Monday, 25 September, 2023

Stopping Captive Power Generation

IMED for introducing low-cost industrial power

  • Special Correspondent
  • 9 July, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
IMED for introducing low-cost industrial power

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The Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) under the Ministry of Planning suggested introducing low-cost electricity for industries to avoid the inefficient captive power plant permanently.  

The suggestion came from a research report of the IMED on progress of power sector projects.

The report said the medium and large industrial units went to captive power due to costly grid electricity as well as non-assurance of uninterrupted power.

The sudden load-shedding may also cause disaster to run the industrial units through grid power, it pointed out.

Industrial units claimed that the production cost would come down one third through the gas-fired captive compared to grid power consumption.

But, the IMED found the theft of gas consumption and bribery will lower the energy cost in industries.

It said the high cost of electricity might push them to theft of energy.

“The cost of production will increase due to costly electricity firstly and then the inefficient captive power will also be a danger to the environment.”

Besides, the government’s green back drainage will be continued due to additional consumption of fuel by the inefficient captive power plants, the report’s findings suggested.

“So, it will need a policy to supply industrial electricity with a sustainable transmission and distribution system for uninterrupted supply of power,” it said.

The report said the installation of power plants without assurance of primary energy is a major weakness. “So, some areas suffer darkness due to frequent load-shedding of electricity.”

Thirty eight power plants suspended production and another 98 power plants are producing electricity partially, the report said.  

“Besides, system loss of electricity is also a major concern here,” it said, adding, “Over-dependency of import of primary fuel also creates risks.”

The corruption pushes project cost as well as delays the implementation, the findings said.

The generation of low cost electricity is possible through curbing corruption in the power sector, the report suggested. The Bangladesh Power Development Board

(BPDB) incurred a loss of Tk 1,05,419 crore during the last 12 years.

“But, the BPDB losses may be increased by additional Tk 1,13,532 crore in the next two years due to dollar rate fluctuation as well as payment of capacity charges.” 

The report suggested expansion of renewable energy to reduce dependency on imported fuel.         

The findings said more than 3 percent system loss means power pilferage.

The IMED made 22-point recommendations to reform the power sector.