Industry

Every house of Bangladesh is now illuminated: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today

said every house of the country now came under electrification as she

announced cent percent electricity coverage with inaugurating 1,320 MW Payra

Thermal Power Plant, the largest of its kind.

"This is the biggest thing that we have been able to light houses of every

people," she said at a function here.

With opening the coal-fired Payra thermal power plant with eco-friendly

Ultra-Supercritical Technology, Bangladesh has achieved another milestone

implementing the government's pledge to bring 100 percent people under

electricity coverage by "Mujib Borsho" which is going to end on March 31.

The prime minister called the March a month of achievement of Bangalees,

saying that her government has been able to open the power plant at this

month while the nation is observing the "Mujib Borsho" marking the birth

centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the

Golden Jubilee of the country's Independence.

She said through inaugurating the power plant today, the journey towards

light has started.

The premier said that the power plant is the gift for the nation ahead of the

holy Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.

Sheikh Hasina thanked the Chinese president and the prime minister for their

cooperation in setting up the Payra power plant.

The prime minister, in person, visited the district for the first time to

open the power plant built here since Bangladesh likewise the world has been

rattled with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Payra power plant was built on 1000 acres of land at a cost of 2.48

billion US dollar beside the Ramnabad River at Kalapara Upazila of the

southern Patuakhali district and Bangladesh has become 13th country among the

world in using the ultra supercritical technology in producing power.

The first 660 MW unit of the power plant went into commercial operation in

May, 2020, utilising the 400 kv Payra-Gopalganj Power Transmission while the

second one started operation in December 2021.

Apart from the 1320MW thermal power plant, construction work of another

power plant is underway while the government has also a plan to build another

1320MW power plant and a solar system power plant in Payra.

The Payra Thermal Power Plant was developed by Bangladesh China Power Company

Limited (BCPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between the China National Machinery

Import and Export Corporation (CMC) and Bangladesh's state-owned North-West

Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL).

Bangladesh-China Power Company (Pvt.) Limited and Consortium of NEPC & CECC

signed the EPC contract on 29 March, 2016 to implement the Payra 1320 MW

Thermal Power Plant Project in the fastest possible time.

Bangladesh is now ahead of India and Pakistan, among the South Asian

countries that have brought 98 per cent and 74 per cent of their population

under the electricity network, according to data from the World Bank.

The power generation capacity has rocketed to 25,514 MW in February 2022 from

4,942 MW in January, 2009. Of them, 1160 MW electricity is being imported and

19,626 MW is being locally produced.

In 2009, only 47 percent of the population had access to power. Per capita

power generation has increased from 220 kWh to 560 kWh and distribution

losses of electricity have been reduced by 5.85%.

Electricity has been provided to the local chars Sonarampur, Ashuganj,

Rangabali, Monpura, Sandwip, Hatia, Nijhum Island and Kutubdia through

submersible cables.

The prime minister released 1320 pigeons, the symbol of peace, after

unveiling the nameplate of the 1320MW power plant and went round the

centralcontrol room of the plant.

Earlier, a guard of honour was given to the premier on her arrival at the

helipad adjoining the Payra Thermal Power Plant.

Later, 200 fishermen boats decorated with various colours welcomed Sheikh

Hasina by waving flags and playing songs as soon as the prime minister

arrived at the coal jetty.

A festive mood has been prevailing in the areas from the tourism spot Kuakata

to the Payra power plant and their neighborhoods which get facelift with

various eye-catching things.

PM's Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi

Chowdhury, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul

Hamid, Secretary of the Power Division of the ministry Md. Habibur Rahman,

and Ambassador of China to Bangladesh, Li Jiming, spoke on the occasion.

Director General (DG) of BCPCL Engineer AM Khurshedul Alam gave the welcome

address.

An audio-video presentation on the progress of the power sector and the Payra

Thermal Power Plant was also screened on the occasion.

The ministry presented the prime minister a memento while a song titled "O

jonaki ki shukkhe oi dana duti melechho(On what ecstasy, oh fire fly, spread

up your' s those twin wings)" dedicated to Sheikh Hasina was played.

Sheikh Hasina said the people had been suffering from acute power crisis

before the Awami League government assumed power in 1996.

Due to her government's tireless efforts for four years in their first term

in office, she said the power generation had increased to 4300 MW from 1500

MW during the tenure of BNP-Jamaat alliance government.

The prime minister said after 2001, the country had again fallen in acute

power crisis as the power generation was reduced to 3200 MW from 4300 MW.

Following assumption power for the second time in 2009, she said her

government has been running the country for the last 13 years and has been

able to take the country on the highway of development.

The prime minister said, "We have transformed Bangladesh into a developing

nation from the least developed country confronting all the hurdles".

She said her government has been managed to reach power to every house of the

remote hilly and hard-to-reach areas by setting up solar panels and char

areas by submersible cables.

Describing the power is the driving force for the development, the premier

said the government has been working untiringly for the last 13 years for the

overall development of the power sector.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is no more dependent on others in setting up

power plants as local experts can use their experiences and expertise

gathered after installing power plants in joint collaboration.

She said she has wanted to take country forward with the united efforts of

all to make Bangladesh a developed and prosperous nation as envisioned by the

Father of the Nation.

Bangladesh has reached such a position in terms of development that none can

push the country backward, she opined.

The prime minister called upon the youths to work for generating employments

for others instead of running after jobs utilising the scopes created by the

government.

Sheikh Hasina said once upon a time, the Joy Bangla slogan was banned which

now becomes a national slogan.

Attempts have also been made to erase the name of Bangabandhu from the

history, she said, adding that none could be able to do so in the future.

Mentioning that Bangladesh has now achieved sufficiency in food production,

the prime minister called upon all to bring every inch of land under

cultivation.

She said her government had been setting up 100 economic zones to generate

employment.

She also said that the government has built numerous roads and bridges in the

southern region of the country, which was always neglected.

Sheikh Hasina said that the government is providing home and land to the

homeless and landless people through Ashrayan Project.

"Our target is to bring everyone under the housing scheme," she said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh