Gas supply to remain off for 8 hours on Thursday in parts of Dhaka
Gas supply will remain suspended for 8 hours from 2 pm to 10 pm on Thursday (March 02, 2023) for all kinds of consumers in different areas in the capital due to emergency tie-up works of pipelines. The areas include Mintoo Road, Eskaton, Pirbagh, Habibullah Road, Karwan Bazar, Old Elephant Road and areas adjacent to PG Hospital, Birdem Hospital, Dhaka Club, Holy Family Hospital, Dhaka University and Buet, said the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited. Also Read: GE offers high efficiency gas turbine tech to ease nagging energy crisis Regretting for the temporary inconveniences the Titas Gas authorities said the consumers in other adjacent areas may experience low pressure in gas supply.
GE offers high efficiency gas turbine tech to ease nagging energy crisis
GE Gas Power, a world leader in natural gas power technology, services and solutions, is focused to generate electricity that is reliable, affordable and sustainable for the people in Bangladesh, said a senior official of the company.
PMO collecting data to tackle energy crisis in next summer
Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been collecting necessary information and data from two divisions and their associate bodies in the power and energy sector to make some policy decisions on power, gas, and petroleum prices. According to official sources, the PMO will soon reconvene a recently postponed meeting to discuss the issues where dealing with a tough possible situation in the coming summer might top the agenda. They said that the PMO had convened a meeting on December 15 to discuss the overall situation in the power and energy sector. “But at the last moment, the meeting was postponed”, said a top official in the Power Division adding that a new principal secretary to the Prime Minister and also a new cabinet secretary took office on the day for which the meeting was postponed. Read: Dhaka seeks Riyadh's support to meet energy needs “We hope the suspended meeting will be called soon where the two top bureaucrats may attend”, he said. The issue of power tariff enhancement in the retail consumer level will get a top priority in the proposed meeting”, said a senior official of the largest organisation in the power sector, preferring not to be quoted because of its sensitivity. Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain said that his organisation has also provided necessary data to the PMO and the Power Division as per their requirements. Official sources said the PMO is collecting data and information against the backdrop of the government’s plan to increase power tariff at retail consumer level to cover a huge flaw in the power sector’s revenue collection. Read: Ensuring access to electricity at an affordable cost is govt’s prime goal: PM’s Energy Advisor Because of the purchase of electricity from the private sector at higher rates and sell it to consumers at lower rates, the loss of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), state-owned principal organisation, was estimated to be Tk 48,000 crore in the current fiscal year 2022-23. The officials said the recent hike of about 20 percent in bulk power tariff, effective from December 1, might reduce the loss by only Tk 5000 crore. To cover the remaining loss, all the six distribution companies were asked by the Power Division to submit their respective proposals to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC). They already submitted a proposal to the BERC to increase the retail power tariff by about 20 percent. Read: Cabinet approves amendment to let govt decide energy price without BERC But the BERC needs to follow a public hearing to take any decision on the issue and the whole process needs about 90 days while the government is in urgent need to increase the retail power tariff. In such a situation, the Cabinet on November28 approved an amendment to BERC Ordinance 2022 to empower the government to set fuel tariff on its own under special circumstances without waiting for the commission’s public hearing and decision. Now the BERC is in a dilemma whether it will move to hold a public hearing to adjust retail power tariff or the government on its own takes decision on retail power tariff enhancement. Officials said the PMO office wants to learn about the entire situation so that it can give an instruction to the Power Division to take the future decision. Read More: Mitsubishi Power to continue support Bangladesh power industry amid growing energy need The officials also said that a directive is also expected from the PMO meeting to tackle the situation in the next summer, which normally starts from February 15 with an extra load in power supply. Normally an extra load of about 3000 MW in power supply is assumed to be coming from the agriculture irrigation sector in the coming summer, which may continue until May next year. The fasting month of Ramada, which will begin from the first week of April next year will also put another load of 3000 MW. But due to the primary fuel crisis, the government is under pressure to increase the power generation and a big deficit is apprehended in the coming year, officials said. Read More: Europe can’t put its energy needs first while requesting India to act otherwise: Jaishankar All these issues are expected to be discussed in the PMO meeting where the State Minister and the PM’s energy advisor are likely to be present, they said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a meeting recently said that the government supplies electricity to everyone at subsidised prices though the production cost is much higher. But it will not be possible to provide electricity at lower prices considering the global recession, she said. "The actual cost will have to be paid," she said, adding that the price of gas has increased in the international market. Read More: Bulk power tariff hike won’t affect retail consumers right now: Nasrul Hamid "Everyone, including businessmen in the country, will have to exercise austerity and will have to be ready to pay the money spent on the (increased) price of gas and transport cost. Otherwise, we will not be able to provide electricity. If you want (electricity), you will have to pay the real prices," she added. The PM said costs of electricity, gas, water, and fuel can be reduced by exercising austerity. Currently, the installed power generation capacity of Bangladesh is over 25,000 MW while the generation was limited to 12,000 MW because of the primary fuel crisis.
