Govt Buying Power From India
Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The government on Wednesday approved a proposal to import power from India.

The tariff will be agreed upon once a Memorandum of Understanding is reached between the two countries.

The cabinet at a meeting chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina approved the Memorandum of Understanding between Bangladesh and Indian governments on cooperation in power sector, her press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters at a briefing.

"The government has decided to import power from India. After the approval of the MoU (by India) we will be able to procure power at an agreed price," Azad said.

The cabinet also approved the amendment to the policy of increasing private participation- 2008. It also gave final approval to make Small Enterprise Development Project a subsidiary company of Agrani Bank Limited with a new name Agrani SSE Financing Company Ltd.

The daily production is 4,000 MW against a demand for about 5,500 MW. Production of electricity in the public sector in 2009 stood at about 4,300 MW per day against the daily demand for about 7,000 MW, according to ministry figures.

Last week, finance minister AMA Muhith said that tenders for power projects to generate another 4000-4500 MW would all be floated in 2010. Muhith saw up to 5000 MW being added to the national grid by the incumbent government to fulfill its election pledge of easing chronic power shortages.

The power sector is reeling from severe crisis as no considerable power has been added anew to national grid in recent times

Bangladesh turned its clocks an hour ahead to 12 midnight at 11pm on June 19 as the energy-starved nation introduced Daylight Saving Time for 'an extra hour of daylight' to save power

The decades-old power plants are mostly fuelled by gas, but the reserves are depleting, officials said. The country faces a shortage of up to 250 million cubic feet of gas a day.

The government has temporarily closed down several fertiliser manufacturing plants to divert the natural gas they use to generate more electricity.

Frequent power failures cut the country's gross domestic product by around $1 billion annually, the World Bank has said, and the country would need $1.5 billion annual investment for power generation and transmission, and natural gas exploration.

Uninterrupted use of power depends on weather as power outage increases if temperature is low or it rains. However, power outage starts if temperature is high.


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