Category Archives: Energy Sector

Qatar proposes to install 1000MW power plant at Moheskhali

Qatar proposes to install 1000MW power plant at Moheskhali
The JV project would be based on LNG

Shamim Jahangir

The state of Qatar has proposed the government to set up a 1,000-megawatt liquefied natural gas (LNG) based power plant at Moheskhali islands of Cox’s Bazar district under a joint-venture initiative with Bangladesh, senior government officials said.

A high-powered visiting team of Qatar led by its Assistant Minister for International Cooperation Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Jabr Al Thani, made the initial proposal during a bilateral meeting with senior government officials at Hotel Sonargaon in Dhaka on May 27.

During the meeting, Fawaz A Al Bakar Raf-Al, who is involved with LNG projects of Qatar, said, “Qatar is interested to invest in the joint venture power project without participating in competitive bidding process.”

“Then both Bangladesh and Qatar would settle the investment and power tariff issues to set up the mega project on the basis of build, own and operate,” he said.

The power plant might be installed under the joint venture or Independent Power Producer (IPP) mode subject to agreement between the two parties, Additional Power Division Secretary M Mofazzel Hossain told daily sun.

In the meeting, Fawaz A Al Bakar Raf-Al requested the Power Division officials here to send necessary documents to his country for setting up the plant.

Gulf state Qatar is one of the largest LNG producers in the world, with which the government has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to procure LNG.

Earlier, in August, 2010, the government had formed a LNG taskforce on the installation of a LNG terminal. The taskforce is likely to extend its deadline till June 10 for submitting its bidding documents for the country’s first LNG terminal at Moheshkhali in the Bay of Bengal.

Bermuda-based Golar LNG Energy, a joint venture of the USA-based Astra Oil and Excelerate Energy, South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corporation, and India’s Hiranandani Electricity, were short listed by the government for the project, involving about one billion dollars. The government wants the terminal to have a capacity of handling 5.0 million tonnes of LNG per year, re-gasification capacity of at least 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) and berthing and mooring facilities for LNG ships of 138,000-260,000 cubic metres.

The country’s on-going gas crisis is around 500 mmcfd against the demand of over 2,500 mmcfd.

Innovative power plants

Innovative power plants
Author / Source : MD JAMIL KHAN

[KERANIGANJ: Serious load-shedding has compelled the residents to hire barges and set generators on them. Photo: Tarif Rahman] DHAKA, JUNE 2: It is not government-sponsored quick rental project but rental it is. Endemic power shortage, and load-shedding have compelled the people to devise the way as an alternative source of power when the existing plants cannot meet the demand. Such plants are found in Keraniganj where a group of people supplies electricity to several markets by installing a dozen generators on a drum barge.  The barge was anchored in the river of Buriganga.

Saiful Islam, owner of the M.D. Alamnagar drum barge said, “We are operating the business for more than a year in order to give support to businessmen of the area in cheap rate.”

“But this year, the power crisis of the area has crossed the limit than earlier as we only get electricity for two hours in a day,” Saiful said adding, “If the authority concerned do not take initiative to increase the condition then we have no other option but to shut the businesses from here.”

Visiting the area, this correspondent found that six barges have been set up on the area having the capacity of providing two megawatt of electricity daily. It provides electricity, sometimes for 13 hours, to 3000 shops and 700 small garment factories which have grown on the bank of the Buriganga under Keraniganj.

Those who are taking the electricity service from the barge are the owners of Khaja Super Market, Alam Tower, Sahidul Alam, S. Alam and garment factories at Sholu Towers.

The owner of the barges charge Tk 300 for a bulb, Tk 800 for a machine of a factory and Tk 500 for a fan a month.

They need 10 barrels of oil everyday to run a generator normally. One barrel of oil costs Tk 12 thousand. In the process they spend Tk 1.2 lakh daily. But these days they have to spend Tk 2 lakh daily as the demand is rising every day.

It is our good luck that this commercial service is providing us electricity to keep our work going without any interruption, said Sahidul Islam, owner of a garment factory.

