15,500 MW electricity demand in Ramadan
But generation capacity 13,379 MW
Mahfuja Mukul: Before the end of spring, summer is making the eyes red. Public life has already been suffocated by the scorching sun. Meanwhile, the holy month of Ramadan has already arrived. That is why the demand for electricity is increasing. Due to excess demand, load shedding is already taking place in rural areas almost every day. Load shedding is also happening in the capital Dhaka and its surrounding areas. However, the load shedding hours in Dhaka are less than in rural areas.
In the month of Ramadan, uninterrupted power supply during Sehri and Iftar will be the big challenge. However, officials said that they are ready to face this challenge.
According to the power department, the demand for electricity usually increases during the summer season. Demand for this specialty has grown significantly as a result of recent corporate scandals. This time Ramadan is being added to it. On top of that, the price of oil and gas, the components of power generation, also increased. The power department is worried about how the situation will be handled.
According to Power Cell sources, the current power generation capacity is 13,379 MW. In hot summer, this demand can increase to 15 thousand megawatts. It is learned that load shedding has increased in the north. Due to the low number of power plants in the northern region, load shedding is a major problem in the summer season. Due to this irrigation activities are affected.
The only thermal power plant in the region, Bara Pukuria, is producing less than the demand, so the power supply has to be supplied from other areas. This time too he was no exception. Load shedding has been reported in Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sherpur.
According to the Meteorological Department, the temperature has crossed 36 degrees before the onset of summer. Not falling below 20 degrees. Even though it rains occasionally, the scorching heat has made public life unbearable. In April-May, meteorologists have hinted that it may exceed 42/43 degrees like last year.
The power department says that if the heat increases, the demand for electricity will also increase. According to sources, fuel accounts for 75 per cent of the total power generation. It is known that the total demand for gas in power generation is 2,252 million cubic feet. Only 1,114 million cubic feet are being supplied. Which is half of the total demand. Concerned officials said that it is not possible to supply more fuel than the capacity of Petrobangla.
Meanwhile, the fuel oil used as an alternative to gas in power generation, which is now the most expensive in the world market. If oil is bought at a higher price and used for power generation, the production cost will increase. And the pressure will be on the customers. All in all, it will be difficult to cope with the growing demand for electricity in the summer season, including irrigation and Ramadan. However, State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid has urged consumers to be frugal in using electricity to deal with the situation.
In a recent news briefing at his office, he said, “Oil costs $ 280 to $ 800. The $300 LNG cargo has to be bought for $ 1,200. It will be difficult to adjust in this situation,”he said.
Nasrul Hamid said, ‘The price of everything has gone up. In this situation we all need to use electricity economically. Ramadan is coming. The matter will be understood when it gets completely hot. During Tarabi it will be seen that the electricity used in the ACs of the mosque will have to take an additional load of 1500 MW. I request them to use electricity economically. It will also save their bills. ‘For example, he said,’ 10 hours of load shedding has started in Sri Lanka. India has tripled the price of electricity.
And the price of oil has increased five times. We are still fine. “
It is learned that the demand for electricity stood at 14,835 MW in April last year. And this year it will stand at 15,500 MW. Last year, the demand in the capital Dhaka was 5,903 MW. This time it will increase to 6 thousand 316 MW. Thus, the demand will increase from 400 to 600 MW in all sections of the country, said the power department. Besides, the demand for gas will be 1500 mmcfd.
In this regard, Director General of Power Cell Engineer Mohammad Hossain told, “We are committed to provide uninterrupted power supply to the people. So, we will supply electricity even with subsidy. Fuel prices have risen in the world market. There is also the gas crisis. In this situation uninterrupted power supply is a big challenge.
“We have a fair amount of preparation,” he said. Although this time the number of subscribers has increased. That is why the demand for electricity is increasing. ‘Claiming that load shedding does not happen that way, the director general said,’ Most of the reports of load shedding in rural areas are due to natural calamities, power outages or related issues. That too is temporary. We will take immediate action if this happens.”
An official of the distribution department told on condition of anonymity, “This time the situation is different from last year. On the one hand, the world market fuel prices are high, on the other hand, the gas crisis. On top of that the number of subscribers has increased. That is why the demand for electricity is high. However, the power department is planning to reduce the hours of load shedding. However, it is difficult to implement that plan.
It may be mentioned that at present the power generation capacity is 25 thousand 514 MW. 19,626 MW has been added to the national grid. The highest power generation is 13,792 MW (28 April 2021). The number of subscribers is 4 crore 21 lakh. Per capita power generation is 560 kW. One hundred percent of the population has access to electricity. Besides, 33 power plants with generating capacity of 13,219 MW under construction. 1160 MW of electricity is being imported from India.
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