Move to ensure nonstop power supply to industry

The government has embarked on an initiative to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to the industrial sector at affordable prices. A taskforce has been formed to this end, according sources in the power division. According to the Power Division, the country's total electricity generation capacity is 21,419MW (including captive, renewable energy and imported). However the country's highest generation is 12,539MW. So the government is capable to supply uninterrupted power to industry.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said, “We have sufficient electricity. We are waiting to supply of electricity. If any industrialist want electricity then he can get it very easily. The government want to ensure uninterrupted electricity for all at affordable price.” He said that by the year 2041, the power demand will reach 72,000 megawatts while the generation capacity will reach 79,500 megawatts.

According to power division official Power cell, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) are now working jointly to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the industry. If need then the electricity will supply by individual line. Recently the matter was discussed in a meeting.

It was discussed there that, currently around 3000MW electricity is being used as a captive power in the industry. The government is supplying gas at low cost to the captive power plant, but its efficiency is 40 percent lower than that in the national power plants. On the other hand the country is now capable of generating sufficient electricity.

The taskforce recommended to supply uninterrupted power supply to the industry soon,-an official said. State Minister Nasrul Hamid has said, captive power plant efficiency is only 15 percent, whereas national power plant efficiency is 55 percent. That's why we are discouraging industrialists to use gas in captive power, by increasing gas price.

In view of the government's firm conviction to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021, and a developed one by 2041, a good number of power plants are currently under construction to achieve 24,000 megawatts (MW), 40,000MW and 60,000MW power capacity by 2021, 2030 and 2041 respectively.
After assuming office in 2009, the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had no other way out but to go for quick solution to the power crunch, according to sources in the Power Division.

Official sources said, at present 53 power plants are under construction with a capacity of 13,266MW. Another 19 power plants with 7,568MW generation capacity are under tender process. The government has undertaken 13 mega projects in cooperation with India, Japan, China, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore to set up coal-based power plants. Eight coal-based mega power plant projects have been taken up in Payra, Rampal, Matarbari and Moheshkhali with a total 9,960MW generation capacity.

The 1,200MW coal-fired power plant at Matarbari is expected to go into operation by 2023. On the other hand, work is going on to set up a 1320MW power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat. Besides, Rooppur Nuclear Power plant with two units, with the total capacity of 2,400MW, is under construction at Rooppur of Pabna. It would start generating power to be added to the national grid by 2023-2024. The government had taken up a plan to import 9,000MW electricity by 2041 through cross-border and regional trade.