No need to set up new power plants

Special Correspondent,
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Dhaka, ( To fulfill the power demand of 2030 we don’t need to set up new power generation plants. This was claimed in a report of the development and research organization of power cell.

The power cell thinks that the estimated power which will be generated by 2030 is almost ready with the addition of the power to be generated from the under construction plants, deal signed and letter of intent(LIO) issued for setting up power plants. Expected generated power if added to present generated capacity that would meet our requirements.

In the report it is said that the present net generation capacity is 16914 megawatt till 2018. Some plants will retire phase wise. About 9289 megawatt power will be available from the old plants in 2030.

34723 megawatt of power will be available in 2030 from the new plants which are now in the pipeline. In the same period there is plan to import 2336 megawatt of power. So the net generation capacity will stand at 46348 with old and new sources. If by that time we can set up power saving machineries then the demand will be 29619 megawatt so extra generation of power will be 16719 megawatt.

If the estimate remains correct then in 2030 our generation will be fifty percent excess than the demand. This is being observed as risky. This excess power might be a burden for us. In Bangladesh most uncertain matter is that the difference of day-night and peak and off peak hour use. So we are to count capacity charges for even the sitting plants. This picture is frightening in the winter. As for example, on Sunday(May 12) the demand in the morning was 8527 megawatt while at 8 in the evening demand shot up to 12500 MW making the difference of 4500 thousand MW.  This difference becomes more wide in winter and irrigation seasons.  For this reason PDB’s burden of deficit is increasing day by day due to the idle plants.

Director General of power cell Mohammad Hossain told that a committee was formed who opined that the plants in the pipe line is sufficient to meet the future demand. Normally there should be production capacity of 15 to 20 percent excess than the demand. Servicing should be done regularly so that no plant goes out of order.

If the future plants are constructed properly and in proper time then more generation capacity will be achieved in 2030 than the projected demand. For this reason the committee does not see for new deals for setting new plants, informed Mohammad Hossain.

However many observe this picture far from reality. They said that deal signing does not mean that power is generated. Because there are glaring examples of failure by many companies in front of us.  

In 2012 government signed deals for three coal based power plants with Orion Group at Maowa, at Khulna and at Chattogram. Those were supposed to be completed by 2016 and so on but though six years already elapsed Orion could not start any work of any plant. In the second phase Orion group also took the responsibility of more three power plants but the progress is nil percent. The group could not arrange finance for so many projects.

For this failure Orion group was reprimanded in a high level meeting on last October 17 of 2018. In the meeting it was warned that if time is extended up to October of current year then the deals will be automatically cancelled. However the power division’s censure does not match with the reality.

According to government’s master plan all these produced power of Orion set up coal based plants were supposed to add in the national grid in 2016 and 2017. So the government had to face a lot of problems for this non availability of power from Orion group. Being compelled government had to renew the much criticized rental power plant schemes. Earlier Summit Group also failed to set up a gas based power plant at Bibyiana

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