Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nepal within a month for importing hydroelectricity.
“The government had made a significant progress in importing electricity from Nepal and Bhutan via India, as the MoU would enable Bangladesh to invest there in hydroelectricity and import the output,” State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said, reports The Gulf Times.
The state minister highlighted the government’s different development initiatives to ensure energy security aimed at making the country a middle-income country by 2021.
He said the power generation capacity reached to 15,351 megawatt (MW), three times higher, and the number of beneficiary reached 80 per cent from 47 per cent before 2009.
“We have to install power plants having capacity of 9,000MW more for fulfilling the government’s commitment of 24,000MW electricity by 2021, as now the power generation capacity reached to 15,351MW,” Nasrul added.
He said the government targeted to install 20mn prepaid meters in the country and 1mn in the capital city.
He said, “We are going to introduce smart meter to make the power sector hassle free.”
“The government under the bold and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working relentlessly to provide uninterrupted electricity at a fair price,” Nasrul said.
He said the government is set to introduce two policies in a month to regulate price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as to ensure safety in bottling, transportation and use.
The power and energy ministry would also introduce price policy for LPG, he said, adding, “The government is trying to make LPG a popular fuel for household users and the LPG would also be used in industries instead of natural gas supplied on pipelines.”
He said that the government would begin supply of natural gas from imported LNG from June 2018, when current level of gas supplies would start declining.
Hamid reiterated the government’s stance on the Rampal power project, some 70kms off the Sunderbans forest, as the coal-fired power plant would not affect biodiversity of the mangrove forest.
He said Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company would soon sign the credit agreement with the Indian EXIM bank for implementation of the project.
The company is a 50-50 joint venture of Bangladesh Power Development Board and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation.
Earlier, Prime Minister Hasina rejected concerns of some global leaders, including former US vice president Al Gore, over the power project.
They were talking at the plenary session in an international conference on fight against climate change held in Davos of Switzerland by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
About the large-scale use of renewable energy, solar in particular, Hamid said that it is a luxury of the developed countries where the per capita power consumption is 17,000 units or kilowatt-hours or more.
But the per capita power consumption is 350 units in Bangladesh, he said, adding that high cost of renewable energy is still a big challenge for its large-scale use in developing countries.
The minister said most of the developed countries installed coal-based power plants and now they have been shifting to renewable energy.
He said the government is trying to speed up the process of providing power connections in the shortest possible time, which has already been accelerated significantly.