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Power and energy sector development outlook

Secure, reliable, and affordable Energy & Power is the gateway and oxygen for structured, sustained, inclusive and efficient economic growth. Energy & Power facilitates industrial environment, stimulates business and manufacturing activities, productivity, job creation, and spills wealth to the economic growth cycle. Global trading economy gets impetus having presence of liquid fuel and energy as it is considered as most essential vehicle of global economic mobility.

The demand for energy for industry-driven growth is growing increasingly to harness and nourish the potential of economic graduation of Bangladesh by 2021 and 30th largest economy by 2030 to strengthen the footing to become a developed economy by 2041. The supply side development in energy and power sector cannot feed the growing demand of diverse energy use in industry and commercial operation. The energy crisis driven by supply demand mismatch undermines the economic growth, export earning potential, and enfeebles infrastructural efficiency and competitiveness of Bangladesh to the prospective local and global investors. Bangladesh has proven and probable reserve of natural gas of 13 TCF of which 6 TCF is proven reserve, apparently low against the escalating demand of consumption in our thrust sectors.

The strategic plan has focused priority on strengthening Energy & Power infrastructure, capacity reaching the power generation to 34,000 MW using diverse energy mix but higher use of Coal by 2030. The seventh five year plan of Government which has envisaged of energy and power sector of Bangladesh has not rightly measured and addressed the real need in energy sector and their way out in line with core industrial and economic needs in the days to come.

The following recommendations outlined can be inevitably taken into account in line with the energy and power sector development of Bangladesh using different timeline:

Short-term priority

♦ In order to ease the pressure on gas, an effective road map needs to be developed to discourage the compressed natural gas (CNG) intensity in transport sector and diverted to meet the growing industrial demand.

♦ Private sector entreprenuers should be allowed to invest in transmission and distribution operation of power sector.

♦ A pragmatic approach needs to be designed for increasing investment in R&D in energy & power sector and strengthening collaboration with academicians, sector experts and private sector.

♦ Focused and result-oriented strategy needs to be undertaken for supply side reform in the power and energy sector to commensurate current electricity demand under the current power generation capacity. The supply side reform includes increasing efficiency of power plant from 30% to 35%, reduces the transmission and distribution loss to 8% from 13%.

♦ In determining the energy and power tariff in the consumer level, an assessment needs to be made to apprehend the ‘consumer level affordability’. Subsidy in power and energy sector also may be designed in line with the affordability of consumer.

♦ Installation of Economical Power and Energy Measurement (EPM) device in industries and manufacturing units for accurate metering of industrial power and energy consumption which helps reducing system loss, raising government revenue and economic consumption of gas.

Long-term Priority

♦ A long term energy master plan needs to be framed for clean, reliable, sustainable and affordable energy future encompassing demand-supply management, identifying financing sources for the proposed projects, energy efficiency, energy conservation, co-generation, demand-side efficiency, Research & Development.

♦ To attain 8% GDP growth in line with vision 2021, uninterrupted supply of power, energy to manufacturing industries must be ensured.

♦ Against the escalating demand of energy consumption in the thrust sector and diminishing gas supply, exploration programme of gas at both onshore and off-shore are to be stretched.

♦ Strategy needs to be developed to use the exhaustive heat energy to the industrial units. In this connection, power plants can be built within the vicinity of the Export Processing Zones, Industrial Parks and proposed Economic Zones.

♦ Local coal extraction remains unaddressed for ages. Leverage and synergy needs to be developed underscoring the importance of local coal mining along with imported coal.

” A comprehensive study assessment needs to be conducted to determine the best management practice, cost effectiveness and eco- friendly measures for local coal extraction.

♦ Considering environmental and other socio-economic impact, large-scale open-pit coal mining is not feasible in Bangladesh. However, small-scale undermining coal can be developed in strategic locations to reduce import dependence as well as ensure price competitiveness in the energy input and output level infusing spillover benefits to the economy.

♦ A counter-plan needs to be developed to face the depletion of gas. In this context, energy diplomacy with Myanmar, India and Iran need to be strengthened to foster and harness regional energy and power cooperation and pipeline energy infrastructure to meet mutual demand.

♦ The technical capacity of BAPEX needs to be further developed to intensify the gas exploration efforts and drilling capacity. An innovative and non-conventional gas exploration method such as down-hole drilling needs to be focused along with the existing conventional up-hole drilling method.

♦ LPG for the domestic use is not user friendly and convenient. It is inevitable to develop an alternative to LPG gas focusing pipe gas or centralized solution for domestic gas for a community or area.

♦ Incremental number of applications for new connection of industrial gas from different industrial units has been pending with different distribution companies. Gas connection need be provided to the industries on priority basis which are unable to begin commercial operation.

♦ Another $2 Billion more export earning in Textile may add if gas supply to new projects could be given especially in pending projects in RMG sector worth of BDT.2100 crore.

Implementation of aforesaid recommendations will mobilize our strategic target in Energy & Power sector driving the economic dynamics and rebound economic indices to pave the way of export-led industrial growth regime and economic graduation by 2021 and sustainable development by 2030. Inter ministerial coordinated and least bureaucratic in cooperation with Private sector can way forward our new Industrial era fulfilling our long held dream of better Bangladesh by 2041.

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

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