Generation of electricity may reach 8,000 mega watt (MW) by the end of the next year narrowing down demand and supply gap considerably, if nearly a dozen approved plants start power generation according to the pre-set schedule, officials said on Sunday.
They expect the generation to go up to 6,000 mw by December next if the plants, five state-owned peaking plants and four private rental plants start operation on schedule.
“From the next year if our plans are implemented, we will be able to add 2,000 mw more electricity to the national power grid in every 12 months,” Saiful Hasan spokesman for the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) told the FE.
The state-owned BPDB is the arm of the power division of the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources, that signs deals with local and foreign firms to set up power plants, and monitors power generation and distribution in the country.
The BPDB will buy power from private plants at varying rates and sell the same to subscribers at subsidised prices for up to three to five years.
“Price is not important at the moment. The authorities want electricity at any cost to meet the requirement,” said a senior official of the energy ministry who wanted not be identified.
Bangladesh currently produces electricity ranging between 4,800 mw to 5,000 mw against peak hour demand of 6,500 mw. Power generation fluctuates due to technical glitches and shortage of gas, as most plants in operations are gas-fired ones.
However hundreds of people are now awaiting power connections for their newly-built buildings, mills and factories in the in major cities, factories and business centres in urban areas.
“If all these are added, the real demand will be much higher,” said another BPDB official.
As the demand was rising steeply against very slow increment in power production, the crisis for electricity is set to remain for years, although the government has an ambitious plan to generate 20,000 mw to provide electricity to everyone by 2021, observers said.
In its relentless efforts to augment the power generation, the country generated a record 5,244 mw electricity on August 29, against a general peak-hour demand of 6,500 mw, said a data of BPDB.
However there is a confusion about the peak-hour demand of electricity as the power authority puts the figure at 5,600 mw, while private power firms state it at 6,500 mw, while last month the parliamentary sub-committee on power and energy ministry estimated it at 7,500 mw.
Meanwhile, the BPDB approved four more plants last week including three small plants which will generate more 213 mw by October next year.
The three small plants are 108 mw furnace oil-fired plant to be set up at Basila of Keraniganj by CLC Power & Associates Ltd and two 52.5 mw each to be built at Homna of Comilla and Kathpatti of Munshiganj by Venture Energy Resources Ltd and a joint venture Union Consultant (pvt) Ltd and People’s Energy Ltd respectively.
The BPDB signed three other deals last month with two groups of companies to build three furnace oil-fired power stations to generate a total of 307 mw from November 2012.
As per the deals Malaysia’s Mutiara Consolidated Sdn Bhd and Bangladesh’s Power Pac Holdings will set up a 99.4 mw power station in southwestern Khulna city and another 99.8 mw plant in northern Jamalpur town.
Another joint venture between the London-based Rurelec Plc (RUR), Dhaka-based Confidence Cement Ltd. (CONFID) and Energy Pac Generation Ltd. will build a 108 megawatt plant at Chittagong.
The BPDB earlier in 2010 signed deals with several private local and foreign firm to generate more than 900 mw electricity by the middle of 2012.
A couple of those already have already started generating around 400 mw and the rest 500 mw is scheduled to be generated by the middle of the next year.