2,500mw power shortage in the irrigation season
The country is going to face a shortfall of at least 2,500 megawatts of electricity in peak hours in the coming Boro season, informed sources said on the basis of possible demand and generation scenario.
The demand for electricity will exceed 6,500 mw by February due to irrigation, SSC examinations, World Cup Cricket and rise in temperature while the power division expects generation of maximum 4,100 mw of electricity.
Officials of the distribution agencies told New Age that the demand for power would increase significantly with the increase of temperature.
They said that the demand in the capital would increase up to 2,400mw by February-March when fans and air conditioners were likely to run with rise in temperature.
Faridul Haq, director of engineering division of Dhaka Power Distribution Company, told New Age that last year the demand for power had increased up to 1,500mw in the DPDC service area.
The government has decided to ensure uninterrupted power supply for irrigation from 11:00pm to 6:00am everyday in February-April.
The demand for electricity for irrigation was estimated at 1,400mw while 2,600mw would remain to meet up the demand of the rest of the consumers.
Farid said that the distribution agencies would face many difficulties in managing demand for electricity as there remained a huge gap between generation and demand.
Officials of the distribution agencies told New Age that they had no options but to go for load shedding to manage the power shortage.
‘Industrial, residential and commercial consumers will have to suffer a lot till next winter as new power plants with capacity above a thousand megawatts are likely to start production by the end of this year,’ they said.
Mostafa Kamal, board member for generation of the Power Development Board hoped that they would be able to generate up to 4,600mw electricity from February if Petrobangla supplies sufficient gas to the power plants.
At the moment, the power board cannot generate at least 600mw electricity due to gas crisis.
A Petrobangla official told New Age that the corporation would not be able to supply more gas to the power stations in next two or three months.
According to the power board’s plan, a few hundred megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid by April from fuel oil-run expensive quick rental power plants.
Officials concerned, however, feared that many rental power plants would fail to come into generation in time as the pace of implementation of the projects were not satisfactory.
Abdus Sobhan, managing director of the DPDC, however, told New Age that the situation would depend on how much power the country would generate.
‘The power supply situation would improve if the PDB runs its ‘peaking’ power plants all night instead of shutting them down at 11:00pm though it will cost much’, he added.