Energy Bangla

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Dhaka Sunday,  Aug 19, 2018

2017 In Review

Breakthrough In Some Projects Amid Price Hike Of Gas And Power

Rafiqul Bashar

Despite facing some hurdle of price hike of power and gas, the country’s power sector has managed to initiate some of its biggest milestone projects in the year of 2017. However, country’s energy sector couldn’t show us that many promises in this year compared to the power sector. Moreover, the New Year is awaiting with forecasts saying that the primary-energy prices may go sky high.

The price of gas was increased at the beginning of the year and the price of electricity was also raised at the end of the year. To be more specific, the price of gas was increased by a maximum margin of 50 percent. The announcement of this price hike of gas came on 23rd February of 2017. However, in response to the announcement, the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) even went to the court to justify the rationality of the decision of price hike. It was for the first time, the country has seen someone backing the mass and standing against the price hike decision of the government by going to the court.

The announcement of raising the price of power came on 23rd November 2017 which enacted form the 1st December. Chevron’s departure from the country remained a buzz throughout the whole year. Chevron declared that it would sell out its share in Bangladesh and would prefer to leave the country to compensate its losses. However, later, at the end of the year, Chevron changed its mind and declared that, it’s not leaving. In the meantime, the price of gas of Chevron was raised.

Bapex (Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company Ltd.) has discovered a new gas field at Shahbazpur in Bhola. The new field is estimated to have a total reserve of 700 bcf gas, claimed Bapex. It might not be a huge reserve of gas for the country yet, the discovery of the Shahbazpur gas field revived the hope of the energy-craving nation. The managing director of Bapex informed that, the gas field of Shahbazpur is prospective and the field might have a bigger reserve than estimated.

Continuing from the previous year, the price of fuel oil in the international market was at the bottom throughout 2017. However, the government didn’t lessen the price of fuel oil amid pressure from the local consumers.

At the end of the year, Bangladesh made a history by starting the construction of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP). This is a huge breakthrough for the country as it’s the first ever nuke plant for a country like Bangladesh. The RNPP will have a capacity of generating 2,400 MW of power. The country also has spectated the beginning of the construction of two separate coal-fired power plant each having a capacity of 1,320 MW at Rampal of Bagherhat and Payra of Patuakhali. Besides, the prime minister of the country inaugurated the country’s largest solar power plant and 100 percent electrification of 10 upazillas in this year.

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