The country’s natural gas should be used mainly for power generation instead of expanding its supply to industries and other uses, a webinar was told on Saturday.
If gas is used for power generation with highest efficiency, it can meet the energy requirement without investment in gas pipeline installation to provide the energy to the industries, Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the prime minister, told the webinar speaking as chief guest.
Kaikaus, who served as the power secretary, called for boosting efficiency in the power sector so tariff remains in check. However, he said power price will go up as no nation has been able to reduce it.
The webinar titled, “Electricity Demand in Bangladesh: Installed and Supply Capacity” was organized by Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB).
Eminent energy expert Dr M Tamim made a presentation on the webinar’s topic while it was addressed by power secretary Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Belayet Hossain, Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain, Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) chairman Moin Uddin, Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association (Bippa) president Imran Karim, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) managing director Golam Kibria, Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) Ltd managing director Bikash Dewan and Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco) managing director Kausar Ameer Ali.
Tamim said that Bangladesh should prepare short-term and long-term roadmap for its power sector keeping in mind the global commitment for zero emission by 2050 when power will be generated from renewable sources.
“But until 2050, gas could be used transition fuel for power generation in next 20-30 years as still it is the cheapest primary energy”, he said adding that by this time, top most emphasis should be given on promotion of renewable energy as new technologies are coming up to reduce the cost of rooftop solar and other options.
He said there should be a long-term planning for offering a stable tariff structure for the investors in the industrial sector.
“Otherwise investors will not be interested to make investment depending on uncertainty or unstable power tariff”, he observed.
Power secretary Habibur Rahman said Bangladesh has shared its proposal on regional power and sharing at the SAARC energy related meeting in Afghanistan.
“It will be a win-win proposition if the regional power and energy sharing concept is materialized”, he said.
He also said under the proposed arrangement all countries could be benefited.
“Bangladesh can easily export its surplus electricity for the winter season while it can import for summer under the mechanism,” he added.
Mohammad Hossain said captive power generation has been creating discrimination in power sector by receiving benefit from their lower gas value.
He said if 100 mmcfd gas is diverted from captive power to grid power generation, it will be an effective option for addressing the current phenomenon of surplus power.
Belayet Hossain said it is time to get out the costly power generation of the private sector.
Imran Karim said the private sector can convert their HFO-based power generation into gas-fired power generation by introducing new technology to reduce the generation cost.
FERB chairman Arun Karmaker presided over the seminar while organization’s executive director Shamim Jahangir conducted it.