If they shut their service, then we don’t know what will happen for us and minimum 700 small factory owners of the area, he added.

The drum barge is not only supporting the business community of the area but also creating employment facilities for the jobless people of the area. According to sources, a total of 120 people are working in the six drum barge of the area. The workers said that earlier their family was in very poor condition but they are now living happily.

Mohammad Aziz, an operator of the barge said, “Earlier, I would spend a very miserable life with my family members but now I am happy as I am getting a standard salary from the owner of the barge.”

Mohammad Mizan, an inhabitant of the area said, “The barge owners are doing a valuable work as they are helping the business community to run their businesses by giving uninterrupted power supply.”

He also urged social NGOs of the country to come forward like this barge owner to help the people of the country so that they can lead a happy life and continue their regular work as electricity is essential for our daily life.

JS passes Bangladesh Atomic Energy Control Bill-2012

JS passes Bangladesh Atomic Energy Control Bill-2012

SANGSAD BHABAN, May 31 (BSS)- The Jatiya Sangsad today passed the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Control Bill-2012 with a view to facilitating peaceful use of nuclear power.

State Minister for Science and Technology Architect Yeafes Osman piloted the bill in the House. Later, the bill was passed in voice votes.

The bill proposed constitution of a five-member regulatory body titled ‘Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority’ headed by a chairman. In the bill, the words authorization holder, sabotage, import and export, ionizing radiation, source material, commission, radioactive material, radioactive waste and management, radioactivity, nuclear incident, nuclear fuel, nuclear accident, nuclear safety, nuclear material, nuclear damage, nuclear reactor, nuclear radiological emergency, nuclear energy, security, nuclear installation, atomic energy, specified equipment, specified non-nuclear material, radiation, radiation protection, overseas operator or operator, physical protection and facility source were defined afresh.

The bill has the provision of not to allow any authorized person, operator or overseas operator to select site for setting up any nuclear or radiation installation, prepare design, carryout construction, commission, operate and decommission, shut down disposal center of nuclear waste and open any restricted area without approval under the rules of the authorities.

The bill has made specific provisions for the process of approving nuclear radiation and nuclear waste disposal centers, authorization of controlling import and export of related equipment, suspension and cancellation of approval, safety and security of radioactive material, protection against radiation, physical safety, procedure of maintaining state accounts related to nuclear materials, management of nuclear waste and used fuel, taking emergency preparation and measures.

Besides, the bill also has specific provisions of preparing nuclear and radiological emergency plan, liability of operator or overseas operator, liability of duration of transportation, responsibility, financial safeguard, compensation, jurisdiction, inspection and taking measures, misdeeds, trials and punishments.

Earlier on May 27, State Minister for Science and Technology Architect Yeafes Osman placed the bill in the House. The cabinet approved the draft of the bill on March 29.

The Solar Alternative

Cover Story

The Solar Alternative

About 37% of Bangladesh’s population is connected to the electricity grid, meaning the majority of countrymen do not have access to a formal electricity connection. But life must go on. Solar energy is considered to be an alternative as it generates power independently in the off-grid areas. It is also cleaner compared to fossil fuel fired power supplied by the grid. According to the Infrastructure Development Company (IDCOL), as of 2011, solar energy has given approximately 10 million rural people access to power; enabling them to explore various modern livelihood options. Dr. Rumi Shammin (Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences at Oberlin College, Ohio, USA) and I visited rural areas in Khulna to see how solar energy had changed the lives of village people.

Dr. A. K. Enamul Haque

We had set out early on 28 March 2012. To find people using solar energy, we needed to travel further than the reach of the national power grid, so, our destinations were Batiaghata and Dacope, both in the Khulna district. We wanted to understand who uses solar power in rural Bangladesh, and how solar energy benefits them. Despite it being almost three times as costly as the next best alternative (lantern), solar energy is changing the lives of thousands. We wanted to see how people are adopting such instances of technological innovation and what do they do with the new found ‘light’ in their homes and businesses. Frankly, we were surprised by the ingenuity of village folk in using solar energy to change their life and raise their income.

