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No diesel-run power plants from June

Private firms can import gas, oil: Nasrul

Published : 03 Dec 2022 09:57 PM | Updated : 04 Dec 2022 07:58 PM

The government has decided to phase out diesel-run power plants from next June. Such a decision was taken on the basis of giving importance to options that are affordable and sustainable. 

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid made the disclosure at a seminar on "Energy Transition- Global Context and Bangladesh" at Bidyut Bhaban in the capital.

Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB), an organization of journalists in the energy sector organised the event on the occasion of its 22nd anniversary. 

Nasrul Hamid said that “Bangladesh wants to implement 40 percent green energy by 2041. Although various projects have been undertaken in solar power, its biggest challenge is to supply electricity to the national grid through transmission lines. As there are some issues in the transmission system, we will quickly shift to using smart grid technology.”

Terming gas price hike as a ‘blessing’ for Bangladesh, Nasrul Hamid said that the government is now getting offers for deep-sea exploration.

"No interested investor was found for such exploration before. We invited tender, but there was no response because the price of gas was very low at that time. Now when the price has gone up, many parties are showing interests,” the state minister added.

Nasrul Hamid also said that gas import has already been allowed for private companies. The government is going to open the market of petroleum products for private sector. “The private companies will be able to import fuel directly by themselves, and sell their products at their own retail points or to the existing petrol pumps,” he added.

He said the world is going into an energy transition period and Bangladesh is also considering about the new fuel mix for power generation.

Nasrul Hamid also said that to ensure environmental friendly development, the best use of own resources should be a priority - increasing fuel efficiency. Successful use of modern technology with efficiency will contribute effectively to meeting the challenges in future.

“The use of technology in the power and energy sector must be increased. As electric vehicle charging guidelines has done so, electric vehicles should expand rapidly. It will save huge amount of fuel oil and foreign currency,” he said. 

As an example, Nasrul said, when a car uses oil, its efficiency level is 20 percent. On the other hand, it is 80 percent in electric vehicles. 

“Public awareness needs to be increased to increase the use of net metering and solar rooftops. If storage capacity is increased in solar power system, renewable energy can be used 24 hours a day. “Even if we have hydrogen as a fuel in our master plan, time will tell how effective it will be in the context of our country,” he added. 

Mahbub Hossain, Senior Secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Division said, “There is still no obstacle in the policy to import LNG. If any private entrepreneur wants to import LNG, we will welcome them.”

M Tamim, Professor of BUET presented keynote paper at the seminar. He said that by 2030, the country will need at least 20 to 25 billion dollars annually to import power and energy. Among these, 11.7 billion dollars will be required for gas import, five billion dollars for coal import, nine billion dollars for electricity import and nine billion dollars for liquid fuel import.

Energy expert Professor Badrul Imam commented at the seminar that the country is running out of gas, this information is not correct. He said, "at least three international studies say that our country still has 34 TCF of gas." He called for strengthening the exploration of gas onshore of Bangladesh.

Habibur Rahman, Secretary of Power Division said, “We cannot change use of the type of fuel overnight. It is not possible to produce a lot of solar power at once. Because we have shortage of land. Roof top solar power system is a best solution, the government is encouraging it."

Among others Mahbubur Rahman, Chairman of BPDB, Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain, FERB Executive Director Rishan Nasrullah were also spoke at the event presided over FERB Chairman Shamim Jahangir.  

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