Already experiencing blackout on a limited scale as the authorities began supplying additional electricity to the farmers for irrigation, the extent of load shedding in the urban areas will gradually go up with the hot summer approaching from first half of April.
At present, we’re providing extra power supply to irrigation areas on a limited scale. But from the first or second week of April, the peak summer will start and irrigation will need more additional supply,” said Mizanur Rahman, director (system planning) of the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB).
According to PDB officials, about 2,000 MW of additional electricity will be needed for irrigation this year to meet the peak demand and this amount of power will be supplied to rural areas curtailing supply in the urban areas.
In such case, officials said, some heavy-load consuming industries like steel, textile and some other manufacturing industries will be asked to suspend their operation from 5 pm to 11 pm to ensure smooth electricity supply for irrigation.
Last year, a similar step was taken as part of the government’s mechanism to ensure smooth power supply for irrigation.
The officials said that although full-scale load shedding has not yet started, some industrial areas have to experience three to four hours of load shedding at present on different occasions throughout the day. But when the irrigation will start, they will have to keep their operation shut for 6 hours during the peak irrigation period.
As an effect of irrigation, the other urban consumers will have to experience massive load shedding although some areas already started facing limited blackout.
PDB officials said this year, power generation will be about 6,500 MW against a demand for 7,500-8,000 MW during the peak irrigation period.
At present, the power generation is between 5800 and 6000 MW against an evening peak demand of the 6200 MW plus-minus.
Power Ministry officials said this year, the power shortage will be less compared to the previous years as the government has taken a number of precautionary measures to ensure adequate power supply for irrigation during the summer.
This year, they said, maintenance works were done at a good number of power generation units during the winter to get maximum generation during the peak summer. These units were shut for maintenance and they will resume operation in the summer.
Last year, about 2,000 MW of load-shedding was experienced in the summer as the country generated around 5,500 MW of power against the demand for 7,500 MW. UNB