The success of the power sector is clouded by primary energy crisis. The government failed to generate power having adequate capacity as demand due to fuel crisis, resulted it unable to harvest the great success.
“Without farther extraction of gas or coal, primary energy crisis will go on, but we are hopeful about the deep sea resources, we are trying to start work in offshore for searching primary energy. Power sector is in the top of government’s priority list for providing gas” Chairman of Petrobangla Abul Monsur Faizullah told.
‘We are already running with shortage of gas. It is not possible to assure gas supply to the new power projects as other sectors are also demanding gas, he added.
Prof Badrul Imam, an energy expert told actually we have no way to extract local coal for ensuing primary energy supply. To achieve the goal the government took lots of projects on hand to enhance power generation, but the projects are too costly. To generate power at affordable cost the government should search local resources.
Awami league-led government achieved 15,000 MW of generation capacity in last nine years while generation is 9,000MW against 9500MW demands. Despite about full generation against demand the country is facing huge load shedding.
At least eight new gas-fired power projects with a combined generation capacity of 2,512 MW are facing uncertainty due to shortage of gas supply.
The new power plant projects are Shahjibazar 330MW, Ghorashal 363MW, three old units at Ghorashal power station with a combined generation capacity of 1,219MW, Kodda 150MW dual-fuel, Kodda 200MW and Shikalbaha 250MW plant.
The government has no option but increase supply of local primary energy to the power plant.
We are waiting for the further exploration of natural gas; there is no choice except imported fuels for power generation because existing gas is depleting rapidly, said PDB Chairman Eng Khaled Mahmud said.
For primary energy the Industry and fertilizer factories also deprived from the desired production. Recently, the government shutting down two gas-based power plants for providing gas to 250 garment factories at Gazipur.
The officials informed that a number of power plants have been shutting down having 1,174 MW generation capacity, Ghorashal ST unit-6 190MW, Ghorashal 100MW and 78MW, Meghna Ghat CCPP 450MW, Shiddirgonj ST 150MW, Bheramara 105MW and Nowapara 101MW.
At the time of launching the power generation master plan, capacity was 5,823 megawatts. It rose to 15,000 MW in fiscal 2017-18. As a result, the population’s access to electricity went up from 47 per cent in fiscal 2010-11 to 72 percent in fiscal 2017-18. While demand is only 7000 MW, but country is suffering from severely load shedding. To explain the cause of this load shedding the officials blamed the shortage of primary fuel. Due to gas crisis about 1600 MW of electricity generation has been interrupted which causes huge load shedding and the industrial production also going down, said officials of Power Division.
According to the projection of gas supply to the power plant, fertilizer factory and industries of Power Development Board (PDB) and Petrobangla, load shedding will be increased in near future. Because of the most of power plants are dependent on gas. And the Petrobangla did not extract any fossil fuel for the power plant.
As per the Petrobangla, there are 34 gas based power plant which demand of gas is 1,378 mmcfd but the plants are getting only 808mmcfd of gas while shortage was 570 mmcfd.
The major expansion in the power generation has put squeezes on the national budget as imported expensive oil is producing the costly additional power.
As per the review report on coal, the mining scenario has not improved in the country because of lack of policy. There are movements of local people at mine area against extracting coal by ‘Open pit method’ because the agriculture will be severely affected for lacking of surface water, so at present local coal also a time consuming factor.
Aside from natural gas and petroleum, coal resource of the country is still underutilized because of lack of proper guideline. Coal policy, which will ensure proper guideline regarding the usage of this resource for the economic development of the country, is yet to be finalised.
Successful implementation of this is highly dependable on the supply of fuel. Over dependency on gas for electricity generation must be reduced, while coal and renewable energy based power plants must be introduced for sustainable electricity generation. Overall, in long term, an intelligent mix of the different available energy sources can enable Bangladesh to ensure a sustainable economic growth.
Per capita electricity consumption rose from 170 kilowatt/hour (KWh) to 285 KWh, according to statistics from the planning ministry.
Meanwhile, the power board signed a number of contracts without any consultation with Petrobangla as to whether they could supply gas to the plants over the next 22 years.