Gas supply to remain off for 11 hours in parts of Dhaka Wednesday
Gas supply will remain suspended for 11 hours from 1 pm to 12 am (mid night) in different areas of Dhaka on Wednesday (December 07, 2022). According to Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited, the areas where there will be no gas supply due to emergency works in the pipeline include Tejgaon, Mohakhali, Gulshan, Banani, Natunbazar, Badda, and Khilbaritek. Read: Gas reserve found in abandoned well of Beanibazar The adjoining areas will experience low pressure in gas supply, said Titas Gas regretting the temporary inconvenience of the consumers during the period.
Weeklong gas supply disruption for some Dhaka areas, Narayanganj and Munshiganj from tomorrow
Consumers in the southern part of Dhaka city and adjoining areas, and Narayanganj and Munshiganj may experience disruption or low pressure in gas supply for a week – from tomorrow (November 6, 2022) to November 12 – due to technical work in the gas transmission line. According to a statement from Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited, the areas where consumers may face gas supply disruption include some areas in the southern part of Dhaka city, Zinjira, Keraniganj, Meghnaghat, Sonargaon, Haripur, Narayanganj and Munshiganj. Read: New gas found in Bhola field amid crisis Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) will conduct “intelligent pigging” activities in its 60km long Bakhrabad-Shiddhirganj 30-inch-diameter transmission line during the period, said Titas Gas.
Can’t import 400 MMCFD gas as per businessmen’s demand: Energy Advisor
Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has said that the government is planning to supply about 80 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMCFD) from the Bhola district to the national network to ease the nagging energy crisis. “We hope we’re able to bring the gas from Bhola within 3-4 months,” he told a seminar on ‘Mitigation of the Impacts of the Energy Crisis on the Industry Sector’, organised by Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) at a Dhaka hotel today. He also urged all, including businessmen, to reduce the use of electricity. “If you suspend use of electricity during daytime, it will immensely help improve the power supply situation,” he told businessmen amid their demand to import gas as an immediate solution to the crisis. Read Renewable Energy Goal: Industry insiders, experts favour target oriented roadmap With BCI president Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Pervez in the chair, the seminar was addressed, among others, by director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Dr Binayak Sen, president of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Jashim Uddin, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Md. Saiful Islam, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) president Mohammad Ali Khokon, Foreign Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) vice president Shawpna Bhowmik, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) vice president Aftab Hossain Apurbo and former FBCCI president Abul Kalam Azad. Eminent energy expert Prof Izaj Hossain made a presentation on the issue while economist Zaidi Sattar also spoke on the occasion. Rejecting the demand of the businessmen to import 400 MMCFD gas spending USD 1.2 billion anually to manage the crisis, the Energy Advisor said it’s not possible as the government has to preserve foreign currency to face possible future financial crisis. “We have to be very cautious about spending foreign currency as we don’t know when the Russia-Ukraine war will end,” he said. Read Corruption, plundering, suicidal deals behind energy crisis: BNP About the power crisis, he said some 1000 MW of electricity from coal-based power plants will be added to the national grid by next few months and the government will be able to divert some gas from power plants to industries. In addition, the government is planning to generate another 1000 MW power from renewable sources within the shortest possible time. In his presentation Dr Izaj Hossain said that there are some alternative options for the government to improve the energy situation. These include, import of LNG from spot market as price is declining, and diverting gas to industries, especially in Gazipur, Savar, and Narayanganj from the CNG stations, household consumers and power stations, and shutting down fertilizer factories as the government can import it from the international market. “These will increase gas supply, but may increase load shedding”, he added. Read PM's Energy Adviser hopeful of overcoming power, energy crisis Dr Binayak Sen said that shutting down fertilizer factories and reducing power generation cannot be be good options. The government’s top priority is to support agriculture for food production, he said. BCI president Anwar-ul-Alam Parvez said many industries have to suspend their productions because of the severe gas crisis and load shedding. As a result, import of raw material dropped while export is declining. “If we don’t get adequate gas and power supply, industry will not survive”, he said. BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon said the government should supply gas to the textile industries, even at a slightly higher rate. Read Accelerate gas exploration to overcome energy crisis: ICCB "We can survive if we get gas at a relatively higher price. But without getting gas we cannot sustain”, he said. AK Azad said due to the energy crisis garment factory owners in Bangladesh have to suspend their operations during the daytime and now the situation is forcing them to cut back on manpower. “But if we terminate employees, what will be the impact on society and the economy? That is a big question,” he said.
No immediate solution to load shedding: PM’s Energy Advisor
Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has said there is no immediate solution to the existing load shedding as the government has reduced import of primary fuel to conserve foreign currency reserve. “We have to cut fuel import considering the future situation as part of the plan to conserve foreign currencies,” he told reporters on Sunday on the sideline of a seminar on the country’s development. Reinterring his call to people to be more patient and try to check any misuse of power in their consumptions, he said developed nations like Britain and Germany are now experiencing 4-5 hours of load shedding. The energy advisor said that the government had thought that Russia-Ukraine war would stop but it has not happened. Read: Load shedding: No hope of improvement before Nov, Nasrul Hamid says He said there was a plan to import 1600 MW of power from India’s Adani Group and also get 1000 MW from Rampal power plant. But transmission lines for these two projects are not ready and it will take 3-4 months more to get electricity from those. “As a result, it is unlikely to improve power supply situation very soon,” he said. He, however, said the government is trying to bring some natural gas from Bhola district and raise 1000 MW of power generation from solar energy. There is also a plan to replace some existing diesel-run irrigation pumps with solar-run irrigation system, he added.
Dependence on LNG import to continue, more terminals to be set up: Energy Advisor
Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has said that dependence on imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) will continue as there is no immediate possibility of gas exploration from the country's offshore areas. “The government has taken the initiative to set up more floating storage and re-gasification units (FSRUs) across the country,” he told a webinar, organized by Bangladesh Energy Society (BES), today in the city. FSRUs are LNG terminals used to import gas in liquefied form. It is then re-gasified there before releasing it to the local supply network. Also read: Bangladesh seeks additional supply of LNG to meet growing demand The energy advisor said more sites are being selected in Payra of Patuakhali and Bhola to set up land-based LNG terminals in addition to the existing two FSRUs in Maheshkhali island of Cox’s Bazar. He noted that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already instructed to sign long-term deals to import more LNG. Currently, Bangladesh has long-term contracts with Qatar and Oman to import LNG while it also imports liquefied gas from international spot markets on a short-term basis. Also read: Petrobangla to get Tk 2000 crore from GDF to import LNG BES president and former principal secretary Abul Kalam Azad made a presentation at the virtual seminar titled: “Present Energy Crisis – Way Forward for Bangladesh” while eminent energy expert Professor Mohammad Tamim, president of Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association (BSREA) Dipal Barua, chairman of Energy Standing Committee of FBCCI Humayun Rashid, president of Bangladesh Independent Power Producers’ Association (BIPPA) Imran Karim, director of Summit Group Mohammed Faisal Karim Khan addressed on the occasion. Former chairman of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and BES vice president ASM Alamgir Kabir presided over the event. Professor M Tamim said it would not be wise to take a concrete decision depending on the current energy crisis as it may not continue for a long time. Read Bangladesh purchases LNG, fertiliser at lower rates as prices fall in global market “Rather, there should be short, medium and long term measures to ensure energy security of the country,” he noted. Dipal Barua said that renewable energy could play a vital role in the current energy crisis. He mentioned that he came to his village home in Raojan where there was no electricity from 8 am to 12:30 pm. Humayun Rashid, FBCCI leader and CEO of Energypac Power Generation Ltd, which has set up a number of private power plants, said no other ministry should talk about the current power and energy crisis as it creates unrest among people. Read Bangladesh wants to procure LNG from Qatar for a longer period: PM “We’re passing our best ever time in electricity generation,” he claimed. BIPPA president Imran Karim said the role of the private sector in power generation is increasing and it is contributing 33 percent of electricity to the country.
