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Sunday, May 22, 2016, Jaistha 8, 1423 BS, Shaban 14, 1437 Hijri

Plan to set up 10 more oil-fired power plants
Jannatul Ferdousy  
Published :Sunday, 22 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 42
The government plans to set up 10 more oil-fired power plants with 1,000 MW capacity under Inde-pendent Power Producer (IPP) while its avowed policy is to commission big cheaper power plants. For the rentals bids have been sought from the private companies by June 29.
On Thursday, Power Development Board (PDB) issued a notice to materialize the project.
According to PDB, nowadays some 47 fuel oil-fired power plants have a combined capacity of generating approximately 3,550MW of electricity, which is more than 30 per cent of the total generation capacity, and from gas 4,500 MW which is 65 per cent and coal-fired plants produce 200 MW. In addition to this, PDB also imports 400MW from India. Coal-fired and imported power together constitutes 5 per cent.
In 2009 the government introduced the oil-based costly rental power plants under "Quick Power Supply Act" with a view to curbing load-shedding swiftly. That time the government assured the people that the rentals will be eventually shut down and be replaced by coal and gas-fired base load power plants.
But the government failed to keep the promise; moreover government extended the life of the rentals for three to ten years.
Now these are going to be permanent plants of power generating sector.
Apart from extending tenure, the government is going to set up 10 more rental power plants in the country, which will increase the subsidy.
Prof Shamsul Alam, an electrical engineer, told the Daily Observer on Saturday that imported oil- fired power will be costly. Sudden global oil price fall is not permanent.
At any time, oil price will be increased then electricity cost will also be increased which will pass upon the consumers. So the government is taking risk by setting up the oil- based power plants.
Saiful Hasan Chowdhury, Public Relation Officer of the PDB, referring to the rentals told The Daily Observer, "Actually at that time, we had no alternative except oil for electricity generation, local energy sourcing was yet to be finalized; besides that if we fail to arrange coal or gas not only private sector but also public sector will be dependent on oil".
According to a PDB plan, which was also approved at a meeting on Thursday, PDB will buy electricity from each of the 10 plants for 15 years.
The new power plants will be set up in Chandpur, Chowmuhoni of Noakhali, Feni, Meghnaghat of Narayanganj, Bagerhat, Takurgaon, Rangpur, Bogra, Santahar and Jamalpur.
According to the Power Division, the electricity generation capacity from public sector has increased around 62 per cent since 2009 to June, 2014 while it increased 169 per cent in the same period in private sector taking advantage on government facilities.
The government is buying power from rentals, quick rentals and IPPs (Independent Power producer) at a high rate and selling it at cheap rate since 2010, as a result it has to count thousands of crore of taka subsidy every year.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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