• Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Freedom in the air


Energy deal salvaged

The eight South Asian nations finally signed a deal yesterday to create a seamless electricity grid, salvaging the 18th Saarc summit that had been overshadowed by hostilities between India and Pakistan. The development came as Pakistan gave its consent to the Saarc Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation (Electricity), one of the three pacts supposed to be inked at the summit in Kathmandu. Pakistan on Wednesday had opposed all three deals. The other two agreements are Saarc Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation...

Low voltage caused Nov 1 blackout

The government committee formed to probe the November 1 nationwide blackout could not find out exactly what had caused one of the longest and widespread power cut in the country. In its probe report submitted to the power, energy and mineral resources ministry yesterday, it cited low voltage as the main reason behind the nearly 10-hour power outage.  "But we could not identify the location that set off the low voltage," Mohammad Hossain, member secretary of the nine-member team, told The...

BANGLADESH Asia's new energy superpower?

IMAGINE you are a major energy magnate, poring over maps to find the world's next natural gas superpower. Where would you invest? Even though Bangladesh just hit an energy mother lode in July -- winning the rights to 20,000 square kilometers of natural gas-rich waters from India in a UN territorial arbitration, chances are you probably wouldn't think of it. To most, the territory still looks like a high-risk investment, given the political tensions, pervasive poverty, and highly subsidised economy ...

Gas hope for winter

Gas hope for winter

The country's gas supplies have jumped up noticeably as American oil giant Chevron has nearly completed a massive expansion project in the large Bibiyana gas field and begun pumping additional gas from a few days back. While gas supplies hovered around 2,300 to 2,350 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) -- lagging an estimated 500 mmcfd behind the demand that affects home burners to power generation -- the additional gas has pumped up the supplies close to 2,400 mmcfd, Petrobangla said. Chevron is completing the half-a-billion dollar expansion scheme a month ahead of the schedule and this would be the biggest expansion scheme in any gas field in the country. Prime Minister...

Saarc energy cooperation

THE 5th Saarc Energy Ministers Meeting has finalised the Saarc Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation. Although Pakistan was missing from the meet, seven out of eight Saarc member countries have now come on board on sharing energy resource across borders. This is undoubtedly a very welcome step in the right direction given that it paves the way for member countries to buy and sell electricity as per individual country's needs. Signing of the framework is due to take place...



A decade after its formation, BIMSTEC, which stands for 'The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation' and encompasses five nations from South and South East Asia, a permanent secretariat has been set up in Dhaka. Experts are lauding it as a major step in realising the vision of “shared development” across 14 sectors spanning from trade and investment, communication, energy, poverty alleviation and counter terrorism. What is of import is to take forward the initiative...

Japan counts on economic zone

Japanese entrepreneurs want to invest in Bangladesh's transport, infrastructure, power, energy and garment sectors mainly to boost bilateral trade, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday. “Bangladesh is an emerging economy. So our government plans to promote Japanese investment in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is also an important partner of Japan in South Asia,” he told Bangladesh-Japan Business Forum at the capital's Hotel Sonargaon. “I am convinced to extend cooperation to Japanese entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh,” he said. Bangladesh's garment export to Japan...

Big boost for Bhola

When natural gas was discovered in Shahbazpur of Bhola two decades ago, everyone thought the energy- and job-starved island would flourish, but despite various efforts almost no major changes came to make that dream come true. However, things are finally set to take a giant leap as a 195-megawatt power plant is scheduled to begin partial operation in December. The full plant is likely to be operational in August next year. This would make this island rich with availability of natural...

Infrastructure, political stability key to high growth: analysts

Adequate infrastructure, energy, skilled manpower, political stability and investment-friendly climate are the key factors for higher economic growth, economists said at a discussion yesterday. Bangladesh has achieved considerable success in gross domestic product but fell short of the growth numbers achieved by the other developing countries, they said. They were speaking at the discussion on “growth strategies and macroeconomic stability”, which was organised as part of a two-day long economic conference hosted by Bangladesh Economists' Forum (BEF), a non-political voluntary body...

Energy alliance between Russia and China

Energy alliance between Russia and China

A decade of negotiations resulted in a new accord between China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Russia's Gazprom during President Putin's visit to Beijing in May 2014. It paves the way for development of the mammoth Chayanda natural gas field located in Russia's eastern flank which, when completed in 2018, will carry an...

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