The government of Sheikh Hasina led Grand Alliance on the evening of 12th achievement for touching the milestone in power generation capacity of 10,000-megawatt with a grand and cheerful jubilation. The celebration was launched in the evening with a spectacular fireworks and laser show at the picturesque Hatirjheel Lake in the capital. The lake, meticulously designed with bridges, overpasses and walkways, took a different look amid presence of thousands of people during the dazzling fireworks.
Opening the celebration, the premier said, “It’s a joyous day for us. It’s a successful and historic day for our government. It’s a day of setting milestone and materializing our commitment to people.” In the election manifesto, she said, the government had made a commitment to enhance the country’s
power generation capacity to 7,000 MW by 2013. “Today, we are producing more than our target, making
the country free from load-shedding.”
“Eight more plants with production capacity of 760 MW power would go for commissioning by January
24, when the present government will fulfill its five-year tenure,” she told her audience.
The premier said a total of 57 power plants were constructed in the country during the tenure of the
present government while 33 more are now under construction.
November 2013 celebrated its
“Tender documents are being processed for 20 plants. Now per capita power generation capacity of the
country rose to 321 kilowatt compared to 220 kilowatt in 2009,” she said.
We have to believe what PM said. She must have read out what was prepared for her .There has been no
lack of sincerity on her part. Power and energy sectors are interdependent. One must agree while power
sector achieved tremendous success energy sector lacked behind in arranging required fuel. About 1000
MW effective power generation capacity remains idle for lack of gas supply. For fund constraint it is not
possible to run liquid fuel based power plants beyond peak hours. Coal import remains uncertain for
absence of enabling import infrastructure .Domestic coal mining is in the womb of uncertainty.
We have to admire government’s efforts and initiatives. There is no semblance of doubt that Government
through multi-dimensional efforts has successfully confronted the massive power load shedding
experienced in 2008 and 2009. Government has performed much better than any government
before in the power sector. True the installed capacity has crossed 10,000 MW milestones. But the
effective generation capacity considering fuel supply constraints has actually increased from 3300MW
to 6200MW. If we take out technical and non-technical system losses still lesser power reach real
consumers. About 2300 MW of the claimed over 10,000 MW installed capacity relies on imported liquid
fuel which has caused significant increase of generation costs. Consumer has to bear the brunt as power
tariff has increased significantly.
Lot still needs to be done in attaining sustainable power generation as arranging assured fuel supply still
remains in a spot of bother. Petrobangla cannot guarantee gas supply to all under implementation gas
based power plants. Coal supply to most of the under implementation imported coal based power plants
still remains uncertain. There is no assurance when domestic coal will be effectively harnessed.
In neutral analysis of the government performance one must not hesitate to acknowledge that the power
generation increase played the most significant role in achieving and maintaining impressive GDP
Growth. Bangladesh could outshine many countries including our influential SAARC neighbor India
in achieving several indices of MDG . The success of Bangladesh led Lemgatum index 2013 mention,”
Kissinger’s bottomless basket is now development stars.” Bangladesh is now two ranks above India.
Whether the present government returns to power or a new government comes it has to successfully
encounter the challenge of arranging assured supply of fuel for power to create sustainability of
power system growth and development. Government has a target for coal contributing 50% of fuel by
2030 .For achieving that we must start mining our own coal without delay . Government must work for
setting up large mine mouth coal fired power plants in greater Rangppor and Dinajpoor .Government
to set up coal import infrastructure. Private sector companies will fail to import coal required for even a
medium size coal plant.
More intensive and interactive co-ordination is expected between BPDB and Petrobangla for ensuring
gas supply to gas based power plants. BPDB must work proactively for replacement of energy inefficient
old plants with modern fuel efficient Combined cycled plants for fuel economy. Petrobangla must
engage IOCs even in offshore frontiers side by side of BAPEX to harness petroleum resources . Offshore
PSC draft documents should be further revised creating greater incentives for IOCs and offshore
exploration for petroleum resources must be expedited.
Power grid connectivity of Bangladesh and India is a great milestone. It may be extended to Nepal and
Bhutan in one side and to Myanmar through eastern Indian states on the other sides. Bangladesh, India,
Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar may develop potential hydropower prospects of the region through joint
efforts and share power.
South Asian Nations have significant prospects of attaining long term energy security through combined
efforts and sharing resources. It needs political commitments and meeting of minds.