Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Thursday proposed Taka 24,921 crore for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry in the budget for 2018-19 fiscal for the overall development of the country’s power and energy sector.
“We supply electricity to about 92 percent of the country’s area and 90 percent households get electricity connections and our immediate goal is to raise power generation capacity from existing 16,046MW to 24,000MW by 2021,” he said this, while unveiling the national budget for the financial year 2018-19 (FY19) at Taka 4,645.73 billion in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS).
Of the total Taka 24,921 crore Muhith proposed Taka 22,936 crore for the power division and Taka 1,985 crore for the energy and mineral resources division, while Taka 24,261 crore was allocated in the revised budget of FY 18.
“We expect to generate, in phases, 40,000MW power by 2030 and 60,000MW by 2041. There is no alternative to achieve economic prosperity as per target. Currently, installation of a total of 59 power plants having the capacity of generating 15,205MW of electricity is under way,” he said.
The minister said that the government is installing prepaid metres in residential units and Electronic Volume Corrector (EVC) in industrial units to ensure cost effective use of gas, adding, “A plan for installing two crore prepaid metres by 2021 is being implemented to reduce system loss, realise unpaid electricity bills and ensure efficient load management.”
The bill payment, complaint disposal and application process for connection have been brought under automation, he said adding that as a result, customers are now getting these services easily.
“Our target is to cut fuel use by 15 percent and 20 percent by 2021 and 2030 respectively through efficient use of power and energy.”
He said the demand for fuel is gradually rising consistent with the economic advancement of the country and not possible to meet the increasing demand for energy only with natural gas, adding, “We therefore need to explore sources of alternative fuel. Approval was given to different companies to import and maintain stock of 24,44,766 LPG cylinders to meet the growing demand of natural gas with LPG.”
In addition, one floating storage and re-gasification unit has already been set up to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and another unit will be setting up soon, Muhith said.
He said the supply of LNG equivalent to 500 mmcfd and an additional 500 mmcfd will be possible through these units from June and October respectively, adding, “We have a plan to install two land-based LNG terminals at Maheshkhali, Cox’sbazar and Payra, Patuakhali.”