State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid on Saturday said Bangladesh has planned to import some 6000-7000 MW of power from Nepal, Bhutan and India.
"We’ve now recast our plan to double the future import of electricity from our neighbouring countries. Earlier, our plan was to import 3,000 MW," he told the concluding session of the two-day "Sector Leaders' Workshop" at Biduyt Bhaban in the city.
Power Division under the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources organised the workshop to evolve strategies for development of the country's power and energy sector which was attended by top officials from both private and public entities in the sector.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) chairman AR Khan, Power Secretary Monowar Islam, Power Development Board (PDB) chairman Shahinul Islam and Petronbangla chairman Istiaque Ahmed also spoke at the function.
Nasrul Hamid said Bangladesh planned to import 6000-7000 MW from neighbours as part of the regional cooperation.
"If we want to produce power ourselves, we have to face a lot of hassles as it needs huge lands, import of coal, dredging of rivers to transport coal and so on. But if we want to import electricity, we can avoid such hassles," the junior minister said.
His comments came after the concluding presentation made by officials that showed the country's power generation will go up to 40,000 MW by 2030 of which 50 percent will come from coal-fired power plants.
Nasrul Hamid said the government set a vision to become a middle-income country by 2021. But this dream absolutely depends on the development of power and energy sector.
"Unless we develop the power and energy sector, it’s impossible to achieve the target. Our 2 percent of GDP comes from the power and energy sector," he told the function, adding: “To becomemiddle-income country, we need to increase our per capita power consumption to 600 kilowatt hours from existing 300 kwh.”
He contradicted a view of the workshop that private power generation should not exceed 50 percent in the total production. In the current perspective, this might be applicable, he said. “But the rich countries are pursuing the policies to produce maximum power from private sector."
Because, he said, the government is not in generation and distribution business, it could pay more attention to the policy
framing and regulating business. "We have to think in this way for the future," he added.
The State Minister urged the officials to think about utilisation of domestic coal for power generation as the country has huge reserve of coal worth $200 billion.
BERC chairman AR Khan said there should be a strong coordination among the power and energy sector for enhancing efficiency in work of the employees.