With risks, small nuclear reactors emerge as energy option
A global search for alternative sources to Russian energy during the war in Ukraine has refocused attention on smaller, easier-to-build nuclear power stations, which proponents say could provide a cheaper, more efficient alternative to older model mega-plants. U.K.-based Rolls-Royce SMR says its small modular reactors, or SMRs, are much cheaper and quicker to get running than standard plants, delivering the kind of energy security that many nations are seeking. France already relies on nuclear power for a majority of its electricity, and Germany kept the option of reactivating two nuclear plants it will shut down at the end of the year as Russia cuts natural gas supplies. While Rolls-Royce SMR and its competitors have signed deals with countries from Britain to Poland to start building the stations, they are many years away from operating and cannot solve the energy crisis now hitting Europe. Nuclear power also poses risks, including disposing of highly radioactive waste and keeping that technology out of the hands of rogue countries or nefarious groups that may pursue a nuclear weapons program. Those risks have been accentuated following the shelling around Europe's largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, which has raised fears of potential nuclear disaster. In the wake of the war, however, “the reliance on gas imports and Russian energy sources has focused people’s minds on energy security,” Rolls-Royce SMR spokesman Dan Gould said. An SMR’s components can be built in a factory, moved to a site in tractor trailers and assembled there, making the technology more attractive to frugal buyers, he said. “It’s like building Lego,” Gould said. “Building on a smaller scale reduces risks and makes it a more investible project.” Some SMRs are essentially pressurized water reactors identical to some 400 reactors worldwide, while other designs use sodium, lead, gas or salt as a coolant instead of water. The key advantages are their size — about one-tenth as big as a standard reactor — the ease of construction and the price tag. Read: Ukraine's nuclear plant partly goes offline amid fighting The estimated cost of a Rolls-Royce SMR is 2.2 billion to 2.8 billion pounds ($2.5 billion to $3.2 billion), with an estimated construction time of 5 1/2 years. That's two years faster than it took to build a standard nuclear plant between 2016 and 2021, according to International Atomic Energy Agency statistics. Some estimates put the cost of building a 1,100-megawatt nuclear plant at between $6 billion and $9 billion. Rolls-Royce aims to build its first stations in the U.K. within 5 1/2 years, Gould said. Similarly, Oregon-based NuScale Power signed agreements last year with two Polish companies — copper and silver producer KGHM and energy producer UNIMOT — to explore the possibility of building SMRs to power heavy industry. Poland wants to switch from polluting, coal-powered electricity generation. Rolls-Royce SMR said last month that it signed a deal with Dutch development company ULC-Energy to look into setting up SMRs in the Netherlands. Another partner is Turkey, where Russia is building the Akkuyu nuclear power plant on the southern coast. Environmentalists say the region is seismically active and could be a target for terrorists. The introduction of “unproven" nuclear power technology in the form of SMRs doesn't sit well with environmentalists, who argue that proliferation of small reactors will exacerbate the problem of how to dispose of highly radioactive nuclear waste. “Unfortunately, Turkey is governed by an incompetent administration that has turned it into a ‘test bed’ for corporations," said Koray Dogan Urbarli, a spokesman for Turkey's Green Party. “It is giving up the sovereignty of a certain region for at least 100 years for Russia to build a nuclear power plant. This incompetence and lobbying power make Turkey an easy target for SMRs," said Koray, adding that his party eschews technology with an “uncertain future." Read: Fighting goes on near Ukraine nuclear plant; IAEA on site Gould said one Rolls-Royce SMR would generate nuclear waste the size of a “tennis court piled 1-meter high” throughout the plant’s 60-year lifetime. He said initially, waste would be stored on site at the U.K. plants and would eventually be transferred to a long-term disposal site selected by the British government. M.V. Ramana, professor of public policy and global affairs at the University of British Columbia, cites research suggesting there's “no demonstrated way" to ensure nuclear waste stored in what