It starts with basic indoor lighting, and since solar energy became available, rural activities no longer stop with the sunset. We met a lady who, after being divorced by her husband, has taken up teaching school students privately at her home. She lives with her mother and brother, but one batch wasn’t allowing her to earn enough. Now she teaches two batches, one in daylight, and one at night using solar lights. Her income has doubled. Even in parts that have grid electricity, solar powered power systems provide backup power, filling in for power cuts. We had tea at a roadside tea stall which was using solar power. When asked, the stall keeper said he preferred to use a legal solar system, instead of using an illegal stolen connection which he could lose at any moment.

Solar energy has changed entertainment options as well. In a privately run game centre behind a tea stall, people were paying 8 taka per game to play ‘karam’ at night, with the room lit up by a solar powered light bulb. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to see one, we heard of irrigation pumps being run by solar power as well.

Once we had left the poles of the power grid more than 20 kms behind, we were surprised to find that life was abuzz in villages, even at night. With almost every person in the country having access to mobile phones, there is a need to recharge batteries. We found mobile phone charging shops that charge by the hour to charge phones! The person running it also knew some light mobile engineering and operates a solar-powered mobile repair shop as well. Small businesses also exist where people can make phone calls from, at only 1 taka per call. These small businesses need to charge their phones constantly, and are able to do so using solar power.

Unfortunately, solar power is not being used where it should be, in the cities. The tall buildings of Dhaka have tremendous potential of generating electricity using solar panels, a potential that has not been tapped. Since formal electricity is being sold at subsidized prices (costing the government billions in fuel costs), there is no natural incentive to use solar power at homes where grid energy exists. People would rather use diesel based backup power instead of solar, since solar power is still comparatively more expensive. But things need to change slowly over time, and we need policy to change people’s motivations, starting with a mandatory requirement of generating a portion of all consumed electricity on site using solar power. This will reduce pressure on grid electricity, reduce power cuts, improve environmental conditions, and free up electricity which can be supplied to spots where poles and wires exist without any actual supply. In the long run, such a policy will also motivate estate developers and apartment builders to design the surface area of buildings in a way that is greener and more conducive to capturing sunlight, enabling buildings to generate as much solar power as possible.

A solar home system would cost between 10,000 taka to 50,000 taka depending on its capacity and what really bothered me is that rural people were borrowing money to pay for this light source even though they perhaps never spent this much money to buy a comfortable bed in their houses. Yet, in city areas, we are set to use generators instead of solar lights to power our houses during power failures.

The cost of solar units in urban locations will be even cheaper if we promote a ‘net meter’ by which SHSs can be used to produce and sell electricity to the power distribution companies in the cities using our rooftops. Rough calculations would show that there is opportunity in Dhaka city alone to produce nearly 600MW of electricity if we ensure that all dwellers produce 10-20% of their power consumptions using solar systems. However, instead of consuming at home they should supply it to the grid so that the need for batteries is reduced, in turn reducing the cost by at least 50% or more. Alternatively, government could think of reverse incentives scheme through a discriminatory pricing of electricity in urban areas. This means that houses who produce and sell electricity at least 10% of their consumed power needs to the distribution companies will continue to pay same price per unit of power while who does not will have to pay 50-100 greater price for a unit of electricity. There are various policy options that can be considered to make this a reality. Ironically, producing electricity through diesel costs very little (compared to solar energy) and so we are using diesel powered generators in the cities and polluting the air. This fact alone should make us respect our rural people more, who pay so much more for power.

Dr. Haque is Professor of Economics at United International University

Cover Art by Ujjal Ghose

HK-based firm wants to install 950MW power plants

HK-based firm wants to install 950MW power plants
The company wants to get work in a mutual understanding with Govt, instead of competitive tender
Shamim Jahangir

China Zhongyuan Trading Limited (CZTL), a Hong Kong-based company, has shown interest to install two power plants- one gas-fired and another coal-fired- with generation capacity of 950 megawatt (MW) of electricity in Bangladesh through mutual understanding.

