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.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday blamed the government’s overall ‘failure’ and theft in the power sector for Tuesday’s long power blackout in most areas of the country caused by a national grid failure. “We feel that this (national grid failure) happened due to a total failure of the government, and the problem relating to planning, structural and technical matters, and widespread theft in the power sector,” he said. Read: Power supply restored across Bangladesh after 7hrs The BNP leader also said the power sector is not alone facing such problems. “These are happening everywhere. I think the main reason behind it is taking various unplanned development projects by the government only for indulging in corruption." He made the remarks while talking to reporters at BNP standing committee member Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku’s Asad Gate residence in the city. Fakhrul along with another BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury went to Tuku’s house as he fell sick. Earlier on Tuesday, power supply across the country was disrupted for nearly seven hours, plunging most areas into a blackout following the failure of the national power grid. Fakhrul said the government used to brag about attaining self-sufficiency in electricity and having the capacity to produce more power than the country’s demand, but people are regularly facing power outages. “Yesterday's (Tuesday’s) case was unusual. There was no power in most parts of the country for about 8 hours. It’s like a total blackout," he observed. Read: Power blackout triggers chaos in Dhaka petrol pumps The BNP leader said the blackout has manifested that the ruling party leaders made huge money by taking various projects in the power sector, but failed to ensure real and sustainable development. “It (blackout) threw the country into a great disaster. As a result mobile network and internet, all factories and filling stations were shut down.” He said the current government is taking unplanned projects and plundering public money as there is no accountability anywhere. “There is not an elected parliament. Since this government has no accountability to people, we’re facing many problems and disasters in every sector. This incident (national grid failure) is a proof of it. That’s why we are saying repeatedly that this government has become a burden on the country,” Fakhrul said. He said it will be difficult for the nation to survive if this government is not removed immediately. The BNP leader said the current regime must resign by handing over power to a non-party caretaker government for holding a credible national election and to establish a government of people. “There’s no other alternative left for us to get rid of the current situation of the country.”
A planned “integrated energy-power sector master plan” is likely to be ready by November this year. Japanese firm—The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)—gave such an indication when a team of the firm met State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid at his office in the ministry on Wednesday. The Tokyo-based consulting firm has been working to prepare the integrated master plan following an agreement between the Bangladesh government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed on March 15 in 2021. Ichiro Kutani, the head of the IEEJ team, informed that his firm has planned to submit a draft copy of the proposed integrated plan by October this year to facilitate open discussion on it. After a meeting with the stakeholders, the integrated master plan will be submitted in November, he told the state minister. JICA power and energy advisor Toshiyuki Kobayash and Bangladesh presentative Taro Katsurai were present on the occasion. Official sources said this is for the first time, the government has moved to formulate an integrated master plan comprising both power and energy issues. Previously, separate master plans were framed for the power sector and energy sector and there was little coordination between the two sectors. Nasrul Hamid has suggested the IEEJ team that the integrated plan should be the basis of sustainable infrastructure in the power and energy sectors which will ensure a balance between the demand and supply under an efficient management. The fuel mix strategy should have a reflection of current and future energy sources. It should outline a pattern of consumption in different sectors including agriculture, he added. Official sources said the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR ) has moved to formulate the integrated energy and power sector master plan with a focus on the "3E+S" concept, after responding to the suggestions of energy experts. According to sources, '3E+S' concept will be pursued in preparing the new plan for ensuring 'Energy Security', 'Economic Efficiency', and 'Environment' while focusing on 'Safety'. As per the contract, the Japanese firm is supposed to complete the formation of the plan with a timeframe of 30 months from the signing of the agreement. JICA, which has been funding the entire project through its grant under a deal with the MPEMR, said that in view of the need for a long-term low-carbon energy policy, it will support the formulation of the integrated energy and power master plan. The Japanese donor agency had earlier provided the financial and technical support for formulating all the previous power system master plans (PSMPs) until 2016. Official sources said the JICA consultant will study the country's 8th Five-year Development Plan, gas sector master plan 2017, and revise the power system