authorities consider to be secure sites won't escape in the future. The constant heat generated by the waste could alter rock formations where it's stored and allow water seepage, while future mining activities could compromise a nuclear waste site's integrity, said Ramana, who specializes in international security and nuclear energy. Skeptics also raise the risks of possibly exporting such technology in politically tumultuous regions. Gould said Rolls-Royce is “completely compliant” with U.K. and international requirements in exporting its SMR technology “only in territories that are signatories to the necessary international treaties for the peaceful use of nuclear power for energy generation.” Ramana said, however, there's no guarantee nations will follow the rules. “Any country acquiring nuclear reactors automatically enhances its capacity to make nuclear weapons," he said, adding that every SMR could produce “around 10 bombs worth of plutonium each year.” Rolls-Royce SMR could opt to stop supplying fuel and other services to anyone flouting the rules, but “should any country choose to do so, it can simply tell the International Atomic Energy Agency to stop inspections, as Iran has done, for example," Ramana said. Although spent fuel normally undergoes chemical reprocessing to generate the kind of plutonium used in nuclear weapons, Ramana said such reprocessing technology is widely known and that a very sophisticated reprocessing plant isn't required to produce the amount of plutonium needed for weapons.
New UK PM Truss rules out windfall tax for oil companies
British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Wednesday ruled out a windfall tax on oil companies to pay for her plans to tackle the energy crisis. Speaking during her first session of prime minister's questions in the House of Commons, Truss rebuffed opposition calls for a new windfall tax, even as she refrained from explaining how she would fund a plan meant to help the public pay energy bills skyrocketing because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The plan is expected to be delivered on Thursday. “I am against a windfall tax,'' she said. "I believe it is the wrong thing to be putting companies off, investing in the United Kingdom just when we need to be growing the economy.” Read:New UK PM Truss vows to tackle energy crisis, ailing economy Earlier Wednesday, Truss held her first Cabinet meeting, appointing a government diverse in race and gender and united in its support for the new leader’s staunchly free-market views. Truss, 47, was appointed prime minister by Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday after winning an internal election to lead the governing Conservative Party. She immediately put her stamp on the government, clearing out many ministers from the administration of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson — notably those who had backed her leadership rival, Rishi Sunak. She made Kwasi Kwarteng her Treasury chief, a key role for a Cabinet whose inbox is dominated by the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which threatens to push energy bills to unaffordable levels, shuttering businesses and leaving the nation’s poorest people shivering at home this winter. Kwarteng is the first Black holder of the job, formally titled Chancellor of the Exchequer. Truss ally Therese Coffey becomes Britain’s first female deputy prime minister and also leads the health ministry as the state-funded National Health Service grapples with soaring demand and depleted resources in the wake of COVID-19. Read:Liz Truss: UK's incoming PM who models herself on Iron Lady Thatcher For the first time, none of the U.K.'s “great offices of state” – prime minister, chancellor, foreign secretary and home secretary – is held by a white man. James Cleverly, whose mother is from Sierra Leone, is foreign secretary and Suella Braverman, who has Indian heritage, has been named home secretary, responsible for immigration and law and order. In her first speech as prime minister on Tuesday, Truss said she would cut taxes to spur economic growth, bolster the NHS and “deal hands on” with the energy crisis, though she offered few details about how she would implement those policies. She is expected to unveil her energy plans on Thursday. British news media reported that Truss plans to cap energy bills. The cost to taxpayers of that step could reach 100 billion pounds ($116 billion). “We shouldn’t be daunted by the challenges we face,” Truss said in her first speech as prime minister. “As strong as the storm may be, I know the British people are stronger.’’