State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Saturday said that unplanned urbanisation and industrialisation has been the biggest challenge for power sector to ensure uninterrupted power supply.
He made the remarks while addressing a roundtable on `Power for All` at East West Media Auditorium in the city.
With Daily Sun editor Enamul Haque Chowdhury in the chair, the function, organised by Daily Sun, was also addressed by Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, Rural Electrification Board (REB) chairman Major Gen (retd ) Moin Uddin, Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain, BGMEA Senior Vice President Faruque Hassan, eminent energy expert Dr M Tamim and Dr Ijaz Hossain.
Nasrul Hamid said it has been a difficult task for the power sector to keep its planning for generation, transmission and distribution when urbanisation and industrialisation are taking place in an unplanned manner.
He said such unplanned development forces the planners to frequently change their original plans.
He said it becomes tough to make prediction about the future demand of the power when such unplanned development happens.
The state minister said detail area plan is essentially required for not only capital Dhaka, but it should be required for all over Bangladesh.
He directed the power sector officials to strictly follow the government’s recent plan of developing the economic zones where only industries will be developed.
Ahmad Kaikaus said the government has taken different initiatives to create efficient manpower to face the challenges in the future in power sector.
REB chairman said his organisation has provided 16 million new electricity connections in the rural areas in last three years.
“But still we are not being able to ensure quality power supply for which interruptions are taking place in different parts of the country.” he added.
Mohammad Hossain said the country`s power demand will reach 40,000 MW by 2030 and the government has been moving ahead with a master plan to meet such demand.
Dr. Tamim said so far power and energy sectors’ development was made on the basis of imported primary energy.
He said gas-fired power generation has come down to 59 percent from previous 90 percent which is a big challenge to provide electricity at an affordable price.
He said the weakness in management will be another challenge for power and energy sector in the future.
Dr. Ijaz Hossain said repayment of foreign debt will be a major challenge for the country`s energy and power sector as this will push up the cost.
He said the country`s local gas price is $1.1 dollar per mcf whereas it will be as high as $10-12 when gas will be supplied through imported LNG.