Sandwip received grid electricity through a submarine cable. Using this new submarine cable, authority started experimental power supply to the island on Thursday. This is for the first time, the country has witnessed underwater power supply system using submarine cable implemented in the country.
According to the sources of the Power Development Board (PDB), initially, they have started supplying power as an experiment and the supply will be regular from the next week.
The installed underwater cables will primarily supply 10 MW of power at peak hours which will be improved in several stages. However, two separate cables were installed each having a capacity of 30 MW and each has a lifespan of 50 years.
Before begining the trial power supply, the submarine cable system physically connected the substations at both ends on Tuesday and Wednesday. The power supply reached Bariyaa Transmitter of Sandwip through the submarine cable from Sitakunda substation through the Sandwip channel beneath the river.
If the experimental power supply process is successful, then uninterrupted power will be provided to 2300 customers at the beginning of next week. Later, between 6 and 7 thousand in one and a half months and 20 thousand subscribers will be under service within one year gradually.
The total project cost amounted to about Tk145 crore. The project will also facilitate high-speed broadband internet service to the remote island using the same submarine infrastructure. ZTT, a Chinese construction firm has installed this submarine cable system.
Two high power capacity cable networks were connected from Sitakunda part to Sandwip channel through 10 to 20 feet depth beneath the Bay of Bengal. This connection is being given with help of setting up two cables with a length of 16 kilometers from the coast.
The electricity is being supplied from Barabkunda substation, where a 10-km overhead line has been installed along the Sitakunda mainland to connect it to the 16-km submarine cable. The installed two cables have a rating of 33kV which have 3 cores each along with an optical fiber cable.
A substation and two transformers were installed for this project along with 1,500 electric poles out of planned 1,800.
Before access to the national grid, the authority used to supply 1MW of electricity to some parts of Sandwip from 6 pm to 12 pm, through a generator and solar panels which allowed only 400 subscribers to use electricity.
Nearly 2, 78, 605 people live in the 762-sq km island called Sandwip which is also an Upazila in Chittagong district.