master plant 2016 and other relevant policies/plans. It will prepare the prospects for economic development and energy demand forecast by 2050 with a focus on energy efficiency and conservation. In the existing power system master plan (PSMP) 2016, about 60,000 MW of power generation was targeted by 2041 in which primary fuel mix set at 70 per cent coming from coal and gas while the remaining 30 percent will be covered by liquid fuel, renewable, nuclear and other sources. READ: Bangladesh to formulate integrated energy-power sector master plan with focus on 3E+S concept The BPDB official data shows the country’s total generation capacity is 25,235 MW of which grid-connected generation is 22,348 MW up to April this year while the remaining 2887 is captive generation, mainly produced by industry owners, exclusively for running their own industries. The country’s highest generation was recorded 14,782 MW on April 16 meaning that the surplus capacity is 10,453 MW (about 41 per cent). Currently, 50 percent of power is being generated from gas while less than 10 percent is from coal and about 30 percent of power is generated from imported liquid fuel.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that Bangladesh needs $65 billion in investment in the power sector to meet growing demand. He said there will be huge demand in power and energy sector as more than 40 economic zones are being developed across the country. “These economic zones will create huge opportunity for industrial sector to set up manufacturing units,” he said while making a keynote presentation on “Power and Energy Sector: Change Ahead” at a seminar at the Bangladesh International Investment Summit 2021 at a city hotel on Monday. READ: Nasrul Hamid visits Redbridge; highlights impacts of climate change on Bangladesh The investment summit, organized by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), was also addressed by Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Asian Development Bank’s Bangladesh country director Edimon Ginting, International Finance Corporation’s regional head of industry, infrastructure and natural resources Isabel Chatterton, executive director-Gas to Power Business Development, Acwa Power of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Ayad Al Amri, local Summit Group’s chairman Mohammed Aziz Khan, Chevron Bangladesh’s country director Eric M Walker and president of Bangladesh Independent Power Producers’ Association (BIPPA). Nasrul said Bangladesh has been offering best policies in the region for the foreign investors to come in the power and energy sector. “Specially, power transmission and distribution segment and renewable energy could be very potential sector for private investors”, he added. Nasrul noted that steps have been taken to reduce carbon emission by 49 per cent in power and energy sector by 2030. “We have already abandoned a number of coal-fired power projects that would generate 8500 MW electricity”, he said adding that the country’s power system master plan is being updated to promote green technologies in the sector. He said plans are being undertaken to increase the use of electric vehicle to reduce the carbon emission. READ: Bangladesh won't bow down to fundamentalist forces: Nasrul Hamid Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury said Bangladesh is emphasizing more on clean energy development rather than renewable energy. He said technologies are changing fast and Bangladesh is always looking for newer technologies in power and energy sector. He said Bangladesh will invite foreign companies to invest in its offshore area for hydrocarbon exploration. ADB country director Edimon Ginting appreciated the government’s current polities for promotion private sector investment. He said ADB will always remain supportive to Bangladesh to help develop its infrastructures. Ayad Al Amri said Saudi Arabia has been very experience in power and energy sector and his companies are keen to invest more in the sector in Bangladesh.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that his ministry will provide financial support to promote research and creative works in the energy and power sector. “We will provide financial support from Bangladesh Energy and Power Research Council to any creative and research works by the new generation in the power and energy sector”, he said while addressing the economic award giving ceremony at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) in the city. A total of 788 students of the university received the academic awards for Spring Semester while 423 for Summer Semester and 572 for Autumn Semester in the function. Appreciating the IUB move, the state minister said incentives and encouragement should be continued for good works of the new generation. Also read: Planning to generate 40 percent electricity from renewable sources by 2050: Nasrul Hamid He said reaching electricity to the grassroots level has resulted in expansion of economic activities. Nasrul Hamid mentioned that a resolution was accepted by the United Nations to upgrade Bangladesh to the developing country’s category from the least developed countries (LDCs). Now the young generation has to work to implement the vision to become a developed nation by 2041, he said. Read: Clean energy to be imported from neighbouring countries: Nasrul He urged the young people to get mentally prepared to match them with the developed world. He also focused on the potentials of renewable energy in the country and advised the IUB authority to set up a rooftop solar power system on the roof of the university buildings with the help of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda).
