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Ongoing power outage should come to an end

The ongoing energy crisis in Bangladesh is hurting households, industries and entire economies. This is in line with the global energy crisis as the whole world is observing a critical energy crisis in recent times, which is worse than the situation that arose out of the 1973 Arab oil embargo.

Bangladesh-power-outage

When the world was getting healed from the worse effect of Covid 19 and fighting with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war impact, the energy crisis made the situation just like pouring water on a drowned mouse. The Covid pandemic and then the Russia-Ukraine war contributed to increasing all energy prices. But now the situation has turned into a different dimension in Bangladesh. Now, most people are not getting a smooth electricity supply, though they are paying higher prices.

The recent energy crisis is interrupting the daily operation of Bangladesh’s export-oriented industries, especially–textile and garment units. They are being unable to keep their commitment with buyers. Also, manufacturers are facing an immense production cost increase which is leading them to face huge losses.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has announced that there is no hope of progress in the ongoing load-shedding situation before November, as gas could not be imported. Though the state minister had earlier made the remark that after September, the power supply situation would improve and there will be no load shedding from the first week of October.

As the demand for gas from industries has increased, so, the government diverted some supply to them from the power plants. Though many textile and garments factories are not getting energy properly facing immense load shedding. Some areas in Savar, Gazipur and Mymensingh are experiencing severe outages.

Recently, one of our competitor countries Pakistan has decided to shut down its 1600 textile mills across the country. Five million employees are losing their jobs and 30 million people will be affected due to the closure of textile industries.

If we do not want to observe such a situation as Pakistan, our government should change its strategy regarding energy and power production. The last February, the Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (Bapex) explored their new plan where they mentioned that they would be able to add 300 mmcf more gas to the national grid by 2023 if they can implement their plan. Their plan should be implemented properly.

Bangladesh’s government should strengthen the national capacity to produce gas and oil. The gap between gas demand and supply for producing electricity has gone up as the production in local fields is gradually reducing. Now, the government imports LNG to supply around 650 mmcfd gas to the national gas transmission grid. The imports, costing seven to ten times more than domestic gas.

If the government wants to come out from the recent energy crisis, and keen to provide electricity and gas properly at competitive rates to the textile and apparel industry as well as general people, there is no alternative to invest in national companies like Petrobangla, BAPEX etc.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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