The electricity of Indian Adani Group’s Jharkhand power plant will cost Tk 22 per unit as import to Bangladesh is expected to start from March this year, according to a Power Division media statement issued on Tuesday (January 03, 2023). State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid visited the Jharkhand power plant on Tuesday. Power secretary Habibur Rahman and BPDB chairman Mahbubur Rahman accompanied the state minister during the visit. During the visit, Nasrul told reporters that Bangladesh will receive the electricity from March this year for which a dedicated transmission line has been installed. Read more: The Tk 700 crore per month hole in the deal with Adani Power “Power import from the Adani’s Jharkhand plant will be possible from March”, a Power Division media statement quoted him as saying. “Initially we’ll get about 750 MW from the plant. We need more electricity to meet our demands in the coming summer”, it said. Adani's Jharkhand coal-fired power plant will have a total of 1,600 MW capacity from two units, each having 800 MW. “We’re looking for alternative sources of energy. We’ve been working giving priority on uninterrupted power supply at affordable prices”, Nasrul said. Read more: Introduce smart management system in power grid: Nasrul Hamid The Adani Group, very close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, set up the 1600 MW power plant in India’s eastern state of Jharkhand under a deal signed on November 5 in 2017 to export its entire electricity to Bangladesh. Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) constructed two substations at Chapainawabganj and Bogura in Bangladesh and also a transmission line to import the electricity. Meanwhile, officials of the BPDB are concerned about the tariff of the imported electricity from the Jharkhand plant as its cost will be almost double of the electricity to be generated from locally installed Payra power plant, a joint venture of Bangladesh and China. They said Bangladesh will incur a huge financial loss to the tune of about Tk 700 crore per month, once it starts importing electricity from the Adani 1,600 MW thermal power plant in Godda, Jharkhand state - due to the ‘flawed’ deal the government signed with the private Indian company. Read More: Pay production cost to get smooth supply of gas, electricity: PM Hasina tells industries “Including the cost of coal and its transportation, we have to pay Tk 2,100 crore per month to import 1,600 MW from Adani's plant at a 75 percent plant factor considering the existing rates of coal in the international market," a top official of the state-owned BPDB told UNB. If some rules and provisions observed in other similar deals (from the private sector, coal-fired) had been maintained here, the cost could have been kept down to Tk 1400 crore per month. The country has to count a loss of about Tk 700 crore per month, working out to Tk 8400 crore annually for the flaws in the deal, he added. Over the project’s life cycle of 25 years, the loss in terms of the increased cost and hidden components in the tariff Bangladesh will ultimately incur Tk 2.10 lakh crore - a third of the national budget - considering the current coal price, the senior official noted. The BPDB official said the lack of a provision for discounts in the purchase of the coal that will be used to fuel the plant is an oversight, considering such a provision was made mandatory in other deals that Bangladesh signed with independent power producers (IPP), where the price of coal to be purchased was kept as “pass-through”. Read More: Ensuring access to electricity at an affordable cost is govt’s prime goal: PM’s Energy Advisor Explaining the matter, he said Adani will purchase the coal for its power plant as primary fuel and Bangladesh will pay the price of the coal. Normally, the coal price is calculated on the basis of the Newcastle Price Index, and if any company purchases coal at a higher quantity with higher calorific value, then it gets upto 55 percent discount on the bulk value. This was the provision kept in the power purchase deal from the 1320 MW Payra power plant, a joint venture project of Bangladesh and China, where BPDB is benefiting from the discount in the price of coal. “But BPDB will not get any discount in coal price which ultimately pushes up the electricity tariff from the Adani plant by at least 50 percent,” said the official who has been involved in handling the project from BPDB. Read More: Electricity generation disrupted as Kaptai Lake’s water level decreasing As a result, if the price of electricity from Bangladesh's Payra Power Plant is calculated at Tk 12-13 per unit including the cost of coal, the price of per unit electricity from Adani plant will be about double at Tk 20-22 per unit, he added.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has urged the officials of the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) to introduce a smart management system in their power grid as part of the government’s goal to build a Smart Bangladesh. “Developing human resource and technology-friendly people can play a vital role in building a Smart Bangladesh”, he said while speaking at a workshop titled: ``DPDC Smart Grid Pilot Project” at Bidyut Bhaban in the city on Sunday. He said mass people take a bit of time to become technology-dependent. “But you have to play a role to encourage them to be modern and technology-dependent”, he told the DPDC officials. Read: Many TIN holders failed to submit tax returns by extended deadline He also urged the officials of the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) to initiate a move to bring their command-areas under a modern system. “BREB should take a coordinated plan to introduce technology-friendly systems to coordinate their operations”, he added. He also emphasised on adopting a smart-grid policy for all the departments under the country’s power system. Under the pilot project, construction and expansion of substations, capacitor banks will be installed. Read: Bangladesh Bank heist: Probe report submission deferred again to Feb 14 The smart grid project will include an integrated communication system, advanced sensing with artificial intelligence, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), measurement infrastructure, comprehensive decision support, and easy to use system interfaces. Initially this facility will be available in Satmasjid Road, Lalmatia, Asadgate and Jeegatla areas in the city which will gradually expand. Sakhawat John Chaudhary, Managing Director of NKSOFT Corporation, USA made a presentation on how the smart grid project will work. With DPDC managing director Bikash Dewan in the chair, the function was also addressed by director of Global Brand Communication, USA, Farzana Yasmin Asha, minister consular and head of cooperation of the European Union Maurizio.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that if the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) delays to decide on retail power hike proposals, then the Power Division will make its own decision. He made the remarks while talking to reporters at the sideline of a stakeholders meeting on “Integrated Energy and Power Master Plan (IEPMP)”, organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, at a hotel in the city on Tuesday. Outgoing Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki also addressed the event. Read more: BERC now to consult with govt before any move on retail power tariff hike proposals Responding to a question on the role of energy regulator after the amendment to the BERC Act 2010 which gives the government arbitrary authority to increase the prices of power and energy bypassing the public hearing process, the State Minister said if the BERC takes so much of times in taking decision on price adjustment issue, then the government will take decision on its own. . He said normally BERC will follow its own process to decide on the price adjustment. “But only in an emergency situation, the government will take the decision." The BERC raised about 19.92 percent bulk power tariff on November 21 with effect from December 1. Subsequently, six power distribution entities submitted their respective proposals to the BERC seeing a similar 19.44 percent hike in retail power tariff at consumer level. Read more: Raising retail power tariff: 3 more distribution companies submit proposals But within a week, the Cabinet on November 28 approved an amendment to the 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. Nasrul Hamid said the government has been working to provide electricity at an affordable price. “But the situation is not in the hands of the government as we have to depend on the global market for primary fuel import”, he added. He, however, said the government is thinking of considering the petroleum fuel price adjustment in consistency with the global downtrend in energy price. “We’ve asked the officials to examine whether we could adjust prices every three months keeping in line with the global market,” he added.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said on Wednesday that geo-scientific data should be used in developing sustainable infrastructures. "There must be a reflection of the geo-scientific data in developing area-based master plan", he said while addressing a seminar on the findings of a project titled: "Geo-information for Urban Planning and Adaptation to Climate Change" at a hotel in the city. Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) and Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) of Germany recently jointly conducted a survey in Barishal and Khulna City Corporations, Faridpur and Satkhira Municipalities and surrounding areas. Read: Bulk power tariff hike won’t affect retail consumers right now: Nasrul Hamid Under the project, a computerised digital database of geological, geo-technical and environmental information was created for the purpose of creating safe or minimally hazardous environment-friendly urban planning and development facilities. He said that though the achievements of the GSB are satisfactory, it has to expand its areas of research. "If we can apply advanced technologies in geological survey, the success ratio will be greater", he said adding there should be specific policy to use the geo-scientific data. Read: All liquid fuel-based power plants will be phased out over next 2 years: Nasrul Hamid With Senior Secretary of Energy Division Mahbub Hossain in the chair, the event was also addressed by LGRD Secretary Mohammad Ibrahim, Housing and Public Works Secretary Kazi Washi Uddin, German Ambassador Achim Troster, GSB Director General Mohammad Ilyas Hossain, BGR, German project coordinator Lena Maria Lorenzen, GSB project director Mohammad Ashraful Kamal, and BGR project manager Werner Buchert.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that all the liquid fuel-based power plants will be phased out within next two years. “We think, we can come out of all liquid fuel-fired power plants in next two years”, he told a seminar titled: “Energy Transition: Global Context" at Biduyt Bhaban in the city on Saturday. Such remarks from the state minister came against the backdrop of the nagging power and energy crisis in which operation of diesel-run plants already been suspended due to excessive price hike of the primary fuel. The function, organised by Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB), was also addressed by eminent energy experts Dr M Tamim and Dr Badrul Imam, senior energy secretary Mahbub Hossain, power secretary Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Mahbubur Rahman and Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain. FERB chairman Shamim Jahangir presided over the function while its executive director Rishan Nasrullah conducted the event. Read more: Uninterrupted power supply to be ensured through improvement in distribution: Nasrul Nasrul said initially 1000 MW diesel-fired power plants will be phased out in one year. He said three issues are being considered in dealing with energy transition in global context. These are technological advancement, providing energy at affordable price and at the fastest possible time. He mentioned that the government wants the private sector’s more involvement in energy business. That’s why import of all kind of energy products have now been open for private sector. “Private sector can import all kinds of liquid fuel as well as LNG alongside the LPG. They can set up their own establishment and supply to dealers for selling in petrol pumps”, Nasrul Hamid said. He also emphases on more use of electric vehicles (EV) replacing the existing diesel-run buses and other transports. “The public sector bus and train should come up first to use the EV as its energy efficiency is 80 percent while diesel-run vehicles efficient is only 20 percent”, he said. Making his presentation on “Energy Transition: Global Context" Dr Tamim said Bangladesh should not haste in decision making based on current crisis. Read more: Govt vigorously promoting renewable energy in power generation mix: Power Secretary He also said demand forecast based on sector wise bottom up growth projection on a 5-10 year time frame should be undertaken. He suggested for engaging a team of world class energy trading professionals to deal with future energy purchases and contracts mitigating risks. “The team should do a comprehensive world resource inflow and outflow analysis”, he added. Referring to IRENA’s recommendations, Dr Tamim said Bangladesh’s best path to reduce CO2 emission is efficiency improvement, putting emphasis on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and renewables. He said that along with local supply (both gas and coal), we must secure steady and sustainable sourcing of primary energy by import – coal, gas, cross border electricity, nuclear fuel. “Every aspect of renewable energy and efficiency improvement should be vigorously encouraged, funded and supported by policy,” he said adding that solar rooftop, irrigation, parks in unused government acquired lands can easily achieve at least 5000 MW by 2030. “A separate study on energy and efficiency technology adaptation should be undertaken.and Immediate investment in grid upgradation and making highly trained independent System Operator is required”, he noted. Prof Badrul Imam said different studies, conducted by international firms, still show a huge prospects of local gas explorations. The government should utilise such prospective scopes to over cone the energy crisis. Energy secretary Mahbub Hossain said the government has taken steps to conduct 2D and 3D exploration across the country to acquire adequate data before inviting foreign companies to invest in gas exploration. He said under the ongoing programmes, there will be about 600 MMCFD added to the national grid by 2026. Power secretary Habibur Rahman said the government is trying to replace some 2000 diesel-run irrigation pumps with solar system. “But we have to face a huge challenge in this regard”, he added.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that the uninterrupted power supply will continue through strengthening the distribution network. "Underground cable network with optical fiber will ensure reliable power supply through dual sources," he said while visiting the sites of six ongoing projects in Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) on Thursday. He also said that installations of underground cables, substations and a central SCADA system will strengthen the power distribution network. DPDC Managing Director Engineer Bikash Dewan was present on the occasion. The DPDC has been implementing a project titled: "Extension and Strengthening of Power Distribution System under the DPDC". Read more: BERC now to consult with govt before any move on retail power tariff hike proposals The DPDC said that under the project some new 14 substations of 132/33 kV capacity and 26 substations of 33/11 kV capacity will be installed while capacity of some 8 existing substations of 132/33 kV and 4 substations of 33/11 kV will be enhanced. Considering the scarcity of land in Dhaka city, some modern and high capacity 35/50 MVA of 33/11 kV power transformers are being installed by the DPDC. This is the first time this type of power transformer is being installed in Bangladesh by DPDC. Under the project, some 20 km of existing overhead distribution lines in Dhanmondi area will be converted into underground cable networks. As a result, Dhanmondi area will be free form overhead cables and the power distribution will be uninterrupted. Under the DPDC project, overhead transmission lines and towers in Hatirjheel area will be removed and underground cables will be installed, which will greatly enhance the aesthetic beauty of the area. Read more: Saudi firm, BPDB sign deal to set up 1000MW solar power plant in Bangladesh Besides, a state-of-the-art mechanised wire house is being constructed at Tongi with an open hangar attached. This will be the first such wire house in the power sector in Bangladesh.
State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Thursday (November 03, 2022) announced a new structure of 239 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas from the exploration well No-Togbi-1 under the Bhola gas field. “But this will take one-and-a-half to two years to start producing gas from the well and supply it to the national gas network”, he told reporters while sharing the “good news” at a press briefing at his ministry conference room on Thursday. “We need to build some necessary infrastructures including a processing plant to get this gas available for consumption”, he added. “This is the good news of relief amid ongoing gas crisis… this well can produce 20 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) over 30-31 years”, he said. read more: Can’t import 400 MMCFD gas as per businessmen’s demand: Energy Advisor He noted that the entire gas will have the value of Tk 8000 crore considering the average retail price of the local gas. Nasrul informed that two more wells will be drilled in Shahbazpur upazila in the Bhola gas field while Petrobangla has a plan to drill 46 wells across the country through Bapex, Sylhet Gas field Company Limited and Bangladesh Gas Fields Company Limited (BGFCL). The US energy company Chevron will also conduct drillings in its extended area of the Bibiyana gas field. Read more: Low-pressure problem in gas supply to industries to be resolved: Nasrul “We hope, once these 46 wells will be drilled, some 600-700 MMCFD gas will be added to the national gas grid by 2025”, he said adding that in the meantime some gas fields will decline production by 200 MMCFD. Currently, the state minister said that the country’s daily gas production is 2,300 MMCFD from different gas fields against a demand of 3,400 MMCFD. Alongside the local gas production, some 400 MMCFD gas is being imported under long-term contract. Responding to a question on the government’s move for increasing gas supply, Nasrul said that the government had to suspend import of gas from the international spot market due to excessive price hike. Read More: Gas supply to remain suspended in some Dhaka areas including Gulshan, Banani for 11 hours “If the government imports one ship of gas, it costs Tk 1500 crore while it has to sell it at Tk 58 crore. There is a huge gap between imported price and selling price”, he said the government cannot afford it without raising prices. He said the government did not raise the price considering its impacts. “That’s why we cannot use gas to generate electricity that leads to load shedding,” he said. “We hope, from the current month, the extent of load shedding will decrease. We’re planning to improve the situation from next February through some external management”, he said. Read More: “Assurance of getting oil, gas from India big accomplishment of recent visit” He said gas demand for industries increased for which the industrial sector of Bangladesh is experiencing a crisis. But supply remains the same as that was in the previous year.
State minister for power Nasrul Hamid on Tuesday said the power department will get Tk 1893 crore as unpaid electricity bill from various ministries and departments of the government till September this year. He also said that considering the average daily production of 2300 million cubic feet of gas, it will be possible to use the remaining gas for nearly 11 years (10.8 years). Hamid said that the power division will get maximum amount Tk 905.21 crore from local government department and Tk 395.68 crore from the ministry of disaster management. Read more: Nepal will export up to 50 MW electricity to Bangladesh for now, envoy tells PM In response to a query from ruling Awami League MP Md. Mozaffar Hossain, he said by strengthening supervision and implementing various activities at the field level, it has been possible to reduce the amount of electricity bill in arrears in the past few years. He said that the government has taken various initiatives including setting an annual target for reducing in the Annual Performance Agreement (APA), holding inter-ministerial meetings for collection of dues from different government organisations, preparing list of bill defaulters and taking steps to recover them and disconnecting electricity, if necessary, to collect the unpaid electricity bills. He also said that all the customers are being brought