Energy Bangla

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Dhaka Sunday,  Aug 19, 2018

Gas crisis cripples 13 state-run power plants

Shamim Jahangir

Electricity generation from 13 public sector power plants having the combined capacity of 2,543 megawatts has dropped to only 916 MW due to gas crisis.
A supply shortage of the fossil fuel has affected the power sector severely, forcing the government to renew its deal with costly fuel-based rental and quick rental power plants.

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) secretary Mina Masud Zaman officially informed the Power Division about the gas supply shortage to state-run power plants.

“As much as 7988 megawatts out of the country’s total installed electricity generation capacity of 12780MW come from gas-fired plants. Public sector plants generate 5048MW of the supply,” the BPDB secretary said in a letter.

The BPDB secretary also informed that BPDB requires 1521mmcfd of gas for 59 public and private sector plants, adding, “13 state-owned plants received only 266mmcfd in September against the requirement of 588mmcfd.”

The public-sector plants are: 170MW Ghorasal ST: unit-3, 190MW Ghorasal ST: unit-5, 150MW Siddhirganj ST, 105MW Tongi GT, 360MW Haripur Power CCPP, 412MW Haripur CCPP, 210MW Siddhirganj GT: Unit 1 and 2, 40MW Haripur GT: Unit 1 and 2, 202MW RPCL CCPP, 180MW each Chittagong ST-Unit-1 and 2, 150MW Shikalbaha peaking GT and 194MW Bhola CCPP GT-1,2, ST.

“Some power plants were forced to shut down while the others failed to operate at full capacity due to gas crisis,” the BPDB secretary mentioned in the letter.

Meanwhile, a total of 37 private power plants are using gas to generate electricity. The plants include some 27 rental and small independent power plants those are mostly inefficient, sources said.

In 2013, state-owned Petrobangla asked the Power Division to halt gas supply to rental and inefficient power plants to ensure sufficient fuel supply to large state-run plants.

“But the Power Division has failed to take necessary actions in this regard,” an official said.

Another batch of gas-fired power plants is currently under construction, and those power plants having the combined capacity of 4102MW will need 855mmcfd of gas between 2016 and 2021, the official informed.

“It’s high time to discontinue the inefficient plants to ensure smooth gas supply to baseload plants,” he added.

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