Zhang Zai Tao, the general manager of the company, recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placing a technical and financial offer for installing 300 to 450 MW gas-based combined cycle and 500 MW coal-fired power plant in the country.

The company is planning to install the two large power plants under China Exim Bank Credit facilities, the letter read.

“We come to know that BPDB (Bangladesh Power Development Board) has floated international tender for three units of 300MW-450MW gas-based power plant and one unit of 250MW coal-based power plant,” Zhang Zai Tao said.

CZTL wants to implement projects in mutual understanding instead of facing competitive bid, the official said.

“We have participated thrice in the bids for Ghorasal power plant project. Unfortunately, BPDB didn’t award the contract to anyone,” the letter read.

The official said the company alone with NEPDI, an associate of the company, is capable to undertake at least 2000 MW of power plant under the company’s technical and financial assistance.

Meanwhile, a number of retired officials of BPDB were invited on 22nd this month by Power Division to a view-exchange meeting on installing power plants. The retired officials requested the power division not to use Chinese technology in installing the power plants because of ‘poor quality’.

Abu Ishak, former managing director of West Zone Power Distribution Company, who attended the meeting said: “W!e had bitter experience of applying Chinese technical assistance in the installation of Tongi Power Plant and Barapukuria Power Plant.”

Besides, Bangladesh and China will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a joint venture power plant in Moheskhali, Cox’s Bazar by imported coal to generate 1320 MW of electricity by mid of this year.

BPDB and the China Hudian Hong Kong Company will ink the MoU on behalf of their respective sides, the official said.

According to the officials concerned, the ships laden with 50,000 tonnes of coal for the power plant could enter the country through Moheskhali belt.

The government has already directed the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Cox’s Bazar to acquire 5000 acres of land for the plant.

The China Hudian Hong Kong Company has so far produced 90,000 MW of power, 70 of which is based on coal. The company has coalmine sites in Cambodia, Indonesia and Australia, an official said.

2000 mw power to be generated by biogas plants

2000 mw power to be generated by biogas plants, Cox’s Bazar

Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr AtiurRahman Saturday said it is possible to generate 2000mw of electricity bybringing the country’s 120,000 poultry farms under biogas management plants.

The central bank chief came upwith the disclosure while addressing the inaugural function of biogas plantmanagement as a chief guest at Ramu upazila of the district.

He added: “Poultry industryis the second largest source of grameen employment.”

“With a view to encouraging the people, Bangladesh Bank has taken initiative ever first to invest in theenvironment friendly biogas plant management programme,” he said.

A poultry farmer named Mujibur Rahman said, “I made a biogas plant by using the wastage of a poultry farmwith the technical help of Rahman Renewable Energy Company.”

He added: “A total of Tk 10lakh has been cost behind the project whereas the Eastern Bank Limited gave meloan of Tk 7.35 lakh.”

“Now I am producing 3500kwof electricity from the plant sized in 50 cubic mitres of biogas plant,”he said.

Meeting my needs, I am nowplanning to supply the excess electricity to the neighbouring 15 housescommercially, said Rahman.

Khorshed Alam, SME Chief ofEastern Bank, said the bank has introduced ‘EBL-Nabadoy’ scheme for thedevelopment of sustainable business.

One can get Tk 10 lakh loanwithout deposit under the scheme, he said adding in the meantime, Tk 39 lakhhas been disbursed to six projects.

Eastern Bank Managing DirectorAli Reza Iftekhar, International Finance Corporation Regional Representative Ziba A Perumal Pillai, Programme Manager Mrinal K Sarkar, Rahman RenewableEnergy Company Managing Director Redoanur Rahman were among others present  at the function.

IFC helps farmers convert waste to electricity

IFC helps farmers convert waste to electricity
Staff Correspondent

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) to help poultry farmers buy technology that uses waste to generate electricity, enabling farmers to increase their efficiency, productivity and profitability.

