Around 125 Bangladeshi officials and 50 Chinese officials of the Barapukuria Coal Mine, including the managing director, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Due to the situation, the coal extraction has been suspended temporarily from Thursday as the workers of the mine put on indefinite leave, said Engineer Kamruzzaman, Managing Director of Barapukuria Coal Mine.
Besides, of the 293 Chinese officials at Chinese contractors CMC and XMC, at least 50 were tested positive with Covid-19 after testing 184 workers.
The infected are in home isolation while others on leave to curb the covid spread, said the MD.
However, the coal based thermal power plant will not be affected as there is about 2.5 lakh tonnes of coal in stock, hoped the MD.
Meanwhile, Mahmud Al Mamun, executive engineer of Barapukuria Thermal Power Station, said that out of 3 units with a capacity of 525 MW, a unit with a capacity of 300 MW has been kept active at the coal-based thermal power plant and a unit consumes 2,000 metric tonnes of coal daily to generate electricity.
Besides, one of the two more units with a capacity of 125 MW has been overhauled (servicing) and the other has been closed, he added.
If the demand for electricity increases in the upcoming Boro season, all the three units will be active. However, it will be possible to keep power generation in coal and thermal power plants for another five months as there is no shortage of coal.