Speakers at a seminar called for more investment in the power sector with a view to achieving country’s self-reliance in electricity supply.
In last 10 years, the government has got a tremendous success in power generation taking the capacity to 20,885 megawatts.
Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) organised the seminar titled ‘Greater Success in Power Production: Highest Utilisations to Achieve Rapid Growth’ at The Westin Dhaka on Sunday.
PM’s Industries Adviser Salman F Rahman attended the function as chief guest.
Speaking as chief guest, Salman F Rahman said it requires huge private sector investment to go to the next level of economic development.
The significant development in the private sector— mostly because of massive power generation under Public Private Partnership— during the last five years has contributed to the rise in per capita income, he informed.
For more involvement of the private sector in the government’s development work, bank loan should be made available at lower interest rate.
“We want to achieve double-digit GDP growth within this tenure”, he added.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid also spoke as special guest.
He said, “Uninterrupted power and gas supply can be ensured if we advance with a proper plan.”
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is establishing 108 Special Economic Zones, power and gas supply to these SEZs will be uninterrupted, the minister added.
To save thousand crore amounts, the government is establishing a pipeline at deep sea and a floating dockyard where large ships can be unloaded within 12 hours which is now taking 48 days, Hamid also added.
“Coal-fired power plants will make a big difference, as it will produce electricity at cheap rate. Cross-broader gas import is also giving us advantage, now the country is importing 100MW from neighboring country. But if we go for production of such amount of electricity, it will require $1000 billion.”
Power from Nepal is also in a developing stage as India’s new guidelines on cross-border trading of electricity paved the way for getting power from there. Bhutan is also in the pipeline, the minister mentioned.
Some 35 percent power from gas and 30 percent from coal will be produced. In April PM will visit China, where new agreement will be signed for more power generation.
Power generation will be more satisfactory if the bank interest rate is reduced, this will involve more private organizations.
Power and energy ministry secretary Ahmed Kaykous presented the welcome speech.
He said the present government is always keen to produce more electricity. In last 10 years there was a revolution in power generation.
In last 10 years, 100 more power stations were built, each month 3 lakh new subscribers are getting new connection. Some 87 percent people expressed their satisfaction over availability of electricity.
Under Public Private Partnership, the private sector is generating more electricity than the government. To produce more power and electricity, coal based 22 projects and LNG based 9 projects are under development.
FBCCI president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin presided over the seminar.
He said, previously insufficient electricity was the main obstacle to the industrialisation. But now the country has achieved tremendous success in power generation. “Now we have to utilise power in a planned way so that we can get uninterrupted electricity to expand industries.
Highlighting the uninterrupted electricity supply, he showed that during 2008 in Narayanganj, power outrage was 1017 hours which reduced to 296 hours last year. It’s undoubtedly showing the development in power cut.
But despite all these the federation president proposed a few proposals for the betterment of the industrial growth.