Govt to increase gas supply to power plants
Friday, 28 March 2008

Agency

The caretaker government has decided to increase the gas supply to power plants in a bid to cope with rising electricity demand, the chief adviser's special assistant M Tamim said Thursday.

The power, energy and mineral resources ministry took the decision at a meeting which focused on the country's electricity needs during the SSC examinations and the high-consumption summer months.

Tamim, who oversees the ministry, said ensuring gas to fertiliser factories had been the priority, although now "the focus has been put on power plants".

The special assistant said the meeting had also discussed ways to improve the power division's customer services. An official of the power division said the nation's power plants could produce as much as 500 megawatts more electricity than current output levels if gas supplies could be ensured.

Following the meeting, power secretary M Fauzul Kabir Khan told reporters that the power division had asked for an additional 100 million cubit feet of gas.

However, the Energy Division confirmed that it could only supply an additional 24 million cubic feet. Up to 400 megawatts of electricity can be produced from 100 million cubit feet of gas, Khan said.

A senior official at the Power Division told bdnews24.com that a further 20 megawatts of power would be available in early April as the rental power plant in Bogra comes on line.

Another 60 megawatts will be available when the Fenchuganj power plant becomes operational. Kaptai hydro-electric power plant will be returned to service to face the crisis, he added.

An official of the Power Development Board said estimated power production Thursday was 3,825 megawatts, against demand for 4,400 megawatts.

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