Home Bangladesh Gas-based power plants at high risk of gas shortage
Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

Gas-based power plants at high risk of gas shortage

Mahfuz Emran : Electricity generated with gas is the least expensive at Tk 6 per unit. On the other hand, oil-based power generation cost is more than Tk 15 per unit. But despite the capacity, it is not possible to produce electricity according to the demand due to gas shortage. In this, more than half of the capacity gas-based power plants are sitting idle throughout the year. Thousands of crores of taka can be saved by keeping the idle power plants sitting and generating electricity with capacity charges and oil. The average cost of production is increasing.
According to PDB data, the power generation capacity in the country is 25,929 MW. Among them, the number of gas-based power plants is 63, the capacity is 11,890 MW. The current generation capacity is 11,240 MW which is 43 percent of the total generation capacity. PDB’s own gas-based electricity capacity is 4,450, production capacity is 4,158 MW. Actual production in gas is 5,519 MW. 5,721 MW electricity cannot be produced due to lack of gas. That is, on an average, more than 50 percent of the centers are sitting for lack of gas.
According to Petrobangla data, 908.3 million cubic feet of gas was supplied to the power plants on Sunday against the demand of 2,316.9 million cubic feet. Out of 72 gas-based power plants including combines, 36 power plants were not able to supply gas as per the demand, production was stopped.
Related parties said that in terms of power generation, BPDB generally gives importance to relatively cost-effective power plants. In that case gas-based power plants are preferred. However, due to the limited supply of energy, it is not possible to run more than 6,000 to 6,500 gas-based power plants. A large part of these power plants are sitting due to gas shortage. Some are not producing due to renovation and repair activities. The rest are sitting due to obsolescence.
According to PDB, on Sunday evening peak time (9 pm) demand was 13,950 MW and production was 13,898 MW. 899.31 megawatts of gas has been supplied to the power plants. It was not possible to produce 2,911 megawatts of electricity due to the shortage of gas. Accordingly, a little more than 3 thousand megawatts of electricity has been produced with gas.
According to the CPD research, in the financial year 2021-22, the power generation cost of gas-fired power plants was Tk 3.47 per kilowatt-hour due to the increase in gas prices in the power sector. On the contrary, coal-fired stations cost Tk 9.17, furnace oil-based stations cost Tk 22.10 and diesel-powered stations cost Tk 154.11. Meanwhile, in February 2022-23, the price of gas was increased by Tk 14. The average cost of production at gas-fired power plants has gone up, with prices jumping nearly 179 percent. As a result, the average production cost of gas-fired power plants increased to Tk 5 last fiscal year. And in the first six months of the current financial year (July-December), the expenditure has increased to Tk 6.60.
A member of the Power Development Board (PDB) said on condition of anonymity that if 100 million cubic feet of gas is less than the demand and if that demand has to be met through oil-based electricity, then the production cost increases by Tk 5000 crore annually.
The potential demand for electricity from April to September this year has been estimated at 17,800 MW. To meet this demand, the demand for gas has been estimated at 1,760 million cubic feet, which can be at least 1,540 million cubic feet.
Petrobangla said they can supply as much as 1,300 million cubic feet. Accordingly, there will be a shortage of gas for power generation of about 300 million cubic feet. Petrobangla supplied 900 million cubic feet of gas on Sunday. As such, there is a shortfall of 600 million cubic feet. If this demand is to be met through oil-based electricity, Tk 30 thousand crore will be required annually.
When asked about this, PDB member Seikh Akhtar Hossain said that it is cheaper to generate electricity with gas. But as there is not enough gas to run the gas-based plants at full capacity, we have to use high-costoil-based plants to meet the electricity demand.
Energy expert Ijaz Hossain, former professor of BUET, said in light of the time, the cost of electricity generation with gas is the lowest. The cost of power generation from own wells and imported LNG is now the lowest. LNG price has dropped to $10. Now the cost of production will be reduced by Tk 4-5.
He said, currently furnace oil will cost about Tk 15 and diesel will cost about Tk 22. The cost of power generation with coal is also low. Now the cost of production will come down to Tk 8-9 as the price of coal has come down.
He further said that it is very sad that we have built gas-based power plants, but do not have the capacity. I did not arrange to bring gas. Now the price of LNG is very low, but due to lack of capacity in LNG terminals, not much can be imported. As a result, private companies have to buy oil-based power at twice the price where they could have used cost-effective gas-based plants. As a result, the centers will have to pay capacity charges of hundreds of crores.
When asked about this, the Director General of Power Cell, Mohammad Hossain, told that electricity production costs are lower with gas and coal. When demand increases, oil-based electricity has to be produced. A plan of power demand is made. This time more than 16 thousand megawatts of electricity will be produced. For that, instructions have been given regarding the import of LNG. Demand has also been given to Petrobangla. They said they will provide as much as possible. Hopefully, there will be no problem of gas for electricity this time.

Check Also

Online gambling can’t bring under control

–Online gambling has spread like an epidemic-BTRC’s tactics are not working-Control …