Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged all to exercise austerity in electricity consumption as they may not get it at such a lower rate in the future.
‘With the improvement in socioeconomic condition of people, I think, they’ll have to pay more what is spent on power production. So, my request is that all will have to exercise austerity in using electricity. I request you all to check the wastage of electricity,’ she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating ‘the Power and Energy Week 2018’ at Bashundhara International Convention City in the capital.
‘The electricity production cost is Tk 6.25 per kilowatt, but the sale price is Tk 4.82 per kilowatt,’ Sheikh Hasina said adding that the government now provides subsidy to the power sector.
She said her government has increased the country’s power generation capacity to 20,000 megawatt in the last 10 years from 3,000 megawatt in 2009. Now some 90 per cent of the country’s people enjoy the electricity facility, but it was only 47 per cent in 2009, she added.
Hasina said the total number of electricity clients rose to over three crore from only 1.08 crore in 2009 across the country.
In the last nine and a half years, agreements were signed for setting up 135 power plants with total generation capacity of 24,351 megawatt and a total of 12,250 megawatts of electricity were added to the national grid during the period, she said.
The present government has taken a mega plan to increase power generation to 24,000 megawatts by 2021, 40,000 megawatts by 2030 and 60,000 megawatts by 2041, the Prime Minister said.
Hasina said the government has set up some 53 lakh solar home systems across the country from where about 220 megawatts of solar power are generated. Besides, grid-based two solar power plants having the capacity of some 30 megawatts have been set up in the country, she said.
‘We’ve already taken a decision to carry out irrigation through solar power as much as possible,’ Hasina said.
Noting that now Bangladesh imports some 660 megawatts of power from India, the Prime Minister said negotiations are on to import 500 megawatts more electricity from India.
Besides, the government will take measures to procure 1000 megawatts of electricity from West Bengal.
Noting that the electricity is produced at low cost in Nepal and Bhutan, she said the government is also taking measures to procure power from them. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Nepal last month in this regard.
Besides, a move is underway to set up power plants and import power with bilateral, tripartite or regional ventures among Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
About the gas sector, the Prime Minister said the government discovered four new gas fields since 2009 and the daily average gas production went up to 2,750 million cubic feet from 1,744 million cubic feet in the time.
Considering the country’s gas reserves, the government has given permission to 56 private organisations to set up LPG plants alongside enhancement of LPG production for the household uses, she said.
The government has also taken initiatives to import LNG for meeting the growing energy demand in the country. The Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit LNG Terminal in Maheshkhali has already started gas supply through build-own-operate-transfer system.
Another initiative has been taken to set up LNG terminal in Payra, Maheshkhali and Kutubdia and feasibility studies have been completed over Masheshkhali and Kutubida LNG terminals. However, it will not be possible to set up LNG terminal in Kutubdia channel as it is very rough, she said.
The government has taken yet another initiative to construct 237-km fuel pipeline from Chittagong to Dhaka.
Nepalese energy, water resources and irrigation minister Barsaman Pun (Ananta) spoke as the special guest at the inaugural function presided over by state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid.
Prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the power, energy and mineral resources ministry Tajul Islam, Power Division secretary Ahmad Kaikaus and Energy and Mineral Resources Division secretary Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem also spoke on the occasion.
Officials of different public entities and private companies were awarded for their best performance in the power and energy sector while journalists were also given awards for their best reporting in this regard.
The power and energy ministry organised the three-day exhibition from September 6 to 8 for marking the Power and Energy Week. This year’s event was named as ‘Anirban Agami’ (inextinguishable future).
A number of foreign guests are participating in the fair at the same venue of the Bhashundhara International Convention city where more than 100 public and private entities showcase their products and services.
Four seminars are scheduled to be held on different topics during the three days to facilitate interactions among the stakeholders in the sector.
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