Country is now under cent percent electrification
PM to officially announce today
Golam Mostafa Jibon: The present government is going to create a record by bringing the whole country under cent percent electrification. The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expecting to officially announce about cent percent electrification in the country today.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate the largest 1,320 MW coal-fired Payra Thermal Power Plant on the same day.
Meanwhile, the power generation capacity has increased five times since the present government took power. It is learned that, initiatives have also been taken to increase the power generation capacity to 25,199 MW by 2025 and 33,708 MW by 2030.
When the present government took power in 2009, only 4,942 MW of electricity was generated. At present, power generation including captive and renewable energy stands at 22,514 MW. All in all, the country has achieved enviable success in terms of power generation. However, the target for power generation is slightly higher than the country’s demand, relevant sources claimed.
According to the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, the production of high priced electricity will be stopped in phases. It has also decided to shut down oil-based power plants. The production cost of those is high. This decision has been taken to ensure affordable prices. At present, electricity is being generated using different fuels. Meanwhile, this target has been set in the Eighth-Five-Year Plan at a cost of Taka 30,736.386 crore to ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity to the customers by strengthening the transmission and distribution system in the next financial year.
According to the plan, the subsidy will be reduced by adjusting the price of electricity and gas at this time. Power generation capacity will be increased to 30,000 MW. About 10 percent of it will be renewable.
At this time, a quarter of 1,75,000 crore will be allocated in this sector. However, imports are the main source of primary energy demand. Two main points have been emphasized in the power planning. Reducing subsidies and increasing environmentally friendly fuels through price adjustment. In addition to the implementation of large power projects, multiple fuels will be used in multiple places including Matarbari.
It is known that, there are many differences in production cost depending on the fuel. As per the last 2020 calculation, the cost of power generation from diesel was higher, while it was least from water. The cost of production with diesel is Tk 26 per unit. Then there is the high cost of Tk 17 per unit for Furnace Oil and Tk 13 for LNG, Tk 12 for solar, Tk 8.10 for imported coal, Tk 6.46 for electricity imported from India, Tk 6 for domestic coal, Tk 2.57 for domestic gas and Tk 1 per unit for hydropower. Therefore, a strategy has been taken to reduce the subsidy on electricity. Gas and electricity prices will be adjusted periodically in five years. Sources also said that, the subsidy will be reduced by increasing the price.
According to the power department of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, at present the average daily electricity demand is about 10,000 MW. From the generation capacity of 4,942 MW in 2009, it has now (2020-21) stood at 16,340 MW with the current captive and renewable energy. There is no shortage of electricity compared to demand. Even after this, load shedding is happening once or twice a day in some areas of the capital.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said, “Demand for electricity would increase by 9.3 percent in 2021-2041. Necessary initiatives have been planned to achieve that goal. The target has been set to generate about 9,000 MW of electricity in the next five years. He also hoped that the target would be achieved as soon as the existing centers come into production. Cent percent electrification is the biggest achievement of the country in the golden jubilee of Mujib’s birth centenary and independence.”
The state minister said, “Electricity has already reached remote hilly areas starting from remote char areas. The submarine cable has been connected to the power line by the river bed. In the hilly areas, where it is difficult to get power lines, solar panels have been installed. Thus, in various processes, almost 100 percent of the people of the country have already come under the power facility. Rooppur Nuclear Power, Matarbari, Rampal and Payra are also notable among them.”
Nasrul Hamid further said that, the power generation capacity of the country has increased five times. The country has now a capacity of 22,514 MW, including captive and renewable energy. Another 13,000 MW power plant is under construction. The official announcement of cent percent electrification will be made today by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Electrification is now 99.85 percent, it can be called 100 percent.’
In the budget raised for the fiscal year 2021-22 the Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal proposed an allocation of Tk 26,758 crore for the Energy and Mineral Resources Department of the Power Department. In this regard, State Minister Nasrul Hamid said that, his ministry has taken a plan to spend Tk 30,736.38 crore to ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity to the customers by strengthening the transmission and distribution system in the next financial year. However, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources received less allocation than expected.
Habibur Rahman, secretary of the power department said that, “Bangladesh has become able to supply the first 100 percent of the electricity among the South Asian countries. Our neighboring country India has not been able to supply 100 percent electricity yet. We have also provided electricity to Sandwip and Rangabali islands. Uninterrupted power supply has been provided to Nijhum Island in Hatiya. Electricity has been provided to many remote chars of Jamuna and Teesta.”
NWPGCL CEO AM Khorshedul Alam said, “The 1,320 MW Payra Thermal Power Station has been completed within 36 months. It is the record for the shortest construction of a modern coal-fired power plant in the world.”
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