State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources
Imagine if electricity generation capacity were still 3000 MW like in BNP-Jamaat govt period: Nasrul Hamid
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has shared an explanation on why load shedding has become more acute and frequent in Bangladesh as people struggle with the ongoing sweltering heat. “People of Bangladesh are suffering during this scorching heat. Use of air conditioners and fans is increasing, and people are using these devices for comfort,” the state minister wrote in a post on his verified Facebook profile. Read more: BTMA seeks smooth gas-electricity supply and loan moratorium to survive On June 3, Bangladesh generated 13,635 MW of electricity, yet there was load shedding, he noted. Imagine what would have happened in the country today if 3000 MW of electricity were being produced as was the case during the last BNP-Jamaat government, he wrote. “The Awami League government has provided electricity to all the villages and cities in the country. This is a people's government, so the government wants to deal with this crisis with the cooperation of everyone,” Nasrul Hamid wrote in the post. Read more: 1500 MW of electricity from solar systems can be generated in next 1 year: Speakers He urged everyone to save electricity from their individual position.
Ilisha-1 in Bhola district was announced to be the 29th gas field of Bangladesh where substantial gas was found recently. “We believe, Ilisha-1 has a reserve of 200 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas. The entire Bhola area, including this one, has a reserve of 3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas,” State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told reporters today (May 22, 2023) during a briefing at his Dhaka residence while formally announcing the discovery of the gas field. He said this is great news for the people of the country. Also Read: 3 strikes for Ilisha-1: another drill test finds gas Ilisha-1 is located in an union in Bhola district, about 182 km from the capital city Dhaka. On March 8 this year, Ilisha-1 excavation started in the Maler Hat area of Ilisha union under Bhola Sadar upazila and the drilling was completed successfully on April 24 through the Drill Stem Test in three levels at a depth of 3,475 metres. The state minister said earlier that gas was found in different wells under Bhola north and Bhola south structures. He said a plan is being prepared to bring gas from the Bhola area to Dhaka through a pipeline where many industries are facing a nagging gas shortage. Read more: Chevron inks deals to dig more wells at expanded Bibiyana gas field A pre-feasibility was conducted and now work is in progress for conducting a feasibility study on the issue, he noted. Nasrul Hamid said it will take about 3 years to bring the gas from Bhola to Dhaka through a pipeline. Initially, he said, a private company has signed a contract to bring a total of 25 mmcfd gas from Bhola through a big trailer. Primarily, it will start with 5 mmcfd. He informed that the government has a plan to create a ring-fence of pipeline covering Bhola, Barishal and Dhaka to use the gas for this region while another ring-fence will be created covering the districts in Dhaka, Sylhet and others. Read more: 2nd phase of directional drilling at Srikail North Gas field starts He said the commercial value of the gas in Bhola will be Tk 6500 crore if calculated in local value and Tk 26000 crore in the value of gas being imported. Nasrul Hamid said the Ilisha-1 gas field’s discovery was announced after completion of necessary drilling and other works. Currently, about 2300 mmcfd gas is being produced from 22 gas fields in the country, while about 700 mmcfd gas is being imported to meet the demand of about 4000 mmcfd, leaving a deficit of about 1000 mmcfd. Apart from Ilisha-1, two Bhola gas fields have around 200 mmcf production capacity, while the production hovers between 80-85 mmcf. Read more: China’s Sinopec to drill for gas at Well No-10 of Sylhet Gas Field Therefore, around 120 mmcf surplus capacity remains unused in the eight wells of the Shahbazpur and Bhola gas fields. Due to the lack of pipeline and transmission facilities, the government of Bangladesh was unable to supply the surplus gas from the Bhola field to energy-hungry industrial zones in Dhaka and elsewhere.