Bangladesh is now capable to produce more electricity than it consumes. Yet the consumers are hit by frequent disruptions in power supply, even in the capital city. According to official data, the country has attained the capacity of generating over 24,000 MW of electricity a day as against the current daily consumption of only 13,000 MW. Yet, in capital Dhaka, the major hub of power consumption, and other parts of the country users suffer from supply disruptions, a phenomenon blamed on poor transmission system, faulty distribution lines, renovation and repair works. Read Rampal Maitree power project “to be commissioned in Dec” Official record shows that a consumer in Desco-covered north-western and eastern parts of the capital experience interruptions on of average 13.77 times a year, while a consumer in the DPDC areas, south-western and central part of the city, faces 17.61 interruptions in the same period. In technical term, it is called System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) which is the average number of sustained interruptions per consumer during a year. It is the ratio of the annual number of interruptions to the number of consumers. Similarly, the record on System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) shows that each consumer in Desco area live without power for 367.28 minutes (about 6.12 hours). In DPDC area, outages occur for 234.53 minutes (about 4 hours) a year. Also read: Consumers to be urged to be more economical in power consumption The figures of SAIFI and SAIDI have been taken from annual reports 2019-20 of Desco and DPDC. Energy experts believe the situation is worse outside Dhaka. Dr Md Ziaur Rahman Khan, a professor of the Department Electrical and Electronic Engineering of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technolgy (BUET), said SAIFI and SAIDI have been the two main measuring indicators to understand the quality and reliability of a power distribution network. According to him, many developed countries, especially those in Europe, America and Asia, now maintain the zero figure in SAIFI and SAIDI in their power distribution networks. Also read: Budget Power and energy sector allocation to increase by Tk 726 crore Available statistics reveal that the SAIDI was recorded to 1.06 minutes in Singapore in 2019 while SAIFI was 0.052. Prof Zia noted that though Bangladesh’s power generation has made a robust growth in recent years, still the country is much behind of India in ensuring quality distribution of power, though slightly ahead of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Other experts are also of the similar view as they said simultaneous attention should have been paid to both the distribution and the transmission along with boosting generation. Also read: Bangladesh’s 40 percent power to come from renewables by 2041: Nasrul Hamid “The government has failed to pay the due attention to the improvement of the distribution and transmission segments,” says Khandaker Golam Moazzem, research director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), at a recent webinar. A recent presentation of Desco on power distribution reveals that it recorded 11,369 incidents of power interruptions in a year in its command areas in the capital. Officials in the power sector believe the situation in DPDC area is worse than in Desco’s. Read 10 coal-fired power projects scrapped as part of master plan revision: Nasrul Hamid The Desco findings have identified the reasons behind the interruptions: faults in cables, insulators and high-tension consumer equipment, objects hitting power cables, collapsing cables, fault in capacitor bank and fault in former loop. Farid Hossain, a resident of Sector 7 in Uttara, said he experienced power cuts thrice a day last week in June, though for short durations. Mahfuzur Rahman, who lives in Malibagh Rail Gate area, reported that power cut in his area is so common at it happens almost every day. Read Renewable energy: 40% target ‘ambitious, but roadmap absent’ Similarly, some consumers in Siddeswari, Shantinagar, Jatrabari and many other areas in the capital also complained of regular power interruptions in their areas. Desco Managing Director Kausar Ameer Ali said supply disruptions sometimes occur in its command areas, but that is not a regular phenomenon. “These irregular interruptions happen either for maintenance work or sudden fault sometimes develops in the system,” he said, adding that the situation is gradually improving as Desco has been implementing a good number of projects to make it better.” Read CPD calls for discontinuation of Speedy Supply of Power and Energy Act He said projects have been taken to take overhead cables underground and set up adequate substations. “Once these projects are implemented, the situation will improve substantially,” he told UNB. Similarly, DPDC Managing Director Bikash Dewan admitted some interruptions in his power distribution network, including in Shantinagar, Siddeswari and Malibagh Rail Gate areas. He said interruptions occur for weaknesses in the distribution network. “But sometimes it happens for which consumers are responsible,” he said. Read Initiative soon to remove discrimination in gas supply: Energy Secy Dewan noted that in many areas when construction materials or any unwanted objects fall on power cables, which are mainly bare conductors, the system trips and interruption takes place. He says work to replace overhead cables with underground ones are on. Bare conductors will also be replaced with insulated cables to prevent interruptions. Dewan, however, said the Covid-19 pandemic is delaying the implementation of these projects. Read Grant financing deal of EUR 12mn signed to support power, energy sector
Power utility bodies have to respond to consumers’ applications for power connections digitally, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said Sunday.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has asked his ministry officials to increase the use of technology to ensure transparency and accountability in the power sector.
Urging all to maintain austerity in electricity use, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said it will not be possible to always provide subsidy for power generation.
Nasrul Hamid, the State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, has urged the newly appointed officials of Dhaka Electric Supply Company Ltd (Desco) to work with innovative ideas to gain consumers’ satisfaction.