The government of Bangladesh is planning to generate 5,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the coal field in Jamalganj, which is the country”s deepest and largest, through the use of underground coal gasification (UCG) technology, according to Industrial Info Resources. Bangladesh suffers from a power deficit and cannot guarantee an uninterrupted supply of electricity. To address this issue, Industrial Info says the government plans to install an additional 9,426 MW of generating capacity by 2015, to bring the total generating capacity up to 13,735 MW.

The Bangladesh power system suffers from older equipment that operates at reduced capacity and has reliability issues. A shortage of gas has resulted in some power plants being unable to reach their designed generating capacity.

The Jamalganj coal field contains estimated reserves of more than one billion tons of coal, but the reserve deposits are between 500 meters and 1,000 meters underground. Industrial Info says the government is now considering the use of UCG techniques to maximize benefits from the huge reserves.

UCG techniques enable coal to be converted into a synthetic gas, or “syngas,” by the injection and ignition of oxidants through a bored well into the underground coal seam. The coal seam is ignited and produces syngas, which is then recovered through a separate borehole. Syngas is a mixture of methane, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

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