No need for rental power deals after 2014

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=206016

No rental power deal after 2014
Rashidul Hasan

The government aims to phase out costly rental power plants from 2014 with new projects coming into operation.

Implementation of the plan will reduce production cost and the government subsidy in power sector as rental units use high cost imported oil.

According to Power Development Board (PDB) sources the subsidy this year is being projected at more than Tk 4,000 crore.

At a parliamentary committee meeting yesterday, the PDB in a presentation said there will be no load shedding from 2013 because power generation and its demand will be equal by that time.

“In the last two and a half years, the present government has signed agreements to set up 43 power plants and almost all of those will be set up by 2014,” ABM Ghulam Mostafa, chief of the parliamentary body on public undertakings, told this correspondent after the meeting at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.

There are around 15 rental plants among the new ones and PDB officials have assured the committee members that those will start retiring from 2014. The tenure of any rental unit will not be extended after expiry of its agreement, said the parliamentary body chief.

“Power generation has been increased by 2,200 megawatt since the present government assumed office in 2009, while steps have been taken to produce another 2,000 megawatt power by 2012-13,” Mostafa, also a ruling Awami League MP, said.

The committee members in the meeting said the government is spending huge sums as subsidy in rental power sector putting pressure on economy.

“The committee, therefore, recommended phasing out rental power generation as early as possible,” another member of the committee told The Daily Star.

The committee chief said they have asked the Rural Electrification Board (REB) to improve and upgrade power supply system in rural areas so that a wide range of people come under coverage of power.

In reply, REB officials informed the committee that it had taken steps to increase capacity of transfer and power transmission line in rural areas.

The House watchdog also asked the authority concerned to finalise coal policy as soon as possible and go for coal based power plant.

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