Minister underlines integration of available resources to develop power infrastructure
Outlining the government's plan for developing the country's rickety power infrastructure, State Minister for Power Enamul Haque yesterday underscored the need for addressing the problem holistically by integrating the available resources.
Besides, developing the regional grid to exchange electricity with the neighbouring countries, which have high prospect in different types of power projects, is also imperative to solve the crisis, he said.
"We are emphasising solution to the energy and power crisis at regional and sub-regional level considering the fact that we are living in a global village. We can't move without the help of others," Haque added.
The state minister made the remarks while speaking at the plenary session of a conference on 'energy for growth', organised by the Bangladesh chapter of International Chamber of Commerce at a city hotel.
Haque said additional 9,000 megawatts (MW) electricity will be required to be produced within the next five years under short, medium and long term plans, out of which more than 5,000MW would be produced under the private sector.
The total generation addition in 2015 will be 9,426MW and the new addition will be made through implementation of more than 50 projects under fast track, short, medium and long-term plans, he said, adding that the primary fuel for the projects would be liquid fuel, gas and coal.
"We've about three billion tonnes of estimated proven coal reserve in five coal fields and we're seriously thinking about the extraction of the indigenous coal and its use for power generation," he said.
The minister further said initiatives are also being taken for ensuring a mix of conventional and renewable fuel in power generation.
He said the government is putting its best efforts to develop the indigenous energy resources, renewable energy and nuclear power plants.
Enamul Haque said initiatives have also been taken to establish LNG terminals for importing LNG vis-à-vis the efforts for increasing gas exploration.
He called upon the private investors to join hands with the government for the development of renewable energy side by side contribution in the conventional energy.
Paul J Heytens, country director of Asian Development Bank, said the current situation calls for measures in the short-term to rapidly close the gas supply and power generation gaps that also lay the foundation for long-term development of the sector, through better integration of power and gas policy, planning and investment.
He said the ADB is keen on assisting Bangladesh in setting up more new plants and expanding transmission and distribution networks.
"Over the next three years, Asian Development Bank plans to provide another $900 million in financial support through its public sector window for the power and energy sectors," Heytens said.
Chaired by Dr Victor K Fung, chairman of International Chambers of Commerce (ICC), the session was also addressed by Dr Thomas von Schwarzenberg, chief geologist of RWE Power International GmbH, Germany, Vinod Kumar, executive director of CESC Limited of RPG Enterprises, India, and Tawhid Ali, senior vice president and director of Research Alliance Bernstein Ltd.