With support from SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC, in partnership with UK Department for International Development and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, EBL yesterday launched ‘EBL Nobodoy’, a customised loan product to help farmers install fixed-dome biogas plants to convert animal waste into electricity.

IFC said around 2 billion chickens in Bangladesh produce some 2.2 million tonnes of manure a year. Efficient management of this waste, converting it into a cheap and reliable source of energy, will help small farmers develop sustainable poultry businesses, it added in a press release on Friday.

Dr Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director of EBL and Jeeva A Perumalpillai-Essex, head of IFC’s Sustainable Business Advisory in South Asia, among others, addressed the inaugural function in Cox’s Bazar.

Dr Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, encouraged other financial institutions to create “need-based initiatives that promote climate-change mitigation projects.” Farmers being able to generate their own electricity will also help reduce the diesel subsidy being provided by the government, he added.

Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director of Eastern Bank, said: “Our bank is dedicated to sustainable development, which is the cornerstone of everything that we do. We are committed to financing businesses that invest in green technology and will continue exploring innovative ways to improve local communities and the environment.”

Jeeva A. Perumalpillai-Essex: “In the area of clean and renewable energy promotion, we look for projects that combat climate change and benefit the overall economy of Bangladesh. This project is a perfect example of getting far-reaching results from a very local approach.”

IFC said Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and as a low-lying country is also extremely vulnerable to climate change, with food security and disaster management deserving high priority. Bangladesh’s GDP stands at $100 billion, fueled mostly by growth in textiles and agriculture.

Indo-Bangla JV deal Jan 10

Indo-Bangla JV deal Jan 10

A deal is likely to be signed here on January 10 between the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) and the Indian state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to form a joint venture company for setting up the planned 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant in Bagerthat, reports UNB.

After long negotiations, both the Bangladesh and Indian sides have finally agreed to sign the deal to form a joint venture (JV) company which will be registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies in Dhaka, according to a top official at the Power Division.

The joint venture company will be operated and controlled under the Bangladesh law under the Companies Act, said Joint Secretary at the Power Division. The company will be owned by PDB and NTPC on a 50:50 equity basis. But the other aspects of the company like investment of fund, authorised capital, paid-up capital, organograme are still unsettled.

A senior official at the PDB said these issues will be settled when the feasibility will be completed.

As per an understanding between Bangladesh and India, the NTPC will conduct the feasibility study, while Bangladesh Water Development Board’s research wing – Centre for Environment & Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) – will carry out the environment impact assessment, coal sourcing and coal transportation.

On completion of the exercises, the power tariff and such aspects will be settled, said the official.

Dhaka and New Delhi decided to set up the 1320 MW coal-fired power plant more than two years ago. But it took two years’ time only to form the Joint Venture Company to move forward with the plan.

Power Ministry officials said the real work on the proposed power plant will start on completion of JV formation and its registration in Bangladesh.

100-MW Juldha Power Plant to go into production Jan 7

100-MW Juldha Power Plant to go into production Jan 7

CHITTAGONG: The 100-megawatt rental power station, Juldha Power Plant, in the port city Chittagong is expected to go into production from 7 January next.

Company officials claimed that 100 per cent construction work of the duel-fuel-run power plant and other necessary preparations including collecting oil have been completed while collection of furnace oil will begin from January 5 next.

Talking to BSS, project director and executive engineer of Power Development Board (PDB) Sunil Kanti Das said the power plant will go into full-pledged production by this month as they have completed necessary preparations in this respect.

As per agreement with the government, he said, the power to be generated from the plant will be sold out to PDB at Taka 7.76 per kilowatt which will would be added to the national grid via PDB’s Juldha sub-station.

The gas-cum-oil run power plant “Juldha Power Plant Ltd” (JPPL) is being constructed by the country’s one of the leading companies Ekron Infrastructure Limited and Cutterfiller Company of Germany on 20 acres of land in Juldha area, the company sources said.

