To ensure uninterrupted power supply during the ongoing irrigation season and upcoming summer season, the government is going to halt gas supply to all fertiliser factories except Jamuna Fertiliser Factory.
Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Energy Advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday disclosed this while briefing reporters at Buduyt Bhaban in the city on four new power plant projects which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate today (on Thursday) through a video conference.
Among others, Mohammad Hossain, Director General of Power Cell, Dr Ahmed Kaikaus, additional secretary of Power Division, Power Development Board Chairman Shamsul Hassan Miah and REB Chairman Maj Gen Moinuddin were present the program.
Tawfique-E-Elahi said that the plans for temporarily halting gas supply to fertiliser factories are taken to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to power plants as well.
The energy adviser further said that the gas supply to the fertilizer factories will be closed temporarily, halting the production of fertilizer.
“Our main priority is to ensure maximum power supply to irrigation pumps during the summer for food (paddy) production,” Tawfiq said.
This is, however, not the first time the government has taken such a decision as it has been doing so for the last five years to facilitate irrigation during the summer.
Officials said if the gas supply to seven fertilizer factories, out of eight, is halted, the power plants will get additional 200 million cubic feet of gas a day (mmcfd) which will enhance power generation by 500 MW.
The country’s irrigation season normally starts in March and continues till June, and the government has to supply additional 2000 MW electricity to irrigation pumps.
Tawfiq said the government has been trying to increase gas supply through the import of LNG (liquefied gas supply).
About an LNG project for which the government signed initial deal, he said negotiation with the American company has been finalised and the final deal will be signed when its officials will arrive here within the next few months.
Power Division secretary Monwar Islam said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate four power projects through video conference from her official residence-Gano Bhaban today (thrusday).
She will also inaugurate 6,000 new power connections in Kotalipara in Gopalganj, Monwar said.
He said that the power plants began commercial generation a few months ago. Now, the PM will formally inaugurate them.
He said the four plants has already added 535.2 MW electricity in the national grid.
Monowar also said of those, two plants have been built by independent power producers – 52.2MW furnace oil-based plant in Comilla and 108 MW furnace oil-based plant in Chittagong.
Another two plants have been built by state-owned company– 150 MW furnace oil-based plant in Gazipur and 225 gas-based plant in Ashuganj, he added.
Power generation reached 14,271MW, including captive generation, from 3,268MW in 2009 and the government has prioritised the development of the sector considering its importance in the overall development of the country.
The government aims to generate 24,000 MW of electricity as part of its target of supplying power to every citizen by 2021.
He said the power generation has improved to a significant level as now the country’s 80 percent people have access to electricity. “We want to increase it to 95 percent within the current term of the government.”
He, however, said the load-shedding will not stop until development programmes in transmission and distribution are completed. “Earlier, the government put priority to power generation and now the focus is on transmission and distribution.” – Staff Reporter