Dhaka city alone consumes 46 percent of the electricity Bangladesh produces, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said today, adding this is a difficult situation.
“We have to generate power in northern and southern regions of the country and bring it to Dhaka spending huge amount of money,” he told a webinar titled “Sustainable Development of Energy-Power Sector & Budget for FY 2021-22” today.
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The virtual seminar, organised by Energy and Power magazine, was also addressed by economist Dr Ahsan H Mansur, eminent energy expert Dr M Tamim, Summit Group Chairman Mohammad Aziz Khan, former NBR Chairman Dr Mohammad Abdul Mazid and others.
Noting that no major infrastructure is being developed in other areas of the country, Nasrul Hamid said the industrial sector failed to consume as much electricity as expected.
Dismissing a claim made by economists that there is a big surplus in power production, he said now the country’s highest consumption is 15,000 MW of electricity while the actual demand is 17,000 MW and the generation is 24,000 MW-plus. “Some 7,000 MW is not a big surplus in power generation.”
Hamid said the technology in power generation is changing fast and the country may not require, in the future, to install any new power plant.
“So, we should go for short-term planning of 2-5 years,” he said, adding that a big change is coming in power sector planning as the Power Division has already made a review in consultation with the Prime Minister.
He said many coal-fired plants which were not implemented will be left out. “This review will be reflected in the next Power System Master Plan.”
The state minister said the import of LNG has been most viable so far in primary energy while it is being mixed with locally-produced gas as imported coal is not suitable for the country although the government has to give Tk 4,000 crore annually to import LNG.
He mentioned that the newly developed Pyara power plant is facing a big difficulty in importing coal for its operation while more than 10 percent is not feasible to extract from the local coal mines.