Supplement, Oil & Energy

Govt to supply uninterrupted power for 8 industrial areas

Published : 24 Aug 2019 09:08 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 12:57 PM

The government has taken an initiative to ensure uninterrupted power supply to industries of eight areas of the country on a test basis. Under this, there will be two supply lines. If one line faces problem then the other line will start automatically without any loss of time, Power Cell officials said. Eight areas of Mymensingh, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Dhaka have been chosen for this.

But instead of taking power from the national grid, many of the entrepreneurs are producing power with their own captive generators. Power is only taken from grids when their own power sources face glitches. A power division official says, “Entrepreneurs are now producing power in their own generators and keeping grids as alternatives.”

Industry owners have often said that they cannot rely on the national grid for uninterrupted power supply as there are industries which will face irreparable loss even if the power supply is snapped for a minute. On the other hand the government is also considering a separate rate for industry owners. Against the current rate of Tk 8.44 per unit, it might be reduced to Tk 8.40.

As a result, those who produce power with furnace oil will be benefitted. Usually, the cost of power production with furnace oil is Tk. 11/12 per unit. But with the rise of the price of gas, captive production cost has also risen. If the cost of buying a generator is added along with maintenance cost then the expenditure of industry owners will rise. However, if they take power from the grid then they will be able to reduce expenses.

Power Development Board, PDB, has said that production capacity is 18 thousand megawatt but subscribers are getting 12 thousand megawatts. Even if one to one and a half thousand megawatt is used up, another 4.5 thousand megawatt power is left unused. With the consent of industry owners, PDB will be able to use a few hundred megawatts of power.

However the government has taken another initiative to supply uninterrupted gas and electricity to new industries only in industrial zones, while out of industrial zones, supply is uncertain. A top official of the Power & Energy Division official while making the disclosure said, there are a lot of hassles for new electricity and gas connections in unplanned locations.

The government wants to take into account factories in industrial zones. Connection cost is higher due to set up of new infrastructure. Besides, there is anxiety of stealing and system loss. The major disadvantage is that it is difficult to measure the actual amount of gas and electricity. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult to provide uninterrupted gas and electricity.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid said, the government will ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity supply at an affordable price for the industrialists in schematic industrial zones. Out of these, the facility is uncertain in future. The minister called upon industrialists to invest in the Economic Zones. He said, “Industrialists establish factories in unplanned ways overnight destroying arable lands and crops, and then tell me to supply gas and electricity there. It’s so difficult.”

No gas and electricity will be available in this way. If anyone wants to take uninterrupted gas and electricity, he must build his factory in industrial areas, he added.