Sufficient Electricity in Nat’l Grid

Govt to discourage captive power plants

Shamim Jahangir

26 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The government will prepare a fresh list of the users of captive power plants to encourage them to use electricity from the national grid.

The ministry of power and energy last week formed a committee headed by additional power secretary Mohammed Shafiqullah in this regard.

“Our plan is to connect the users of 2800 megawatts (MW) of captive power to grid electricity as over 50 per cent of our 22,787 MW power generation capacity come from the reserve margin (capacity of a producer to generate more electricity than the requirement) in the current fiscal,” an official of the power division said.

He informed that the newly formed committee was asked to make the list with support from the energy and mineral resources division.

“We will encourage the captive power users to use electricity from the national grid. The power division hopes to supply uninterrupted electricity to them,” the official said.

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) is now incurring a huge loss for making capacity payments to the power sponsors for not being able to consume the produced electricity.

“If the situation will continue, it will create huge pressure on PDB’s balance of payment despite the financial support from the ministry,” another official said, adding that even the consumers will have to pay additional tariff due to the unused electricity.

According to sources at Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), the regulator has a plan to announce a fresh power tariff hike after the Dhaka city polls in February.

Prof Izaj Hossain, professor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), told the Daily Sun that the government should make an updated plan on power generation.

“I think the government might face major issues after commissioning of two mega coal-fired power projects as it will increase the volume of unused electricity,” he said.

The government has so far taken the country’s electricity generation capacity to 22787MW against the maximum demand of 12,893MW in May last year.