The plant, based on German technology, is one out of nine power plants in private sector that got approval in December, 2009. —BSS

Solar power lights up Bangladesh

Solar power lights up Bangladesh
Much of Bangladesh’s rural population lived without electricity until low power solar systems transformed their lives.

Naimul Haq

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – The sun never shone brighter on rural Bangladesh with low power solar systems transforming the lives of tens of millions of marginalised rural people who are unconnected to the national grid.

Nizamuddin Sheikh, 52, who runs a small eatery in Foilerhat market in Bagerhat district, thinks that the Bangladeshi Taka 1,900 (US $24) he paid for a 20 watt solar set, that includes solar panels, battery, regulator and a set of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and LED lights, is the best investment he ever made.

“Before I bought the set from GS (Grameen Shakthi, a sister concern of Grameen Bank) my restaurant was kept open only during the daytime, but now I have extended my business well into the evenings,” Nizamuddin said. “My income has doubled.”

Nizamuddin has to repay the rest of the cost of the solar home system (SHS) over the next 36 months at five dollars per month, which, he says, is no burden.

“Once we demonstrate the benefits of SHS, people respond with tremendous interest,” said Habibur Rahman, GS regional manager in Bagerhat. “And then we offer easy and affordable monthly installment facilities.”

There are various packages on offer suited to different income groups of people in the rural areas. The very poor can own an SHS, paying as low as 10 per cent of the total cost with the rest payable in 36 equal installments.

Typically, people from the poorer sections opt for an SHS set that costs $124 and capable of generating about 10 watts of electricity to light a five watt CFL for about three hours.

Better off people buy more powerful systems, paying 35 per cent of the total cost of the SHS in advance and the balance over a 12-month period. Costs vary with energy output, with the most expensive model costing $925 and providing 135 watts of uninterrupted power for four hours.

Acting managing director of GS, Abser Kamal, said, “SHS units are in demand due to many advantages, but especially because it is far cheaper than conventional fuels like kerosene and diesel and has no maintenance expenses.”

“In the villages solar power provides extended working hours for students, shopkeepers and housewives. Now they can do things like conveniently charge mobile phones – which have already been changing lives,” Kamal said.

A sluggish national grid

“Without solar power many villagers would probably have had to wait years to get electricity from the national grid,” he said. “Solar is transforming their lives – this is quick social and economical development.”

Only 41 per cent of Bangladesh’s 142 million people have access to electricity from the sluggish national grid.

GS, a pioneer in promoting ‘green energy’, started out in 1996 as a lone player and today is the largest distributor of SHS – over 700,000 units out of a total of about 1.1 million in the country – contributing to the daily generation of about 60 Mw of solar power.

So successful was the initial programme of promoting SHS that the private sector sold 50,000 sets in about five years – two years ahead of the target of 2008.

In 2008, the government set a target of five per cent of total energy from renewable sources and 10 per cent by 2020.

Current power generation from some 81 power plants amounts to 6,700 Mw, with 95 per cent of it coming from burning fossil fuels like coal, furnace oil, gas and diesel. Hydroelectric power accounts for another 3.3 per cent

Bangladesh’s energy minister Muhammad Enamul Huq explained, “We want to promote solar system in every corner of the country and so we are giving huge incentives to the private sector to make solar affordable.”

Government incentives for companies setting up solar plants include a 15-year tax holiday and exemption from paying import duty on equipment.

Foreign investors get exemptions on royalties, technical knowhow, technical assistance fees and facilities for their repatriation of profits. Foreigners working in solar energy projects need pay no income tax for the first three years of their stay in this country.

Last year the government also made it mandatory for all newly constructed domestic and commercial buildings to have solar systems installed on rooftops.

“Today we are helping to change the lives of 7,000 rural people every day through solar technology,” said Islam Sharif, chief of the state-owned financier, Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), which funds 90 per cent of Bangladesh’s 1.1 million SHS – mostly in partnership with GS, but also with other companies and NGOs.

