MAC: Mines and Communities

Asia Energy Changes Name But Remains The Same

Published by MAC on 2007-01-23
Source: NewAge

Asia Energy changes name but remains the same

NewAge, Dhaka, Bangladesh

23rd January 2007

The UK-based Asia Energy PLC, which has become controversial in Bangladesh for the Phulbari coal-mine project, has changed its name to Global Coal Management PLC.

The company, at its annual general meeting in the second week of this month, approved the change in the name, according to a company statement posted in different websites.

'Global Coal Management PLC (formerly Asia Energy PLC) is a London-based AIM whose primary activity is the development of the coal basin at Phulbari in northwestern Bangladesh into a world-class open pit coal-mine,' says the company's website.

However chief executive officer of Asia Energy's Bangladesh operation, Gary Lye, said that the company's Bangladesh subsidiary's name would remain Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh).

'The Asia Energy PLC changed its name as it has expanded its operation in other sectors including the coal sector in Africa and as per the demand of the shareholders,' he told New Age on Monday.

The company was forced to stop its activities at the Phulbari coal-field in Dinajpur in the last week of August, 2006, after local people demonstrated against the company's planned open-pit mining. Five people were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators.

Local demonstrators got so angry at Asia Energy that they started to vandalise everything which had Asia Energy's logo. They even beat up a youth who was wearing a tee-shirt on the back of which was written 'Asian Theatre'.

Many in the energy division and the demonstrators opined at that time that the company would change its name as the company's name — 'Asia Energy' — became controversial after the Phulbari killing.

Sources in the energy division said that the law ministry was yet to give its opinion on the agreement that Rajshahi mayor, Mizanur Rahman, signed with the demonstrators in Phulbari that the government's agreement with Asia Energy would be scrapped and the company would be ousted from Bangladesh.


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