p Govt stops renewal of costly rental plants | 2019-08-26

Govt stops renewal of costly rental plants

Special Correspondent

26 August, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The government has stopped renewing the tenure of costly oil-fired rental power thanks to the country’s surplus electricity generation capacity.  

“We now have around 50 per cent surplus capacity against the demand. So we stopped renewing the rental oil-fired power plants,” Power Division senior secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus told the Daily Sun.

The government allowed oil-fired renal plants having the capacity to generate 1,768MW of electricity during 2011-2017. 

The country’s electricity generation capacity currently stands at 19,000MW. In addition, the captive power plants produce another 3,000MW of electricity.

The senior secretary said the government has built surplus capacity in electricity generation to achieve eight per cent economic growth in the next few years.

 “Electricity demand will jump by 12-13 per cent in the next two to three years. Having not enough electricity by that time will cause investment to be stagnant,” the power secretary said.   

Foreign companies, including the General Electric (GE) of USA, Siemens of Germany, Blackstone group, ARAMCO and some other major players have shown their interest in investing in the country’s power sector.

Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said the government has already halted the extension of the Desh Power Plant and Energies power plant.   

According to BPDB, the demand for electricity in the country is 8500MW during off-peak hours. The demand increases to 11500MW-12500MW during the peak hours (7:00PM-11: 00 PM at night) against the production capacity of 18961MW during hot summer.

The demand of electricity comes down to 6000-7000MW during the winter season.

According to the power secretary, the country’s electricity generation capacity will reach 24,000MW by 2021. “We will have to produce another 5000MW of electricity to achieve our generation target by 2021.”

“The demand and supply gap come down to 20 per cent within two to three years after retiring the old-age power plants,” Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said. According to a recent survey, the electricity demand growth is 12.5 per cent for household users whereas it was only 9.9 per cent for industrial users since 2011 thanks to the entrepreneurs who are not interested to use the grid electricity thanks to a poor distribution network.

The government allowed 800 captive power connections recently.

The power division wants to add the industrial users into grid electricity instead of captive power after ensuring uninterrupted and dedicated power supply to industrial units by 2021.

“We have already sat with leaders of FBCCI and now plan to sit with Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association (BTMA) to increase usage of grid electricity,” Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said.  

The government has set a new condition for Captive Power Plant aspirants to get natural gas supply for producing electricity to run their industries.  At present, captive power plants are consuming about 480mmcfd of natural gas against the supply of around 3400mmcfd. The captive PPs have been producing around 3000MW of electricity.

The government will require $31 billion for expansion of the transmission network and another $35 billion to upgrade the distribution network.

Meanwhile, electricity generation from country’s maiden 1320MW coal-fired power plant project at Pyara also delayed due to delay in the implementation of the transmission project. 

 The government is expecting to begin electricity generation from the 2400MW Roopur Nuclear Power Project, 1320MW Rampal and 1200MW Matarbari between 2022 and 2024. But experts said the poor transmission and distribution network might hamper the plan.

 Mentioning that the government is implementing most of the transmission and distribution projects with its own funds, Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said the implementing agencies sometimes face fund crunch in implementing those projects. 


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