Finance Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal today proposed allocating Taka 34,819 crore for the power and energy sector in the budget for FY2023-24 to ensure quality energy and power supply in the country.
The sector got Taka 8,753 crore more than the last fiscal year as Taka 26,066 crore was allocated for the FY 2022-23.
In his budget speech in parliament, the minister said, “We promised to ensure power and energy security. As a result of expansion of power generation and distribution capacity as per the target, hundred percent of the population of the country has already been brought under electricity facilities.”
Power generation capacity has increased from 4,942 megawatts in 2009 to 26,700 megawatt at present, he said, adding, “Contemplating the increased power demand to achieve high growth targets, we are continuing our efforts to increase production capacity”.
In order to diversify the use of energy in power generation in addition to setting up gas-based power plants, emphasis is being laid on coal, LNG, liquid fuel, dual-fuel, nuclear power plants and renewable energy-based power generation, Kamal said.
Noting that mega-projects are being implemented in power hubs constructed at Payra of Patuakhali district, Maheshkhali and Matarbari areas of Cox’s Bazar district, he said coal-based Rampal 1,320 megawatt Maitree Super Thermal Project (1st Unit) and Payra 1,320 megawatts Thermal Power Plant Project have already started generating electricity.
Construction of Matarbari (2×600 megawatt) ultra-super critical thermal power plant is in progress, the minister said, adding that 33 power plants with a of 12,094 megawatt are under construction in public-private joint ventures and contract tradition for setting of 17 power plants with a capacity of 2,416 Megawatt are underway.
Besides, the government has made plans to set up another 34 power plants with a capacity of 10,443 megawatt, he said.
Apart from generating power within the country, Kamal said, “We are also procuring power through regional and sub-regional diplomatic relations. We have a plan to import about 9,000 megawatt of electricity from neighboring countries by 2041”.
Currently, 1,160 megawatt of electricity is being imported from India through inter-country grid connection, he said, adding in addition, 748 megawatts of electricity from 1st unit of coal-fired power plants from two unit coal-fired power plants in Jharkhand, India, have been added to the national grid of Bangladesh.
Signing of an agreement is at final stage for importing 500 MW electricity from a hydro-electric power plant to be constructed in collaboration with Nepal, he said, adding, besides, a tripartite MoU among Bangladesh, Bhutan and India for import of electricity from Bhutan is going to be signed soon.
“In all, we hope to ensure 40,000 megawatt of electricity generation by 2030 and 60,000 megawatt by 2041,” the minister added.
With a view to generating 10 percent of the country’s total electricity demand from renewable energy by 2023, emphasis has been laid on solar power generation.
Speaking about energy security, he said compared to 2009, the storage capacity of fuel oil has increased from 8.94 lakh metric tons to 13.60 lakh metric tons in 2021-22.
Besides, various steps have been taken to increase the storage capacity of fuel oil to 60 days instead of 30 days in a phased manner to ensure energy security, Kamal said, adding, India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline was recently inaugurated through which imported fuel oil (diesel) will be supplied to 16 districts of the northern part of the country and to the 150-megawatt power plant at Saidpur.
Construction of pipeline from Siliguri Marketing Terminal in India to Parbatipur Depot in Bangladesh is underway, he said, adding, through this pipeline supply of 10 lakh metric tons of diesel to Bangladesh in a short period of time is possible.
Noting that steps have been taken to enhance the refining capacity of Eastern Refinery, the only oil refinery in the country, from 15 lakh metric tons to 45 lakh metric tons, the minister said, there is a decision to construct a large integrated oil refinery storage tank in Payra sea port area.