired power station in the country. In the next few weeks, we will devote three issues to the stories of China and Bangladesh joining hands in the Belt and Road Initiative. And this issue will take our readers on a tour of the Balapuku Ria coal-fired power station.

The coal mine covers 4.2 hectares. In its middle are main and auxiliary wellheads surrounded by conveyors and yards, and the proprietor's office building, power distribution room and Chinese expert apartments are in the vicinity. The whole mine is beautiful without any coal dust. Fruit trees and flowers are everywhere.

According to data from the Bangladeshi Ministry of Energy, the five regions of north-western Bangladesh have 3.3 billion tons of proven coal reserves. In 1994, to exploit the coal resources, the CMC and Bangladeshi oil, gas and mining companies signed a 194.9 million US dollar contract concerning the Balapuku Ria coal mine. Now they have completed the coal mine after more than 10 years of hard work.

 “This is the only large-scale modern coal production base in Bangladesh. It has changed the energy structure of our country,” said Fazrul, head of the Balapuku Ria coal mine. The coal mine has been in operation for 14 years and has cumulatively produced more than 10 million tons of coal for Bangladesh. Today, the coal mine employs some 1,200 local workers and has so far created 6,000 jobs for the local community. "The Chinese company enables Bangladesh to use our own coal for the first time. At that time, many countries wanted to build this project. But it has been proven that Chinese friends are really helping us," Fazrul said emotionally.

While helping build the coal mine, the Chinese company also teaches local people to operate it. Since 2005, according to Zhang Hui, deputy director of SINOMEC's First Business Division, the CMC and Xuzhou Coal Mining Group Corporation (XMC) has signed contracts with the Balapuku Ria Coal Mining Company Limited on coal production, involving USD 850 million and indirectly creating tens of thousands of jobs for the locals.

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XI’S REMARKS

Four decades of reform and opening-up has given us many valuable inspirations. The most important one is that for any country or nation to achieve rejuvenation, they must follow the logic of histo­ry and the trend of the times in their pursuit of progress and development. ——Excerpt from…

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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