The country’s available power generation increased by about 2,200 MW in the last one year while installed production capacity saw a rise by around 4,000 MW, according to statistics of state-owned Power Development Board (PDB).
The PDB data placed in its website’s generation archive show that the country’s installed capacity reached 17,685 MW in December 2018 from 13,846 MW in the corresponding period in 2017.
The derated or actual capacity was increased by 3,995 MW to 17,142 MW from 13,147 during the same period.
However, the overall power generation is now 10,000-10,800 MW against 8,600-9,200 MW in 2017.
The statistics show that the country witnessed highest generation of 11,623 MW at 7:30 am on September 19 last while highest 9507 MW was recorded at 7:30 am on October in 2017, showing a rise by 2,116 MW in the highest production benchmark.
Officials said if the non-grid captive power generation of about 3,000 MW and 250 MW of renewable energy are included in statistics, the total generation will go up to 20,343 MW of which 11,057 MW came from private sector producers while 9,286 MW from public entities.
They said the generation was 5000-7000 MW less from their actual capacity because of various reasons.
“It happened either for capacity drop on the ground of old-age or gas shortage in gas-fired plants, or fall in water level hydropower plants or shortage of coal in coal-fired plants or shutdown of plants for rehabilitation or maintenance purpose,” said Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain.
The power generation normally drops in the winter because due to lesser demand.
The country witnessed the evening peak generation at 8296 MW on December 22 while it was 7064 MW on the same day in 2017.
The statistics also show that the country’s total number of power generation plants in public and private sectors has increased by 17 to 127 in December 2018 from 110 in same month of last year.
Of this, only six plants came into operation in the public sector while the remaining 11 came in the private sector.
Power Division officials said the private sector power generation witnessed a substantial growth for a friendlier investment policy offered by the government over the last one decade.
The private sector has started dominating Bangladesh’s power generation, contributing 54.35 percent of the total electricity against 45.65 percent produced by state-owned power plants.
Private sector investors also appreciated the government's supportive role in achieving the progress and demanded continuation of such state policy to promote private investment in the power sector.
Imran Karim, vice-president of Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association (BIPPA), said, "Without a strong support from the state, it had not been possible for the private sector producers to reach the milestone."
As per the latest Power System Master Plan 2016, he said, the government envisioned to take the power generation to 40,000 MW by 2030, which requires huge investments. "If the current policy of the government continues, the private sector will be able to play a very important role in attaining the target," he added.
According to BIPPA, the private sector has invested about $12 billion over the last 10 years by setting up over 50 power plants.
BIPPA leaders said they have now planned to invest $50 billion in the next 12 years to keep up the private sector's participation in the power sector development.
The private investors want to invest as independent power producers (IPPs) as well as private partners via the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative to set up at least 55 plants to generate some 12,000 MW of power or more.