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Power outage returns with full fury, cripples consumers  

Published : Wednesday, 6 July, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 721

Load-shedding has reappeared after a gap of a few years adding to the sufferings of domestic consumers and causing loss to the industrial sector. Now the northern part of the country has been experiencing power outage for 6 to 7 hours a day. In capital Dhaka the load-shedding is continuing for 3 to 4 hours daily.
On Monday the country's demand was 14,000 MW while the production was 11,800 MW (some 2,200 MW short).
Power Division is set to cut 2,000 MW of electricity generation per day to reduce the use of fuel in electricity generation as part of its austerity measures amid a global economic crisis triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war.
The country has been experiencing acute gas supply shortage following a government decision not to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the international spot market due to excessive price hike. At present the per MMBtu of LNG is being sold on the global market at over US$35 while a few months back it was below $25.
"Gas crisis hits the power generation as gas-run plants can produce around 51 per cent of the capacity," a Petrobnagla  official said and added that the gas supply has decreased to 2,822 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) from a regular supply of 3500 mmcfd which creates a shortage of about 700 mmcfd per day."  
The government earlier ordered a series of steps to avoid an economic crisis. It halted projects that are not
immediately necessary, stopped official overseas tours of its employees and raised taxes to discourage the import of luxury products, suspended vehicle purchase and meeting honorariums. On June 17, the government had ordered authorities to ensure that shopping malls, stores and kitchen markets were closed by 8:00pm every night.
 "The Prime Minister Office has asked us (Power Division) to take immediate measures to manage the situation with less allocation through ensuring justice in distributing power to all," Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain told the Daily Observer on Tuesday.
Analyzing the given situation we see that we need to shed around 2,000 MW of electricity every day, said Power Cell DG. In line with the idea we are preparing a "Demand side Management" chart, area-based specific-time load shedding, holiday staggering programme, introducing power rationing (load-shedding and keep the AC's in all offices at 25 degree, strict monitoring programme to ensure that shopping malls, stores and kitchen markets are closed by 8:00pm every night- to save electricity amid rising energy prices worldwide, he said.
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) is able to produce 22,000 MW of electricity per day, excluding the captive generation (the current demand is around 14,000 to 15,000 MW), however, captive plants are producing around 3,500 MW of electricity per day.
Petrobangla, predicted the power plants would get 900 to 960 million cubic metres of gas (from the local gas) per day which is only 42 per cent of BPDB's demand. The supply of liquefied natural gas or LNG would also fall to 497 million cubic feet, less than half the daily demand, according to Petrobangla.
"We are set to face acute power crisis because of continued price hike of the electricity producing elements such as gas, diesel and LNG while the coal is not available mainly for the ongoing pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also the Minister for Power and Energy division observed on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid, said in a Facebook post from his verified account that power generation will return to full normalcy once gas supply is restored. He could not say when the situation will be normal. He, however, regretted the inconveniences of the people caused due to the present situation.

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