Sharif said, “Through our 29 partners we are now helping to add 24 Mw of solar power in Bangladesh every year.”

MA Gofran, a leading Bangladeshi expert on renewable energy said: “In 10 years from now we want to celebrate the 50 years of independence of the nation by seeing all our villages using renewable energy.”

Govt plans big in solar energy

Govt plans big in solar energy
Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

DHAKA, DEC 29: Rural Bangladesh is to see an increase in solar electricity generation as part of the government’s ambitious plan to boost the provision of power from renewable sources, according to a top government official. “A target of generating 500 megawatts (MW) of green energy by 2015 has been set. The attempt aims at narrowing the gap between current supplies of grid electricity and the needs of the country’s 160 million people,” said Tapos Kumar Roy, additional secretary of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

Official data show that only 49 per cent of the population has access to electricity from the national grid. Fossil fuels account for almost all the current capacity of 5,500 MW, with renewable sources, mostly solar power, contributing just 55 MW.

The government says there are environmental and developmental imperatives behind its search for alternative energy sources.  Burning fossil fuel emits greenhouse gases into the air, contributing to the warming of the globe. And fossil fuels are depleting very quickly which is a threat to future power generation, said the power ministry official.

Under the plan, 340 MW of new capacity will be generated from systems installed on residential, commercial and industrial buildings, as well irrigation pumps, mini-grid systems and solar parks.

Solar power systems that have been installed on the rooftops of local government buildings, railway stations, and rural health and educational institutions will provide the balance.

The government believes, Roy said, investments totalling $2.24 billion will be required to reach its solar power target.

It is seeking about $1.6 billion dollars in financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other development partners.

New policy fires up solar energy business

New policy fires up solar energy business
Sohel Parvez

A government policy to promote renewable energy has lured a large number of new entrants into the business, particularly for solar panel installations, sector people said.

In the last two years, nearly 100 firms and NGOs have appeared on the scene to sell technologies including solar home systems, irrigation pumps, water heaters, street lights and their accessories and batteries.

“We have taken it as an emerging business,” said Taskin Choudhury, head of business development of Allied Solar Energy Ltd, which entered the trade a year ago to supply solar technologies, panels and accessories.

The government has taken a policy to meet 5 percent of the country’s energy demand through green energy by 2015 and 10 percent by 2020.

In the last seven years, more than 10 lakh rural homes in off-grid areas have got lights through solar home systems (SHS), while millions still live without electricity.

“It is a big market. Only one crore homes have come under solar power,” said Md Akhtar Hamid Khan, chief operating officer of InGen Technology Ltd.

Some 80,000 SHSs are installed a month, said Choudhury of Allied Solar. Installation of SHSs will also require accessories such as battery and inverter.

Nearly half a dozen firms, including Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy and Electro Solar Power, stepped in to assemble panels.

The government had earlier set conditions that newly built buildings will have to meet a portion of their electricity requirements through solar energy in order to get fresh electricity connection.

The requirement for producing green energy is 3 percent and 7 percent of the total electricity demand in the residential and commercial buildings respectively.

Syed Istiaque Ahmed, head of sales of Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy, however, said many are assembling panels, targeting mainly the off-grid areas.

“There is a huge prospect of solar irrigation pump,” said the official.

Noting a recent rise in the installation of solar panels in the grid areas, he said a business opportunity has been created suddenly. But only 25 percent of the buyers are conscious about quality, he said.

Choudhury of Allied said his company works with around 20 realtors to set up solar panels in new buildings. “This segment of the market is also big.”

Choudhury also cited the potential of business of solar street lights, industrial water heaters, solar power plants and supplying solar power to the national grid.

“We have already won a government contract to install solar street lights from Notre Dame College gate to Kakrail Mosque,” he said.

Deal signed to set up 3 coal-fired power plants

Deal signed to set up 3 coal-fired power plants
Another 18MW solar power plant to be set up in private sector
Author / Source : Independent Online/UNB

DHAKA: The government on Tuesday signed a deal with local conglomerate Orion Group to set up three coal-fired independent power producer (IPP) plants in the country.

