First-ever rice-husk biomass power plant begins commercial operation
The country's first-ever rice-husk-burn biomass power plant began commercial operation yesterday at Giaspur, a remote village in Gazipur.
The plant with 250-kilowatt power generation capacity was set up at Kapasia at a cost of Tk 2.5 crore. It will be able to supply electricity among 250 households or business entities in the area.
Energy Adviser Tapan Chowdhury at a function at Shahid Gias High School playground on Monday afternoon announced the plant's inauguration in presence of thousands of villagers.
Organic matter available on renewable basis, such as agricultural crops, aquatic plants, animal, municipal, and wood wastes is called biomass which is burnt to create energy.
Terming the establishment of the biomass power plant as a milestone in the country's history, the adviser gave a clarion call to entrepreneurs to come forward to set up such plants to meet the local demand for electricity.
Asaduzzaman Manik, owner of Dreams Power Private Ltd, the company that established the plant, said, "This type of captive power plants are available in India, but we are distributing power for commercial purpose using our own grid that is unique in South Asia."
Manik is a local poultry farmer who faced serious difficulties to run his business due to absence of power in his area.
"Few years ago I went to India and coincidentally experienced about a small scale husk-fired power plant. I thought it is possible to build up this sort of plants in Bangladesh also as we have husk aplenty in all parts of the country,” said Manik sharing his experience at the inaugural function.
Manik told the function that around Tk 4.30 is the production cost for a kilowatt of electricity at the plant. He, however, said his company would be able to sell electricity at a rate similar to the one Rural Electrification Board (REB) offers for the consumers in other places in the district.
The unique plant in the village is the lone source of electricity the locals need.
A total of 220 consumers have already got connections for power supply from Dreams Power, while another 2,300 applicants await power connections.
Lauding the move to set up such a plant, Power Secretary M Fouzul Kabir Khan said, "If we want to bring the whole country under electrification coverage by 2020 as per the government commitment, we should come up with this sort of power projects because the reality is that the government is not capable to establish power infrastructure in every corner of the country by the committed timeframe."
The Dreams Power invested 20 per cent of the total cost of the Giaspur project, while 60 per cent came from the World Bank as grant and the rest 20 per cent from Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) as soft loan.
IDCOL Chairman Aminul Islam Bhuiyan, also the secretary to Economic Relations Division in the finance ministry, and IDCOL Executive Director Ehsanul Haque also spoke on the occasion.