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Govt to import 3,500 MW power thru' regional co-op

Adds 11,104 MW electricity to national grid in nine years

January 03, 2018 00:00:00

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said a total of 11,104 megawatts (MW) of power have been added to the national grid in the last nine years.

He said that the government has a plan to further import 3,500 MW of power through regional cooperation by 2021 and 660-MW electricity is currently being imported from India, reports BSS.

"The electricity generation capacity reached 16,046 MW and now 83 per cent people are getting power facility across the country. In the recent years, Bangladesh has experienced booming economic growth, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation as electricity supply has been increased," the state minister said in the capital on Tuesday.

He said the government built additional 85 power plants, 0.160 million (1, 60,000) km distribution lines and 2,622 circuit km transmission lines in the last nine years (2009-2017) aimed at turning Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041.

"The government has undertaken 13 mega projects in cooperation with India, Japan, Malaysia, China, South Korea and Singapore to set up coal-based power plants and construction of 5,925 MW capacity power plant under the public and private partnership (PPP) is underway. We expect the first mega project of Pyra having 1300 MW capacity will come into operation in April 2019," Nasrul Hamid said.

He said that pre-paid metering system has been introduced nationwide aimed at making bill-paying system easier with collecting hundred per cent electricity bill, adding some 0.7 million (7.0 lakh) pre-paid meters have already been installed and another 2.7 million meters are expected to be installed by June this year.

The state minister said that the power division has been brought under

digitalisation to enhance its efficiency, transparency, accountability and increase the quality of customer service.

He, however, said, "We have decided to develop underground electricity distribution system to make it time-befitting, especially in major cities."

About fuel diversification, the state minister said the government had been diversifying the fuel mix for power generation as natural gas was depleting day by day.

He added, "The government has a plan to gradually use coal, LNG and other available fuel for power generation with the natural gas. To ensure energy security, the government has formulated Power sector master plan (PSMP)-2016 for overall development of the sector."

A total of 11,104 megawatts (MW) of power have been added to the national grid in the last nine years, facilitating access to electricity for 83 per cent of the country's total population, the state minister said.

He noted that so far, 45 million Solar Home System (SHS), 10 solar mini grids have been installed in off-grid rural areas and the government has a plan to install 60 million SHS and 50 Solar Mini-grid System by 2018 to cover about 10 per cent of total population.

Talking to the news agency, Director General (DG) of Power Cell Mohammad Hossain said that that the system loss of the power sector has been brought down to 12.19 per cent from 16.85 per cent and per capita power generation reached 433 kwh and the number subscribers reached 27.4 million (2.74 crore) in the country.

"The government has decided to implement electricity transmission projects under PPP for the first time, which was taken up in 1997 during the first term of Prime Minister Sheik Hasina's government," he said.

Hossain said the government established Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) to promote renewable energy, enhance energy efficiency and mitigate risks of natural calamities caused by global warming in Bangladesh.

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