Electricity generation capacity in the country has increased from 4,942 MW in 2009 to 21,629 MW (with captive power and renewable energy) in 2019.
Out of the total power generation capacity, the private sector's contribution is more than 50 percent, according to a power division official. The official said, the government’s Annual Development Program (ADP) allocation for the power sector will be reduced in future due to the gradual increase in the presence of the private sector in power sector as well as the attainment of 100 per cent electricity coverage.
“The benefits of reform in energy sector are obvious, but the privatization of distribution network will be considered after ensuring 100 per cent electricity coverage, especially in the remote areas as private investment for distribution network development in remote areas may not be feasible at this stage,” Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, senior secretary of power division had said recently at a meeting with the development partners.
Kaikaus also said, the reform of the transmission network is under consideration now. Experts said that the remarkable success in the power sector has been possible due to the real-time sustainable planning and initiatives undertaken by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The other reasons for this ground breaking success is inclusion of private sector investment in power generation.
Private power generation companies not only gave the country access to power, but also created about 10,000 direct and more than 3,00,000 indirect jobs.
Official sources said, at present 36 power plants are under construction with a capacity of 6,526MW. Another 15 power plants with 3,917 MW of generation capacity are under tender process.
Additionally, an additional amount of USD 50 billion is in the pipeline, of which, the private sector will invest about 50 per cent by 2040. LNG imports have started with the participation of private sector investment. The government is moving ahead with a plan to open a $35 billion investment opportunity for private investors in the country's power transmission sector. As per government plan, the power transmission lines will be expanded to 36,870 km across the country by 2041.
Power Division sources said, the government envisions a total investment of $216 billion in the power sector spread across three segments-generation, transmission and distribution—over 25 years till 2041. Of this, it requires $150 billion in generation, $35 billion in transmission, and $31 billion in distribution.
With new policy guidelines coming into place, the transmission segment will be opened for private investors.
The state-owned Power Generation Company Bangladesh- PGCB is responsible for the construction, management and maintenance of power transmission lined. However, the government wants to include this responsibility with private sector now unilaterally in the hands of the PGCB. Experts suggest that national security should not be obstructed in releasing sensitive issues such as power transmission. In that case, the capacity and professionalism of the PGCB should be increased.
According to the source, the PGCB has already taken up the project to construct 19 power transmission lines to ensure grid capacity for transmission of 40,000 MW of electricity. Of these, 4 projects are planned under PPP. The four proposed projects are-Sreepur-Bhaluka 230KV double circuit line; Bhola-Chowmuhani 230KV double circuit line; Sitakunda-Hathazari 132KV double circuit line and Bagerhat-Bhandaria 132kv double circuit line.
Power Cell Director General (DG), Mohammad Hosain said, the government is committed to realizing its ‘Vision’ to turn it into a middle income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041. It needs support from development partners, multinational financial institutions, foreign investors and international power sector players. Bangladesh is a proven case of secured investment in power sector offering a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Several countries including Russia, United States, Germany and Japan are interested to invest in the country’s power and energy sector for being secure and investor-friendly. The ministry concerned is considering the matter, an official said. On February, 10, the US Ambassador in Dhaka, Earl Robert Miller, expressed interest in more gas exploration during a meeting with Minister Nasrul Hamid in the capital.
The Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh, Alexander Ignatov on February, 27 said the Russian private sector is interested to invest in joint venture (JV) projects in Bangladesh. The government signed an MOU with US Company GE to build a 3600 MW LNG-based power plant. The country’s first LNG terminal was also built by the company.
Russian Gazprom has also explored more gas fields in Bangladesh. Now they are interested to work offshore. Aramco, a state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, has proposed investment to build a large oil refinery with the capacity of 20 million tons, in Bangladesh, said an official source. “Newly appointed German Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Farenhold has said, Bangladesh is an extraordinarily potential country. German companies are doing business fairly in this country. They want to invest more in different sectors, including power and energy.”
Thailand Investment and Economic Reforms Minister, Kobsak Putrakul, shoWed interest at two different meetings with Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) on May 2, 2018.