State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources
State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has filed a review appeal to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission to raise the bulk power tariff. “We’ve filed an appeal to the BERC on Monday (November 14) to review the decision to reject the proposal to raise bulk power tariff”, a top BPDB official told UNB on condition of anonymity. He said before submitting the proposal, the BPDB received a nod from the government’s highest policy level. Read more: Decision on bulk power tariff ‘adjustment’ Thursday State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid also approved the review appeal, he added. BERC on October 13 rejected the proposal of the BPDB to raise bulk power tariff, saying that the aggrieved party can submit appeal proposal to review the regulator’s decision within 30 working days. “Keeping compliance with the 30-day tenure, we’ve submitted our review appeal”, said the top BPDB official. A top official of the BERC also confirmed that it had received the appeal from the BPDB. He said the BERC top level is now scrutinising the appeal proposal. “But it’s not clear whether BERC will hold a fresh public hearing on the review or will arbitrarily accept the proposal and announce its decision without hearing”, said the BERC official preferring anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Read more: Bulk power tariff hike could be announced within Oct 14 While delivering a decision by rejecting the BPDB proposal on Oct 13, BERC chairman Abdul Jalil said that some of the private companies, which buy power from BPDB have not submitted their data of transactions. “There was data ambiguity. That’s why we did not analyse the impact of any rise in bulk tariff on the consumers,” he told reporters. The current socio-economic and power supply situation were taken into consideration when making the BERC decision, he noted. As a result, the electricity tariff remains unchanged in accordance with the earlier tariff announced in February 2020. The last public hearing on a proposal of the state-owned BPDB to raise bulk power tariff was held on May 18. The BPDB placed a proposal to raise bulk power tariffs by 65.57 percent at the public hearing while a technical evaluation committee of BERC recommended a 57.83 percent hike. Read more: BERC’s TEC commends a 57.83pc hike in bulk power tariff rejecting BPDB’s 65.57pc Placing the proposal, BPDB officials had said the organisation will require Tk 74,189 crore in revenue to generate 88,993 million kilowatt hours (units) of electricity to supply to the power distribution companies. "But if the BPDB sells its electricity at the existing rate of Tk 5.17 per unit, it will have to face a deficit of Tk 30,251 crore in revenue in the calendar year 2022. So, BPDB needs to raise the power tariff by 65.57 percent to Tk 8.56 per unit from Tk 5.17," said a BPDB top official at the hearing, adding that this has been calculated without the government's subsidy. The Power Division has been under tremendous pressure from the Finance Ministry to raise power tariffs. BPDB has been incurring a huge financial loss due to its purchase of electricity from private power plants at a much higher rate and sell it to the consumers at a lower rate. At the public hearing on May 18, consumer rights groups, including representatives from different business bodies, vehemently opposed any major rise in power tariff right now, as people are already struggling with high inflation caused by high commodity prices. They termed the proposal illogical and said BPDB can offset its revenue deficit through addressing irregularities, corruption and unethical practices in buying electricity from inefficient private power plants at higher rates.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that Bangladesh wants to import petroleum from Saudi Arabia at a relatively lower price. He conveyed such interest when Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Bangladesh Issa Bin Youssef Al-Dahilan met him at his office in the ministry on Thursday. Read more: Bangladesh plans to import 5.46 million MT of petroleum in 2023 “We are also interested in purchasing the fuel on deferred payment,” he told the Saudi envoy. During the meeting they discussed various issues related to mutual interest and also possible solutions to the energy crisis in Bangladesh. Welcoming the Saudi ambassador he said Bangladesh wants to strengthen trade relations with the brotherly nation. Read more: Country has adequate stocks of petroleum fuel: Energy Division The Saudi ambassador said that the interest of Saudi companies in investing in power and energy sector in Bangladesh is growing. ACWA Power Company of Saudi Arabia is moving ahead with a plan to invest $1.5 billion in Bangladesh, he mentioned.
The Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Bill, 2022 was passed in Parliament to expedite exploration of oil, gas and mineral resources in the country. The new law will replace the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Ordinance, 1985 that is declared void by the court as it was promulgated during the regime of a military dictator. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid moved the Bill and it was passed by voice vote. Read more: Atomic Energy Commission (amendment) Bill passed in JS As per the Bill, a Corporation will be established titled the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation for carrying out the purposes of this Bill. The Corporation may also be called PETROBANGLA. This will be a body corporate, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and shall by the said name sue and be sued. The main office of the Corporation will be established in Dhaka whereas, if necessary, its offices can be set up in any place in and outside the country taking prior permission from the government. The authorised capital of the Corporation shall be Tk 10,000 crore, which was Tk 200 crore, while the paid-up capital will be Tk 200 crore. Read more:BSCIC Bill placed in JS aimed at streamlining small and cottage industries The Board shall consist of a Chairman to be appointed by the government, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with energy and mineral resources to be nominated by that Ministry or Division, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with finance to be nominated by that Ministry or Division, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with planning to be nominated by that Ministry or Division and five directors to be appointed by the government. Chairman of the Corporation shall be appointed from the Additional Secretaries of the government. As per the Bill, it can deposit its fund in any scheduled bank as term deposit or invest in any government approved securities.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid urged the officials of his ministry to ensure more coordination in implementing projects on development of infrastructures in the power sector. “Many achievements are turning into failures due to lack of coordination,” he told officials at a workshop titled: “Together for a Smart & Green Bangladesh '' at Biduyt Bhaban in the city on Tuesday. The call from the State Minister came against the backdrop of the recent grid failure that plunged most areas of the country into a 7-hour blackout on October 4. Chinese technology company Huawei and the Power Ministry’s technical wing Power Cell jointly organised the workshop on development of smart grid and use of electric vehicles. The State Minister said that automation of the power grid is an essential need of the hour. “A smart grid can automatically ensure a match between the demand and the supply”, he said adding that the introduction of information technology and smart devices will keep the power transmission system secure. He also underscored the need for development of skilled manpower in the power sector to transform the power system from conventional grid to smart grid alongside technological development. He reiterated his call to the people to be patient in the nagging power crisis that triggered 5-6 hours of daily load shedding in and outside the capital. Talking to reporters on the side-line of the workshop, he said the people have to wait until November to get a better power supply situation. Two papers on Smart Grid, Electric Vehicles and Global Context were presented in the workshop. Smart grid, cyber-attack prevention, digitisation, automation as well as technology-based clean energy and electric vehicles are also discussed. The matter of electric vehicles also came up at the workshop as such vehicles are eco-friendly and cost-effective. Bangladesh has already prepared a policy regarding charging guidelines, the workshop was told. Power Secretary Md. Habibur Rahman and Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Technology (Bangladesh) Pan Junfeng also spoke at the event.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has urged World Bank to expedite its funding to projects in Bangladesh’s power and energy sector. He made the request while holding a bilateral meeting today with visiting World Bank Vice President for South Asia Region, Martin Raiser, at the ministry, said a release of the ministry. It was noted at the meeting that two projects for gas meters installation have been approved by World Bank – implementation of which will begin from January 2023. There are 6 projects in the power sector being funded by World Bank. Read:Dependence on LNG import to continue, more terminals to be set up: Energy Advisor Both sides discussed various issues of mutual interest during the meeting. The state minister focused on achievements, expectations and challenges in power and energy at the meeting. He said electric vehicles and hydrogen will contribute greatly to the power and energy sector in the future. “World Bank can play a major role in formulating a policy on hydrogen energy and electric vehicles to encourage the stakeholders in the sector,” Nasrul Hamid noted. He sought World Bank’s cooperation to turn Bangladesh Power Management Institute into an organization of international standard. Nasrul Hamid said it is necessary to further strengthen the partnership with World Bank in capacity building of the entities in the power sector to deal with wind power, transmission and distribution systems. A wide range of issues like renewable energy, captive power, climate change, global energy crisis, solar irrigation pumps, lithium batteries, hydropower, regional power trade, net metering and rooftop solar, green building, efficient and cost-effective use of electricity and energy, oil refineries, land-based LNG terminal also came up for discussion. Read: Govt working to revise renewable energy policy: Recent primary fuels crisis a reason The World Bank Vice President expressed his satisfaction in working with Bangladesh and said that the focus on capacity building, regional cooperation and implementation of different projects is very promising. He said promotion of renewable energy and the exploration of new areas of potential investment are putting Bangladesh in focus. The World Bank top executive expressed interest in issues related to efficiency improvement, renewable energy and cross border power trade. Senior Secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Department Md. Mahbub Hossain, Power Secretary of Md. Habibur Rahman, World Bank South Asia Regional Director (Infrastructure) Guangzhe Chen and Acting Country Director Dandan Chen were present during the meeting.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has urged officials to pay more attention to generate electricity from renewable sources. “You have to work with broader mindset to generate more electricity from the renewable sources,” he said, while virtually addressing a contract signing ceremony at Biduyt Bhaban on Sunday for setting up a 55 MW wind power plant in Mongla. He said the wind project is the part of the government’s target to generate 10 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 40 percent by 2040. Also read: Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium, BPDB to sign deal for Mongla wind power plant tomorrow A Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium signed the deal with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to set up the plant on a build-own-operate basis at Mongla in Bagerhat. The Consortium of Envision Energy, (Jiangsu) Co. Ltd., China, SQ Trading and Engineering, Bangladesh and Envision Renewable Energy Limited, Hong Kong will develop the plant under a new special project vehicle (SPV) company Mongla Green Power Ltd. The project cost is expected to be around $96.597m. At the Sunday’s function, BPDB director Golam Rabbani and Mongla Green Energy’s managing director Xu Wentao signed the contract on behalf of their respective sides. As per the deal, the state-owned BPDB will purchase electricity from the plant at a levelized tariff of 13.20 Cents, equivalent to Tk13 per kilowatt hour (each unit). The BPDB will purchase electricity from the independent power producer (IPP) plant over a period of 20 years spending a total of more than Tk 2000 crore. Also read: Nasrul Hamid wants filling stations to get facelift, upgraded facilities This has been the second deal for wind power for which the BPDB signed contract with the private sector sponsor. Earlier, the BPDB signed the first deal with US-DK Green Energy (BD), a private firm, fir setting up a 60 MW wind power plant at Cox’s Bazar. Nasrul Hamid inaugurated the ground breaking of the Cox’s Bazar plant in March this year.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said the government will make a readjustment in the petroleum price in a day or two.“The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is analysing the impact of the duty cut on diesel import. Once it’s complete, the government will make the readjustment”, he told reporters on Monday.The state minister, however, said it’s still unclear as how much downward price adjustment would be possible at this stage as the price of fuel is again increasing in the international market. Also read: Import tax on diesel cut by 5 percent The comments from the state minister came a day after the government cut the duty on diesel import by half to five per cent and abolished all advance taxes on its import.The changes were notified through a gazette notification issued by the National Board of Revenue on Sunday.The order came into effect immediately and will remain effective until the end of (December 31) this year. Also read: Cabinet purchase body approves import of diesel, Jet fuel, LNG and fertilizerThe NBR notification added that light and high speed diesel oils will get the new facilities.
