POST TIME: 3 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 March, 2018 12:35:59 AM
Govt eyes 82,000MW power by 2041
Experts skeptica about ‘highly ambitious’ revised PSMP

Govt eyes 82,000MW power by 2041

The government is going bring changes to its power generation policy by reducing dependency on coal and encouraging LNG (liquefied petroleum gas) for electricity production. It is also planning to set a ceiling for power import from any single country at 10 per cent of the total demand, and fix the maximum limit for power generation by the private sector. In a highly ambitious move to generate 82,000 MW of electricity by 2041, the government is revising the Power System Master Plan (PSMP), which was prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2016. However, the realisation of these plans would require investments to the tune of USD 150 billion.

“We've seen that the private sector has not met with much success in setting up coal-based power plants. But the public sector has shown good performance in terms of generation of power by using coal,” Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, the secretary of Power Division, told the Independent on Saturday.

Sources said the draft PSMP will be presented before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is in charge of the power and energy ministry. But the officials are yet to manage an appointment with her. The draft PMSP was discussed on Sunday in the presence of Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, the energy adviser to the Prime Minister, and he suggested some changes in this regard.

In the meeting, it was decided that Bangladesh will import only 10 per cent from a single country. It means India or any other country can export only a maximum of 10 per cent of the country's power demand. It may be asked as to why the proposed changes are

necessary at this moment as the PSMP was finalised only two years ago. “JICA's prediction wasn't correct. It had predicted less GDP growth than what is taking place at present. Besides, the government wants to consume more power than the amount mentioned in PSMP-2016. So, the total plan should be changed,” said a senior official of the Power Division.

Dr M Tamim, former energy adviser to a caretaker government, told The Independent the government is going the wrong way as GDP growth is not the main indicator of power demand. "The present scenario, including both social and economic situations, indicates that the generation of more power is impossible. The government has not achieved the projected target for the last eight years; it's still dependent on fuel-based power stations, which are very expensive,” he said.

“The government has recently announced the generation of 24,000MW by 2021. It’s nigh impossible! Most of the projected coal-based power stations are yet to be set up,” he added.

As per the draft report, the demand for power by 2041 would be 82,000MW, instead of 61,000MW, if the efficiency and conservation programme is not implemented. By that time, the generation capacity would reach 94,000MW.

In the PSMS-2016, the per capita power consumption was predicted as 1,500KWh, but the government now wants the consumption to be 2,150KWh.

The draft report states that LNG will be the basic fuel to generate power in 2041 as its market has widened gradually. By that time, the share of LNG in power generation resources will be 43 per cent. It will be 32 per cent for coal, 15 per cent for imported coal, and 10 per cent for others (hydro, liquid fuel, nuclear and renewable sources).

In the draft document, the demand for power has been predicted as: 12,874MW in 2018, 18,374MW in 2021, 27,009 MW in 2025, 39,670MW in 2030 and 77,285MW in 2041. Currently, Bangladesh has 385,000 km of distribution lines, but they should be extended to 783,000 km to achieve the target.