Md Hossain, the Director-General of Power Cell recently talked to the Energybangla correspondent at the 4-day long National Power and Energy Week-2016 fair while the country is celebrating its ‘success’ in reaching 15,000 MW of power generation capacity.
EB: You’re celebrating the sector’s achievement on reaching the 15,000 MW milestones. Tell us something about it.
Hossain: We’re moving forward to implement the Prime Minister’s proclaimed ‘Vision-2021’. To facilitate uninterrupted power supply throughout the entire country within 2021, we need 24,000 MW of electricity. Already, we’ve added 10,000 MW of electricity in the last 8 years and we need 9,000 MW 0,000 MW of electricity is about to be added within the next five years.
EB: Critics doubted on the 15,000 MW capacity issue; how will you explain it?
Hossain: There is no dispute or confusion on the issue. People who have no proper information may spread such hoax. The national grid is fed by 12,000 MW of electricity while 600 MW is also imported from neighboring countries. Some off-grid power generators including solar-like clean energy plants generate 500 MW of more power. Captive power plants provide another 2,400 MW of electricity making the total capacity 15,000 MW.
EB: Have you fallen short to reach the target as we know that, some of the biggest plants failed to start their operation in due time?
Hossain: We’ve materialized most of our plans that were finalized in 2010. All of the quick rental (short-term) plants were established in accordance with our plan. Mid-term plants will be operational within 2019. Yet, some big plants faced such impediments that they had to wait two to three years to start their operation. The most recent Gulshan-attack made the situation worse. However, those matters are mostly solved now. All of the largest plants will be operational within 2019 to 2021. Moreover, Paira power plant project is implementing in a faster pace than we thought.
EB: So, are you sure that, you’re moving forward keeping pace with the growing demand?
Hossain: Certainly. We’ll need 8,000 MW of more power within 2021. Even within 2023, we’ll be able to generate 20,000 MW of electricity.
EB: How’ll you manage the huge Investment that will be needed to implement these plans?
Hossain: We’ve experienced more investments in power sector than it was said to be. The government, Private sector and foreign direct Investment jointly forcing this sector to move forward. Investment is not an issue anymore. Government and private sector jointly invested $14 billion in the last 8 years, within 2021, $25 billion of more investment is to come and within 2030, $50 billion is about to be invested in the sector. So, investment is not a problem.
EB: So, what’re your challenges to reach the goal?
Hossain: Everything is normal now as there is no political unrest. Yet, we lack skilled professionals in this sector and we’ve taken initiatives to solve this problem.