A 15,000 square feet hi-tech park is going to be established in Keraniganj, southern suburb of Dhaka city. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid laid the foundation stone of the 7-story hi-tech park in Keraniganj. Also read: 'Boosting electronics, hi-tech industry the need of the day' Addressing a function on the occasion, he said the hi-tech park will play an important role in creating skilled manpower in the country. “There is no alternative to create skilled manpower to get the results of the fourth industrial revolution”, he said adding the initiative to create skilled manpower will help face the future challenges. State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami also addressed the function. It was informed at the function that Tk 200 crore will be invested in the hi-tech park project which will have facilities to provide training to 1000 people per year. Also read:KEPZ Hi-Tech park will attract huge FDI, hopes Palak In addition, some 3000 more people will get the opportunity to be employed directly and indirectly under the project. Zunaid Ahmed Palak said the government has been implementing a huge number of projects to develop digital Bangladesh. “Already cent percent of people have access to electricity while 13 crore people are using the internet,” he said.
The government doesn’t want to raise the tariffs of power and energy at this moment, said State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Monday. “We’re trying to keep the situation stable through providing subsidies. But if any big change comes from the international perspective, then a decision may come from the government to raise the prices,” he said. Nasrul was addressing a Meet the Press event on Payra Power Plant’s inauguration scheduled for March 21. Also read: PGCB signs deals with Chinese JVs on 11 power grid substations in Khulna He said the government has to count huge loss in the energy and power sector due to the price hike in global market for the Russia-Ukraine war. He mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the country’s first 1320 ultra-super critical coal-fired power plant at Payra on March 21. The developer of the plant—North West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGCL) and Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) jointly organized the function at the Biduyt Bhaban. Nasrul said Bangladesh will reach a milestone through the inauguration of Payra power plant as it has been the first ultra-super critical power which is environment-friendly. He noted that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also announce the cent per cent coverage of electrification across the country through the programme. He said currently the country's 99.85 percent areas and families are getting electricity as the country has been generating 13000 MW power. Power Secretary Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Delwar Hossain, NWPGCL managing director Khurshed Alam, FERB chairman Shamim Jahangir and executive director Rishan Nasrullah were present on the occasion. Also read: Bangladesh’s delayed import of electricity from 1600 MW Jharkhand plant in India may start in November The state minister said the demand for electricity is rising by 200 MW per day. Regarding the surplus electricity generation he said if there is no surplus generation, the country will have to experience load shedding in the coming summer. He said the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has to incur a loss of Tk 80 crore per day due to the hike in the price of petroleum in global market. “The monthly loss will be Tk 2500 crore if the situation continues. It is a big question, how far we could afford this huge loss,” he said. Nasrul Hamid noted that there is no problem until now for project implementation in the country where the Russian firms are involved due to the sanctions on Russia. Responding to a question, he said that though the Payra power plant will be inaugurated, it will need to wait until December this year to reach the electricity to Dhaka due to delay in implementation of the transmission line projects.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that his ministry will provide financial support to promote research and creative works in the energy and power sector. “We will provide financial support from Bangladesh Energy and Power Research Council to any creative and research works by the new generation in the power and energy sector”, he said while addressing the economic award giving ceremony at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) in the city. A total of 788 students of the university received the academic awards for Spring Semester while 423 for Summer Semester and 572 for Autumn Semester in the function. Appreciating the IUB move, the state minister said incentives and encouragement should be continued for good works of the new generation. Also read: Planning to generate 40 percent electricity from renewable sources by 2050: Nasrul Hamid He said reaching electricity to the grassroots level has resulted in expansion of economic activities. Nasrul Hamid mentioned that a resolution was accepted by the United Nations to upgrade Bangladesh to the developing country’s category from the least developed countries (LDCs). Now the young generation has to work to implement the vision to become a developed nation by 2041, he said. Read: Clean energy to be imported from neighbouring countries: Nasrul He urged the young people to get mentally prepared to match them with the developed world. He also focused on the potentials of renewable energy in the country and advised the IUB authority to set up a rooftop solar power system on the roof of the university buildings with the help of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda).