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Energy Adviser urges to establish industries in special economic zone

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) organised a seminar on “Prospects and Challenges for Industries in Energy and Power sector of 7th five year plan” at DCCI on Saturday.

Adviser to the Prime Minister Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury was present as the chief guest while Member of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Rahman Murshed was present as special guest in the seminar.

DCCI President Hossain Khaled chaired the seminar, said a press release.

In the address of welcome DCCI’s senior vice president Humayun Rashid said that secure, reliable and effordable energy and power is the gateway and oxygen for structured, sustained and inclusive and efficient economic growth.

He said for the development of our economy and to achieve the 8% GDP target government has set 7th five-year-plan where contribution of industry is more important.

He also urged that to attain 8% GDP growth uninterrupted supply of power, energy and gas to industries must be ensured. He said cost of doing business may be increased in the context of LNG import.

He emphasized more on local generation of power and gas for competitive price.

Tawfiq-e-Elahi urged the businessmen to invest in special economic zones (SEZs) as government will ensure uninterrupted power and gas supply in the SEZs in future. 70% of the total population is now in electricity coverage in Bangladesh.

He stressed for co-generation of electricity and energy efficiency. He underscored the need of research in power and energy sector. He added that government has already established Bangladesh Power and Energy Research Council (BPERC).

He expected that by the year 2019, 10,000 megawatt power could be added in the national grid from Matarbari power project. He said that according to the 6th five year plan, power and energy sector witnessed a remarkable progress and likewise there will be a huge investment opportunities for private sector in terms of 7th five year plan.

To attain 8% GDP growth by the year 2030, Bangladesh will be in need of minimum 34000 megawatt power by that time. He urged the private sector to grab this opportunities of investment in this sector. He also informed that government plans to ensure continuous power supply to industries rationalizing with the fertilizer industries.  

DCCI President Hossain Khaled said a large number of entrepreneurs have already invested in industries including establishing in infrastructure but without gas, these industries could not go for production.

He urged the government to provide gas in those industries who already applied for gas. He also urged the government to establish power generation projects near special economic zones so that industries could get electricity connections comparatively in a cheaper rate.

He said that we have to reduce transmission and distribution loss in power and energy sector. He said that businessmen are in favour of installing Economical Power and Energy Measurement (EPM) tools in industries for metering accurate power and energy supply.

He also said that we have to increase energy efficiency which is now 35%. We should focus on clean, sustainable energy for future, he added.

Member of BERC Rahman Murshed said that we have to adjust with the present price of power and energy as it is not possible to reduce the price as it was before. He said that for energy efficiency we have to cut system loss and distribution loss.

BERC Member said that it is the right time to think about alternative energy as deposit of natural gas is not infinite. Moreover, we should focus on generating power and energy from our locally explored coal.

He urged the businessmen to be partner of the government in generation and distribution process of power and energy. He said that we should discourage importing power and coal rather encourage local generation of both.

Dr. Mohammed Tamim, Professor, Department of Petroleum & Mineral Resources Engineering, BUET presented the keynote paper.

He urged for more exploration of gas and said that if we totally stop exploring gas now then the reserve of gas will end by the year 2023. He said that for achieving 8% GDP growth, we have to generate 34,000 megawatt electricity by the year 2030.

He put emphasize on a comprehensive energy master plan. He said that the 7th five-year-plan focuses long term strategic view to meet the primary energy demand for next 15-20 years. 7th five year plan opens huge private sector investment opportunity in energy sector, he mentioned. But LNG price adjustment, coal import, railway transport, subsidy and pricing, improving procurement procedure are some of the challenges he mentioned.

Professor of Department of Geology, University of Dhaka Dr. Badrul Imam, Professor of Department of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering, Daffodil International University Dr. Shamsul Alam and Director of Bangladesh Independent Power Producers’ Association (BIPPA) Imran Karim spoke on the occasion as designated discussants.

Speakers urged for generating electricity from locally explored coal and reduce dependency on imported coal. They also underscored the necessity of a realistic and flexible coal policy. They urged BAPEX to come out of conventional exploration procedure. Speakers also urged for proper policy guidelines with good governance.

DCCI Director Salim Aktar Khan, former senior vice presidents MS Shekil Chowdhury, former Director Khairul Majid Mahmud and convenor MS Siddiqui took part in the open discussion session.

DCCI’s Directors AKD Khair Mohammad Khan, Muktar Hossain Chowdhury, former senior vice president Syed Toufiq Ali, former vice presidents M Abu Hurairah, Hossain A Sikder, former Director Data Magfur and DCCI’s Secretary General AHM Rezaul Kabir were also present in the seminar.  

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