General

MoU to be signed on hydroelectricity import from Nepal

DHAKA, Jan 21, 2017 (BSS) - State Minister for Power, Energy

and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid today said the government would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nepal in a month for importing hydroelectricity.

The government had made a significant progress in import of electricity from Nepal and Bhutan using the land of India, as the MoU would enable to invest there in hydroelectricity and import the output, he told this at a Meet the Press in city.

Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) organised the Meet the Press with its

president Shakhawat Hossain Badsha in the chair, while general secretary M Mursalin Nomani moderated the function.

The state minister highlighted the government led by Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina's different development initiatives to ensure energy security aimed at making the country a middle income country by 2021.

He said the power generation capacity reached to 15,351 megawatt (MW), three times higher, and the number of beneficiary reached to 80 percent from 47 percent before 2009.

We have to install power plants having capacity of 9,000 MW more for

fulfilling the government's commitment of 24,000 MW electricity by 2021, as now the power generation capacity reached to 15,351 MW, Nasrul added.

He said the government targeted to install two crore of prepaid meters in the country and 10 lakh in the capital city, adding, We are going to introduce smart meter to make the power sector hassle free.

The government under the bold and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working relentlessly to provide uninterrupted electricity at a fair price, Nasrul said.

Replying to a query, he said the government is set to introduce two policies in a month to regulate price of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as well as to ensure safety in bottling, transportation and use.

The power and energy ministry would also introduce price policy for the LPG, adding, The government is trying to make LPG as a popular fuel for household users and the LPG would also be used in industries instead of natural gas supplied on pipelines.

He said that the government would begin supply of natural gas from

imported LNG from June 2018, when current level of gas supplies would

start declining.

Replying to another question, Nasrul Hamid reiterated the government's stance on the Rampal power project, some 70 kilometres off the Sunderbans, as the coal-fired power plant would not affect the biodiversity of the mangrove forest.

He said Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company would soon sign the

credit agreement with the Indian EXIM bank for implementation of the

project.

The friendship company is a 50-50 joint venture of Bangladesh Power

Development Board and India's National Thermal Power Corporation.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina denied concerns of some global

leaders including Former US vice president Al Gore over the power

project.

They were talking at the plenary session in an international conference on fight against climate change held in Davos of Switzerland by the World Economic Forum.

About the large-scale use of renewable energy, solar in particular, Nasrul Hamid said that it is a luxury of the developed countries where the per capital power consumption was 17,000 units or kilowatt-hours or more.

But the per capita power consumption is 350 units in Bangladesh, he

said, adding that high cost of renewable energy is still a big challenge for its large scale use in developing countries.

The state minister said most of the developed countries installed coal based power plants and now they have been shifting it to renewable energy.

He said the government is trying to speed up the process of providing

power connections in a shortest possible time, which has already been

accelerated significantly.

On claiming compensation from international oil companies, the state

minister said the state-run Petrobangla and its subsidiary Bapex had

submitted evidences against Niko at International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

He said Niko procured two contracts by bribing influential of the then BNP-leading government for oil and gas exploration and sales the outputs to Petrobangla.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)