‘Ambitious’ power generation plan within days
The government is embarking on an ‘ambitious’ plan to more than double power generation to 10,000 megawatt by 2013 under a new energy policy to be unveiled within a few days, energy advisor Taufiq-e-Elahi said Thursday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would formally unveil the plan worth billions of dollars through a press conference in two to three days, paving the way for the end of power crunch in the next five years, Taufiq said.
“Under the new initiative, 7,800 mw of power will be produced by government and the rest through the private sector,” he told a luncheon of the France-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the city.
The present government in its election manifesto set a target of producing 5000 mw by 2011 and 7000 mw by 2013 to end crippling load-shedding and boosting supply to factories and millions of new consumers in the next five years.
Taufiq said the government, however, would revise the previous target and are now ready to meet the ever-increasing demand for power and energy in the country over the next few years,
The advisor also said that an additional Tk 100 billion would be channeled to the energy sector from various sources apart from Tk 20 billion allotted in the public private partnership (PPP) fund.
“In addition, the government is planning to build two 500mw coal power plants as coal can be an effective option to mitigate the current energy crisis,” the energy advisor said.
“If required, we would import coal from overseas to meet the demand”.
The advisor also ruled out any fund shortage to finance the ambitious power generation plan.
“Financing won’t be a problem for us as we would use both our domestic resources as well as overseas funds for building these infrastructures,” he added.
Taufiq-e-Elahi also stressed exploring renewable energy options, and said the government would promote manufacturing solar panels and other necessary energy related equipment locally.
“Under our solar energy initiative, the government is aiming to bring all community schools and clinincs under solar power facilities,” Taufiq said.
He said the newly introduced “Day light Saving (DST)” was a success as an estimated 100 mw of electricity is saved during the peak hour as a result.
Taufiq also said that the government would finalize its coal policy by the end of this year and it has as plan to chalk out a startegy for generating nuclear energy.
The energy advisor stressed building effective power distribution network around the country to ensure t adequate supply of electricity to all segments of the society.
Earlier, speakers attending the event laid the emphasis on more private sector participation in the the country’s energy sector to boost power generation.
President of France-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFB) Rifat Rashid also spoke on the occasion.