State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has filed a review appeal to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission to raise the bulk power tariff. “We’ve filed an appeal to the BERC on Monday (November 14) to review the decision to reject the proposal to raise bulk power tariff”, a top BPDB official told UNB on condition of anonymity. He said before submitting the proposal, the BPDB received a nod from the government’s highest policy level. Read more: Decision on bulk power tariff ‘adjustment’ Thursday State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid also approved the review appeal, he added. BERC on October 13 rejected the proposal of the BPDB to raise bulk power tariff, saying that the aggrieved party can submit appeal proposal to review the regulator’s decision within 30 working days. “Keeping compliance with the 30-day tenure, we’ve submitted our review appeal”, said the top BPDB official. A top official of the BERC also confirmed that it had received the appeal from the BPDB. He said the BERC top level is now scrutinising the appeal proposal. “But it’s not clear whether BERC will hold a fresh public hearing on the review or will arbitrarily accept the proposal and announce its decision without hearing”, said the BERC official preferring anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Read more: Bulk power tariff hike could be announced within Oct 14 While delivering a decision by rejecting the BPDB proposal on Oct 13, BERC chairman Abdul Jalil said that some of the private companies, which buy power from BPDB have not submitted their data of transactions. “There was data ambiguity. That’s why we did not analyse the impact of any rise in bulk tariff on the consumers,” he told reporters. The current socio-economic and power supply situation were taken into consideration when making the BERC decision, he noted. As a result, the electricity tariff remains unchanged in accordance with the earlier tariff announced in February 2020. The last public hearing on a proposal of the state-owned BPDB to raise bulk power tariff was held on May 18. The BPDB placed a proposal to raise bulk power tariffs by 65.57 percent at the public hearing while a technical evaluation committee of BERC recommended a 57.83 percent hike. Read more: BERC’s TEC commends a 57.83pc hike in bulk power tariff rejecting BPDB’s 65.57pc Placing the proposal, BPDB officials had said the organisation will require Tk 74,189 crore in revenue to generate 88,993 million kilowatt hours (units) of electricity to supply to the power distribution companies. "But if the BPDB sells its electricity at the existing rate of Tk 5.17 per unit, it will have to face a deficit of Tk 30,251 crore in revenue in the calendar year 2022. So, BPDB needs to raise the power tariff by 65.57 percent to Tk 8.56 per unit from Tk 5.17," said a BPDB top official at the hearing, adding that this has been calculated without the government's subsidy. The Power Division has been under tremendous pressure from the Finance Ministry to raise power tariffs. BPDB has been incurring a huge financial loss due to its purchase of electricity from private power plants at a much higher rate and sell it to the consumers at a lower rate. At the public hearing on May 18, consumer rights groups, including representatives from different business bodies, vehemently opposed any major rise in power tariff right now, as people are already struggling with high inflation caused by high commodity prices. They termed the proposal illogical and said BPDB can offset its revenue deficit through addressing irregularities, corruption and unethical practices in buying electricity from inefficient private power plants at higher rates.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that Bangladesh wants to import petroleum from Saudi Arabia at a relatively lower price. He conveyed such interest when Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Bangladesh Issa Bin Youssef Al-Dahilan met him at his office in the ministry on Thursday. Read more: Bangladesh plans to import 5.46 million MT of petroleum in 2023 “We are also interested in purchasing the fuel on deferred payment,” he told the Saudi envoy. During the meeting they discussed various issues related to mutual interest and also possible solutions to the energy crisis in Bangladesh. Welcoming the Saudi ambassador he said Bangladesh wants to strengthen trade relations with the brotherly nation. Read more: Country has adequate stocks of petroleum fuel: Energy Division The Saudi ambassador said that the interest of Saudi companies in investing in power and energy sector in Bangladesh is growing. ACWA Power Company of Saudi Arabia is moving ahead with a plan to invest $1.5 billion in Bangladesh, he mentioned.
The Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Bill, 2022 was passed in Parliament to expedite exploration of oil, gas and mineral resources in the country. The new law will replace the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Ordinance, 1985 that is declared void by the court as it was promulgated during the regime of a military dictator. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid moved the Bill and it was passed by voice vote. Read more: Atomic Energy Commission (amendment) Bill passed in JS As per the Bill, a Corporation will be established titled the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation for carrying out the purposes of this Bill. The Corporation may also be called PETROBANGLA. This will be a body corporate, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and shall by the said name sue and be sued. The main office of the Corporation will be established in Dhaka whereas, if necessary, its offices can be set up in any place in and outside the country taking prior permission from the government. The authorised capital of the Corporation shall be Tk 10,000 crore, which was Tk 200 crore, while the paid-up capital will be Tk 200 crore. Read more:BSCIC Bill placed in JS aimed at streamlining small and cottage industries The Board shall consist of a Chairman to be appointed by the government, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with energy and mineral resources to be nominated by that Ministry or Division, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with finance to be nominated by that Ministry or Division, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with planning to be nominated by that Ministry or Division and five directors to be appointed by the government. Chairman of the Corporation shall be appointed from the Additional Secretaries of the government. As per the Bill, it can deposit its fund in any scheduled bank as term deposit or invest in any government approved securities.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid urged the officials of his ministry to ensure more coordination in implementing projects on development of infrastructures in the power sector. “Many achievements are turning into failures due to lack of coordination,” he told officials at a workshop titled: “Together for a Smart & Green Bangladesh '' at Biduyt Bhaban in the city on Tuesday. The call from the State Minister came against the backdrop of the recent grid failure that plunged most areas of the country into a 7-hour blackout on October 4. Chinese technology company Huawei and the Power Ministry’s technical wing Power Cell jointly organised the workshop on development of smart grid and use of electric vehicles. The State Minister said that automation of the power grid is an essential need of the hour. “A smart grid can automatically ensure a match between the demand and the supply”, he said adding that the introduction of information technology and smart devices will keep the power transmission system secure. He also underscored the need for development of skilled manpower in the power sector to transform the power system from conventional grid to smart grid alongside technological development. He reiterated his call to the people to be patient in the nagging power crisis that triggered 5-6 hours of daily load shedding in and outside the capital. Talking to reporters on the side-line of the workshop, he said the people have to wait until November to get a better power supply situation. Two papers on Smart Grid, Electric Vehicles and Global Context were presented in the workshop. Smart grid, cyber-attack prevention, digitisation, automation as well as technology-based clean energy and electric vehicles are also discussed. The matter of electric vehicles also came up at the workshop as such vehicles are eco-friendly and cost-effective. Bangladesh has already prepared a policy regarding charging guidelines, the workshop was told. Power Secretary Md. Habibur Rahman and Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Technology (Bangladesh) Pan Junfeng also spoke at the event.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has urged World Bank to expedite its funding to projects in Bangladesh’s power and energy sector. He made the request while holding a bilateral meeting today with visiting World Bank Vice President for South Asia Region, Martin Raiser, at the ministry, said a release of the ministry. It was noted at the meeting that two projects for gas meters installation have been approved by World Bank – implementation of which will begin from January 2023. There are 6 projects in the power sector being funded by World Bank. Read:Dependence on LNG import to continue, more terminals to be set up: Energy Advisor Both sides discussed various issues of mutual interest during the meeting. The state minister focused on achievements, expectations and challenges in power and energy at the meeting. He said electric vehicles and hydrogen will contribute greatly to the power and energy sector in the future. “World Bank can play a major role in formulating a policy on hydrogen energy and electric vehicles to encourage the stakeholders in the sector,” Nasrul Hamid noted. He sought World Bank’s cooperation to turn Bangladesh Power Management Institute into an organization of international standard. Nasrul Hamid said it is necessary to further strengthen the partnership with World Bank in capacity building of the entities in the power sector to deal with wind power, transmission and distribution systems. A wide range of issues like renewable energy, captive power, climate change, global