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7 December, 2019 12:41:23 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 December, 2019 01:03:17 PM
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Diesel-based power too costly for PDB

SHAHED SIDDIQUE, Dhaka
Diesel-based power 
too costly for PDB

The Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB), a government owned entity, has purchased electricity at Tk 82 per unit (per kilowatt hour) from two diesel-based private power plants this year. In a financial statement published last week, the PDB stated that diesel-based power plants are the most expensive. Purchasing electricity from private power plants costs the PDB between Tk 22 and Tk 82.47, but it sells the electricity to distribution companies at Tk 5.88.

Sources said the average price at which distribution companies sell electricity to consumers is Tk 6. They have started bargaining with the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to increase the electricity price.

On November 27, BERC started hearing on fresh power price hike despite opposition from all stakeholders.

Khaled Mahmud, chairman of the PDB, acknowledged the high price of few first track diesel-based power plants. He explained: “In fact, there is surplus power generation for the last few months. The diesel-based power plants that charge Tk. 82 per unit, are almost idle. They generate power for some time, but we have to pay capacity cost for the whole year. So, ultimately if you divide power generation with capacity cost, the unit price will be high (Tk 82).”

In the last fiscal year, PDB's power generation and purchase cost stood at Tk 41,245 crore, which was Tk 38,576 crore in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The average cost of electricity was Tk 6.01 from Tk 6.33 per unit. The price was low due to LNG supply to the power plants being cheaper than fuel-based power plants.

In the last fiscal year, PDB spent Tk 7,648 crore for their power generation. Purchase from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) was Tk 15,748 crore in 2018-2019 year. It was Tk 10,410 crore in 2017-2018.

PDB had to spend Tk 5,013 crore to buy rental power plant's electricity as against Tk 6,281 crore in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The corporation purchased Tk. 6,839 crore power from government-owned companies, which was Tk. 7,289 crore in the 2017-2018 fiscal

year. Electricity purchased from India cost Tk. 3,702 crore in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, which was Tk. 2,812 crore in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Sources said despite LNG supply increase in power plants, losses have increased because of 15 idle power plants that have been given capacity payment for 365 days.

In the financial statement of 2018-2019, PDB said cost for per unit electricity from diesel-based first track projects such as Bangla Trac power (200MW unit) was Tk 82.47, Paramount-Btac Energy Limited 200MW plant at Baghabari was Tk 81.02, APR Energy 300MW unit was Tk 72.68, Aggreko Power Solution 100MW, Bhahmangoan was Tk. 75.78, Aggreko Energy Solution 100MW Aorahati plant unit was Tk 57.46, Bangla Trac Unit -2 (100MW plant) was Tk. 31.75, and Summit Meghnaghat Power LTD was Tk 22.09.

A government official said duel fuel Summit Meghnaghat Power LTD had been converted to gas-based power plant a few months before, as the LNG supply to power plants had increased. So, the cost would be much cheaper.

The government also takes electricity from furnace oil-based 29 power plants, which are also costly for the nation. The NEPC Consortium was also a costly plant for the PDB as it sold per unit electricity at Tk 19.77 in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, which was Tk 13.09 in 2017-2018. Among the furnace oil-based power plants, the RPCL 105MW Gazipur plant sold the cheapest electricity at Tk. 9 per unit to the PDB.

In the public sector, the BIBIYANA-3 400MW plant provided electricity at Tk .92 per unit. The wind-based power stations, Kutubdia and Hatiya, charged Tk. 81.88 per unit and 7.4MW private solar power plant, Kaptai, Tk.15.25. Hydropower remains the cheapest for the nation as the price was Tk. 1.63 per unit.    

The fast-track diesel-based power plant projects, which were supposed to generate a total of 900MW electricity, have remained idle for months, causing an annual loss of Tk. 918 crore to the government, said experts.

The costly fossil fuel-based power plants were initially awarded contracts to generate electricity within six months to mitigate the impending power crisis, but now with LNG-based power plants in use, there is no necessity to take electricity from these plants, they added.


IK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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