General

Power supply reliability more important than access to industrial consumers: Experts

Experts at a webinar in the city on Saturday said the power utilities in Bangladesh are yet to earn the confidence of industrial consumers that the electricity supply is reliable.

“We’re not successful in gaining the confidence of industrial consumers. That’s why they still depend on their own captive generation for their industries,” said Belayet Hossain, chairman of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).

The webinar, titled: “100 % Electricity Coverage: Bangladesh is Almost There,” was addressed, among others, by Shafiq Uddin, managing director of West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd (WEZPDCL), Zakirul Islam, managing director of Northern Power Supply Company Ltd (Nesco), Zahirul Islam, member operation and distribution of Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BERB), Buet Prof Ijaz Hossain, and Bangladeshi expatriate Firoz Alam.

Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain made a presentation at the webinar conducted by Energy and Power editor Mollah Amzad Hossain.

The BPDB chairman said they will shut down their captive generations if the utilities can earn the confidence that industrial consumers are getting reliable electricity with a rational tariff. “Or else, it’ll be difficult to stop captive power generation.”

Mohammad Hossain, while making his presentation, said the government is now paying attention to strengthening power transmission and distribution systems.

“We’re now working on establishing smart grid system to ensure uninterrupted power supply,” he said, adding that 100 economic zones are being established while there are 65 industrial hubs which need reliable electricity.

Zahirul Islam said BERB has already established electricity network in 661 upazilas across the country to make hundred percent electricity accessible for consumers.

Submarine cables and solar home systems are being installed in 1,059 remote villages which are yet to get electricity, he added.

Zahirul Islam said BREB has taken a move to install covered conductors and more substations with underground cables to ensure uninterrupted power supply to its consumers.

Shafiq Uddin said a move is underway to provide electricity to people living in remote island Monpura through a solar mini-grid where power generation cost will be nearly Tk 33, which is much higher than the normal tariff.

“There should be a policy and mechanism to provide electricity at a normal tariff to the residents of this island,” Shafiq said.

Prof Ijaz Hossain said the government should make more efforts on renewable energy, especially the solar home system, to make electricity accessible to people living in remote islands.

Source: United News of Bangladesh