The Rural Electrification Board will supply electricity to industrial units to be set up at 100 new economic zones to help its loss incurring Palli Bidyut Samitis to become breakeven.
Now, 71 out of 80 Palli Bidyut Samitis are incurring losses by supplying electricity in their distribution areas, mainly due to absence of the high-end domestic consumers and industrial and commercial units which pay the price of electricity at higher rates, officials said.
Total annual loss of the board has been estimated at Tk 880 crore, they said.
The board chairman Moin Uddin on Sunday told New Age, ‘We have already signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority to supply electricity to the new economic zones.’
He said that the loss incurring Samitis would operate at breakeven after the economic zones become operational.
The board supplies more than 50 per cent of the total allocation of power to the domestic consumers who pay bills either at Tk 3.33 per unit or at Tk 3.80 per unit while the industrial units pay Tk 7.57 to Tk 9.80 per unit, said officials.
The board earns Tk 6.39 on an average from the sales of each unit or kilowatt-hour of electricity to the consumers while it spends Tk 6.78 for supplying each unit of electricity.
Officials said that the 100 economic zones are expected to be operational by 2030 while Infrastructural development has begun at 42 zones.
The board estimated that the 42 economic zones would require 3,010MW of power by 2025 when they will be fully operational, said officials.
Of the 42 economic zones, 33 in public sector would require 2,510MW
while nine would require 500MW of power, they said.
Energy expert M Shmasul Alam, also an electrical engineer, however, warned that it would not be viable to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the economic zones by the Palli Bidyut Samitis as they were not given priority in power allocation.
He suggested to bring changes in the government’s policy in allocating power for the rural areas as the authorities concerned manage shortage of power supply by depriving rural areas.
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