under prepaid/smart meter to reduce the arrears in electricity bills. In response to a query from AL MP Shahiduzzaman Sarker, the state minister said according to the latest (July 1, 2022) estimate, the amount of proven and potential recoverable gas reserves in the country is 28.59 trillion cubic feet. From the beginning of gas production to till June 30, 2022, the cumulative amount of gas in the country is 19.53 trillion cubic feet. Currently the remaining recoverable reserves are 9.06 trillion cubic feet. Considering the current average daily production of 2300 million cubic feet of gas from the gas field, it will be possible to use the remaining gas for 10.8 years (nearly 11 years). The mentioned time may be increased or decreased if daily rate gas production is decreased and if gas production is increased following invention of new gas field, he added. In response to another question, the state minister said that since Bangladesh needs to import LPG, if the price does not decrease in the international market, there is no opportunity to reduce the price of LPG in the domestic market without government subsidy. Read more: Electricity price to remain unchanged for now In response to Nizam Uddin Hazari's question, the state minister said that from the financial year 2009-10 to 2021-22, $28.3 billion have been invested in the electricity sector. Of this, $9.73 billion have been invested in the private sector for electricity. In response to Jatiya Party's Rustam Ali Farazi's question, Hamid said BPC is making a loss of Tk 21 per liter in selling diesel. In response to AL MP M. Abdul Latif’s query on countrywide ongoing load shedding, Hamid said that due to the global energy crisis following the Russia-Ukraine war, Bangladesh is trying to overcome the energy crisis through economical use of electricity and planned load shedding. He said, as per the plan, the new coal-based power plants will be connected to the grid and by ensuring the cost-effective use of electricity, it will be possible to overcome the crisis soon. BNP MP Harunur Rashid came down heavily on the government for what he said widespread looting, corruption and mismanagement in power and energy sector. Harun proposed that the Speaker arranges a discussion on this issue in Parliament. In reply, Hamid blasted Harun for the past BNP-Jamaat government’s alleged involvement in corruption in the power sector.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid today (October 27, 2022) said power supply situation may improve from November. “We hope the power supply situation will improve from November. I’m optimistic and don’t want to make you pessimistic,” he told reporters after attending a seminar on renewable energy at Dhaka’s Brac Inn Centre. Earlier in August, the state minister had said that power supply situation may improve from September, and later again said that load shedding would decrease from October. Read more: 2 weeks after grid failure, Ghorashal Power Station’s unit-5 resumes operation Following a national power grid failure on October 4, 2022, the electricity supply situation deteriorated – increasing load shedding to 5-6 hours every day. The government started implementing an austerity plan in July by suspending operations of all diesel-fired power plants to reduce fuel imports and save foreign currency. The import of LNG from the international spot market was also suspended for the same purpose, triggering frequent load shedding across the country. Referring to the request of businessmen to resume LNG imports from the international spot market and to ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity supply to factories at a higher price, Nasrul said the government is assessing all the options. Read No govt decision to stop the supply of daytime electricity: Hasan Mahmud “We’re working on it. Businessmen need uninterrupted gas supply at an affordable price,” he added. He also said that his ministry has sent a detailed proposal to Brunei on power supply situation and is now waiting for their response. It may take a week more to get a response from Brunei, he said.
Bangladesh State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said on Tuesday (October 25, 2022) that some 80 lakh (8 million) consumers remained without electricity across the country after Cyclone Sitrang hit Bangladesh. “Of this, some 60 lakh (6 million) are under the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) and the remaining consumers are of other organisations like Nesco and WZPDCO,” he told reporters at his ministry on Tuesday. He noted that power supply to 70 percent of the affected areas will be possible to restore by Tuesday evening while the rest 30 percent will get electricity by Wednesday afternoon. Read: Sitrang aftermath: Some areas in southern districts still without power Currently, the total power consumers are 4.8 crore (48 million) across the country. Nasrul Hamid said the power supply was disrupted mainly by the falling of trees on the transmission and distribution lines. He said that many electric poles were uprooted by the cyclone that caused blackout in many areas. The state minister, however, said the total damage was not calculated yet. Read: Inland water transport operations resume as Sitrang weakens “It will take some more time to get a complete picture of the damages caused by cyclone Sitrang”, he said.