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Bangladesh Infrastructue > Power

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Power sector in Bangladesh

Bangladesh 's energy infrastructure is quite small, insufficient and poorly managed. The per capita energy consumption in Bangladesh is one of the lowest (136 kWH) in the world. Noncommercial energy sources, such as wood, animal wastes, and crop residues, are estimated to account for over half of the country's energy consumption. Bangladesh has small reserves of oil and coal, but very large natural gas resources. Commercial energy consumption is mostly natural gas (around 66%), followed by oil, hydropower and coal.

Electricity is the major source of power for country's most of the economic activities. Bangladesh 's installed electric generation capacity was 4.7 GW in 2009; only three-fourth of which is considered to be ‘available’. Only 40% of the population has access to electricity with a per capita availability of 136 kWh per annum. Problems in the Bangladesh 's electric power sector include corruption in administration, high system losses, delays in completion of new plants, low plant efficiencies, erratic power supply, electricity theft, blackouts, and shortages of funds for power plant maintenance. Overall, the country's generation plants have been unable to meet system demand over the past decade.

In generating and distributing electricity, the failure to adequately manage the load leads to extensive load shedding which results in severe disruption in the industrial production and other economic activities. A recent survey reveals that power outages result in a loss of industrial output worth $1 billion a year which reduces the GDP growth by about half a percentage point in Bangladesh . A major hurdle in efficiently delivering power is caused by the inefficient distribution system. It is estimated that the total transmission and distribution losses in Bangladesh amount to one-third of the total generation, the value of which is equal to US $247 million per year.

Renewable energy

Bangladesh has 15 MW solar energy capacity through rural households and 1.9 MW wind power in Kutubdia and Feni. Bangladesh has planned to produce 5% of total power generation by 2015 & 10% by 2020 from renewable energy sources like air, waste & solar energy.

Recent plans

The Ministry of Power and Energy has been mobilising Tk 40,000 crore ($5.88 billion) to generate 5,000 MW of electricity to reduce load shedding into a tolerable level within next four and half years during the term of the present government. Under the plan, the Power Development Board (PDB) would produce 500 MW gas-fired electricity between July and December 2009 to over come load shedding within December. The PDB would hire furnace-oil based 1,000MW of electricity from private sector from January to June 2010, the plan said. In 2011, the government would install furnace-oil based 800 MW capacity of power plant. The PDB officials would seek suitable place to establish the plant, a senior official of the PDB said. Besides the government would also hire another diesel or furnace oil based power plant having capacity of 700 MW in 2012 to keep load shedding into mild level, the official said. However, the government also contemplates to establish four coal-fired based power plants with capacity of producing 500 MW of electricity each with public and private partnership (PPP) in Rajshahi and Chittagong region. The government has initially tried to create fund of Tk 6,000 crore ($1 billion) to implement the plan, sources said. The power division has tried to utilise the government's budgetary allocation of Tk. 2000 crore for PPP in this regard, sources added. "If we can create the fund of Tk. 6,000 crore, it would be possible also to mobilise Tk 40,000 crore under ppp to produce 5,000 MW of electricity within four and half years," PDB chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir told the New Nation on 29 June 2009. During the meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina permitted the power division to implement the PDB plan to reduce load shedding up to a tolerable level. Prime Minister's Adviser for Power and Energy Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Bir Bikram, State Minister for Power and Energy Shamsul Haque Tuku, Power Division Secretary Md Abul Kalam, PDB Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir were present. Recently prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated a power plant at Chandpur.

Nuclear power plant

Bangladesh plans to set up the 1,000 MW power plant at Rooppur, 200 km (125 miles) northwest of the capital Dhaka , by 2011.

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