Tk 96b investment for mitigating energy crunch

Tk 96b investment for mitigating energy crunch
Staff Reporter

DHAKA, FEB 23: The government is going to invest Tk 9611.6 crore  for the next Five-year Plan to help  mitigate  the acute power and energy crisis in the country, member of General Economics Division (GED) Prof Dr Shamsul Alam on Wednesday  told  a  dialogue on “resolving the energy crisis to support higher growth and employment.” The meeting was organised by the GED at the planning commission.  Alam said severe power crisis has prompted the government to enter into contractual agreements for high cost temporary solutions such as rental power and small IPPS on an emergency basis.

Other fuels for generation of  low-cost,  energy sources  like coal, liquid fuel, or a renewable resource like hydro power would  not be  available before  three  to five  years lead time.

Under the sixth Five-year Plan, the production capacity will be enhanced to 9426 megawatt (MW) by 2015, while the present generation is 4020 MW. According to the planning commission, the government has taken initiatives to produce 792 MW by 2010, 920 MW by 2011, 2269 MW by 2012, 1675 MW by 2013, 1170 MW by 2014 and 2600 MW by 2015. Planning minister AK Khandaker, who also participated in the dialogue, noted that  the expected GDP could not be  achieved  due to the energy crunch.

The government stresses resolving the acute power and energy crisis  to generate employment opportunities  as well as to  expand industrial sector, he said.

On the other hand, work is underway to set up quick rental power stations that can produce 1000-200 MW in 2010 and by the first half of 2011 and another 432 MW from the private sector.

The per capita consumption of energy in Bangladesh is on average 160 kilogram oil equivalent (kgoe), while it is 530 kgoe in India, 510 kgoe in Pakistan, 340 kgoe in Nepal and 470 kgoe in Sri Lanka and such consumption in Asia is 640 kgoe.

The country is almost totally dependent on natural gas fired generation (88 per cent of power comes from gas-fired generators). The SFYP will put special emphasis on hydro-power, gas, coal and solar energy and proper pricing of primary energy will be facilitated based on the review of production cost.

Only 47 per cent of the total population have access to electricity and some 53,281 villages have been brought under electricity coverage.

The shortage of electricity reaches 1800 MW during the peak demand 5800 MW of summer causing a huge load-shedding. The demand for gas will increase from 783 billion cubic feet (CFT) in fiscal year 2009-10 to 1335 billion cft by the end of the plan period.

Under the medium-term plan, the government set target to supply 100 million cubic feet daily (MMCFD) gas to the national grid daily through drilling of 3 development wells by Chevron in Moulavibazar gas field (block 14) under PSC. Besides, initiatives have been undertaken for drilling of exploratory wells by Cairn at Magnama in Block 16 and by Chevron at Kajol in Block-7 under shallow sea areas.

On the other hand, in the long term plan, through drilling and development of exploratory wells an additional 180 MMCFD gas would by produced by local companies and 900 MMCFD by the national grid by December 2015.


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