energy crisis, solar irrigation pumps, lithium batteries, hydropower, regional power trade, net metering and rooftop solar, green building, efficient and cost-effective use of electricity and energy, oil refineries, land-based LNG terminal also came up for discussion. Read: Govt working to revise renewable energy policy: Recent primary fuels crisis a reason The World Bank Vice President expressed his satisfaction in working with Bangladesh and said that the focus on capacity building, regional cooperation and implementation of different projects is very promising. He said promotion of renewable energy and the exploration of new areas of potential investment are putting Bangladesh in focus. The World Bank top executive expressed interest in issues related to efficiency improvement, renewable energy and cross border power trade. Senior Secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Department Md. Mahbub Hossain, Power Secretary of Md. Habibur Rahman, World Bank South Asia Regional Director (Infrastructure) Guangzhe Chen and Acting Country Director Dandan Chen were present during the meeting.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has urged officials to pay more attention to generate electricity from renewable sources. “You have to work with broader mindset to generate more electricity from the renewable sources,” he said, while virtually addressing a contract signing ceremony at Biduyt Bhaban on Sunday for setting up a 55 MW wind power plant in Mongla. He said the wind project is the part of the government’s target to generate 10 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 40 percent by 2040. Also read: Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium, BPDB to sign deal for Mongla wind power plant tomorrow A Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium signed the deal with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to set up the plant on a build-own-operate basis at Mongla in Bagerhat. The Consortium of Envision Energy, (Jiangsu) Co. Ltd., China, SQ Trading and Engineering, Bangladesh and Envision Renewable Energy Limited, Hong Kong will develop the plant under a new special project vehicle (SPV) company Mongla Green Power Ltd. The project cost is expected to be around $96.597m. At the Sunday’s function, BPDB director Golam Rabbani and Mongla Green Energy’s managing director Xu Wentao signed the contract on behalf of their respective sides. As per the deal, the state-owned BPDB will purchase electricity from the plant at a levelized tariff of 13.20 Cents, equivalent to Tk13 per kilowatt hour (each unit). The BPDB will purchase electricity from the independent power producer (IPP) plant over a period of 20 years spending a total of more than Tk 2000 crore. Also read: Nasrul Hamid wants filling stations to get facelift, upgraded facilities This has been the second deal for wind power for which the BPDB signed contract with the private sector sponsor. Earlier, the BPDB signed the first deal with US-DK Green Energy (BD), a private firm, fir setting up a 60 MW wind power plant at Cox’s Bazar. Nasrul Hamid inaugurated the ground breaking of the Cox’s Bazar plant in March this year.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said the government will make a readjustment in the petroleum price in a day or two.“The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is analysing the impact of the duty cut on diesel import. Once it’s complete, the government will make the readjustment”, he told reporters on Monday.The state minister, however, said it’s still unclear as how much downward price adjustment would be possible at this stage as the price of fuel is again increasing in the international market. Also read: Import tax on diesel cut by 5 percent The comments from the state minister came a day after the government cut the duty on diesel import by half to five per cent and abolished all advance taxes on its import.The changes were notified through a gazette notification issued by the National Board of Revenue on Sunday.The order came into effect immediately and will remain effective until the end of (December 31) this year. Also read: Cabinet purchase body approves import of diesel, Jet fuel, LNG and fertilizerThe NBR notification added that light and high speed diesel oils will get the new facilities.
A 15,000 square feet hi-tech park is going to be established in Keraniganj, southern suburb of Dhaka city. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid laid the foundation stone of the 7-story hi-tech park in Keraniganj. Also read: 'Boosting electronics, hi-tech industry the need of the day' Addressing a function on the occasion, he said the hi-tech park will play an important role in creating skilled manpower in the country. “There is no alternative to create skilled manpower to get the results of the fourth industrial revolution”, he said adding the initiative to create skilled manpower will help face the future challenges. State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami also addressed the function. It was informed at the function that Tk 200 crore will be invested in the hi-tech park project which will have facilities to provide training to 1000 people per year. Also read:KEPZ Hi-Tech park will attract huge FDI, hopes Palak In addition, some 3000 more people will get the opportunity to be employed directly and indirectly under the project. Zunaid Ahmed Palak said the government has been implementing a huge number of projects to develop digital Bangladesh. “Already cent percent of people have access to electricity while 13 crore people are using the internet,” he said.