POST TIME: 8 May, 2017 00:00 00 AM
Power surplus within 2021

Power surplus within 2021

From a situation of power shortage a few years ago, the country is now facing a power surplus situation. Government officials are concerned that if the industry sector fails to grow rapidly, there will be a surplus power generation of 30 to 40 per cent by 2020–2021. “Industry demand should grow fast, otherwise the surplus power generation will be very expensive for the people,“ said a senior official of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). “We request the government to not approve any unnecessary power generation project in the private sector, as the people will eventually not be able to bear the costs,” he added. The BPDB official said that power demand is likely to increase, as the Prime Minister’s office is planning to set up 100 economic zones across the country. Moreover, some old power plants will be retired in the coming years.
There will be some surplus of power, but not as high as 50–60 per cent, he added. This week in a meeting at the Secretariat, the Power Division analysed the power generation forecast up to 2025 and agreed that up to 20 per cent reserve of the generation capacity will be maintained to prepare for unexpected surges in demand.
According to the presentation given by the BPDB, there are huge power generation projects in the pipeline, which will generate 25,611 MW of additional power by 2025, if implemented. At present, the country has an installed power capacity of  13,179 MW, but the BPDB will be able to generate an additional 10,000 MW if it gets enough gas. According to the power sector master plan (PSMP), the country’s demand for power will be 15,200 MW in 2020, 16,750 MW in 2021, 18,400 MW in 2022, 20,222 MW in 2023, 22,200 MW in 2024 and 24,400 MW in 2025.
BPDB officials said that by 2020, there will be an additional power generation of 12,741 MW and the generation capacity will be raised to about 20,000 MW, if all the power projects and deals are implemented. Since the demand at that time is projected to be 15,200 MW, almost 5,000 MW of power will be surplus or in the reserve line. In 2021, the demand for power in summer will be 16,750 MW and the generation capacity will be about 24,000 MW, leading to almost 8,000 MW of power surplus in the country. But after 2021, the power surplus is slated to fall as the demand will grow fast.
The officials said that there is no certainty about the projects awarded to the S Alam Group and Orion Group to set up 2,500 MW of coal-based power, as they have done nothing for the last four years. So, if they fail to generate power by 2021, the surplus will not be more than 30 per cent. “The government should follow the PSMP, otherwise the country will suffer as has happened in many other countries,” Dr M Tamim, a leading energy expert, told the Independent. “The government is not following the PSPM, which isn’t acceptable. A huge quantity of power will remain unsold after a few years, so it’s time to fix the issue,” he added. “I don’t know why the government is not clear about fixing the power demand. If power isn’t sold, the burden will fall on the people,” Dr Ezaz Mahmud, an energy expert, told the Independent.