The Power Development Board (PDB), on behalf of the government, signed another deal with a private firm to set up a 18MW solar-based power plant in Mymensingh.

The total capacity of the three plants is 1087.34MW of which the first one is of 522MW capacity, to be set up at Mawa in Munshiganj, while the capacity of each of the second and third plants is 282.67 MW.

One of the 282.67MW plants will be built in Chittagong and Khulna.

PDB Secretary Md Abdul Aziz, Orion Group Managing Director Salman Obaidul Karim and Solarium Power Managing Director Nazmul Abedin inked the deals on behalf of their respective sides.

Prime Minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for power and energy Enamul Haque, Power Secretary Abul Kalam Azad and PDB Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir and senior officials of the PDB, Orion and Solarium were present at the function at Bidduyt Bhaban in the capital.

Orion Group will implement the projects on build-own-operate (BOO) basis and the PDB will purchase electricity from the plants for 22 years.

As per the contract, the PDB will buy per kilowatt hour (each unit) electricity at 5.8497 US cents (Tk 4.095) from 522 MW Mawa plant while tariff for the Chittagong plant was set at 5.4214 cents (Tk 3.795) and tariff for Khulna plant at 5.4071 US cents (Tk 3.785).

Orion will implement he Mawa project within the next 45 months while it will take 36 months for each of the Chittagong and Khulna projects. Imported coal will be used in the project for power generation. The local business house has already procured lands at separate locations to set up the power plants.

“We’ve already procured required lands for our project. Our project will be initially run by imported coal for which we’ve managed dedicated coal mines in Indonesia,” said Obaidul Karim adding that the three projects will require an investment of $1.4 billion.

Local firm Solarium Power Ltd will set up the 18MW solar plant at a location in Mymensingh from which the PDB will buy electricity at Tk 5.50 per kilowatt hour for the next 15 years. This will be the first large solar power plant in private sector.

Tawfiq-e-Elahi termed the deal signing with private sector forms for coal-fired power plants and also for solar plant a milestone in Bangladesh history.

He said neighbouring India has yet not been able to sign contract for setting up any power plant in private sector. “But we’ve been able to sign such deals.”

Deals inked to produce 1,105 MW from coal, solar

Deals inked to produce 1,105 MW from coal, solar

Star Online Report

The government on Tuesday signed four agreements with Orion Group and Solarium Power Ltd for producing 1,105 megawatt of electricity from coal and solar system as part of its efforts to diversify energy sources.

Power Development Board (PDB) inked separate deals with Orion Group to set up three coal-based power plants at a ceremony at the Bidyut Bhaban in the city.

The plants will be set up at Mawa in Munshiganj with a capacity of 522 MW, Chittagong with a capacity of 282.67 MW and Khulna 282.67 MW.

Orion Group will invest US$ 1.4 billion to set up the load-based plants, said its Chairman Obaidul Karim.

PDB signed the fourth deal with Solarium Power Ltd, which will set up a thermal solar system in Mymensingh with a capacity of 18 MW, the country’s first renewable energy-based power plant with a capacity over one megawatt.

The plant will cost Tk 235 crore, Nazmul Abedin, managing director of Solarium, said at the signing ceremony.

The coal-based power plants will be ready between 36 and 45 months while Solarium plans to start commercial operation in two years.

50-MW power plant in Natore soon

50-MW power plant in Natore soon
Author / Source : BSS

NATORE, Dec 19: The government has decided to set up a 50-MW joint venture power plant at Barabhita here for the first time to meet the power demand of the district. The management of the plant- Raj Lanka Power Company- is expected to finish construction of the project at the end of 2012.

The company signed an agreement on November 27 to this effect with Bangladesh Power Development Board to build the power plant by using the technology of Wartcela Company of Finland.

According to the agreement, the plant will supply 50-MW power to the national grid in the next 15 years after completion of the plant.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the plant on December 11 during her Natore tour.