government will not give any new power and gas connection

Roundtable on Energy Security & Vision 2041No new power, gas connection to units outside industrial zonesDhaka, August 8: State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the government will not give any new power and gas connection to industrial unitsestablished outside industrial zones.He disclosed the plan at a roundtable discussion on energy security organised by theDaily Sun at East West Media Group Limited auditorium in Bashundhara ResidentialArea on Tuesday.The state minister said providing new gas connections to industries remains suspendedbut the government will resume it only to the units inside economic zones in April.The Daily Sun acting Editor Enamul Hoque Chowdhury presided over the discussiontitled “Energy Security & Vision 2041” while the daily’s Executive Editor ShiaburRahman moderated it.The state minister said the government is going to introduce energy audit system with aview to ensuring efficient use of energy and power. Mohammad Hossain, director general of Power Cell of Power Division, presented thekeynote paper. He said power production was 5,000 megawatt in 2009, when the Awami League-ledgovernment assumed office, but it jumped to 15,000 megawatt due to timely steps of thegovernment. About short-term, mid-term and long-term steps of the government, he said quick rentalpower plants have contributed to magical growth in power generation. “Electricity coverage has increased from 47 percent to 80 percent. Number of powerplants has grown from 27 to 81. Systems loss has come down from 17 percent to 13percent,” he added.
He spoke of the need for diversification of energy basket by increasing production ofsolar power, hydropower and wind power. He said the government has a target to raise power generation to 24,000mw by 2021 and60,500mw by 2041 to materialise the vision of the government. Attaching importance to energy saving, he said 1mw energy saving means 1mw energyproduction. He said the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and EconomicCooperation (BIMSTEC) has opened a new avenue for the countries of this region toshare energy with each other. According to him, energy supply at affordable cost in reliable and environmental friendlymanner and equitable distribution are important to ensure energy security.FBCCI President Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said economic development of thecountry should be given priority while taking any plan for power generation.BUET professor of Department of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Engineering MTamim suggested that the organisations involved in power and gas generation anddistribution present real picture of the sector for better future planning.“Unless they provide the real statistics it will be very difficult to formulate flawlessplanning,” he said.Enamul Hoque Chowdhury said the incumbent government made tremendous success inpower generation and distribution. “Power cut was a regular phenomenon before this government resumed office. But nowthere is almost no load-shedding,” he said.Shiabur Rahman said the country has a target to be a developed nation by 2041, the timewhen gas resource is supposed to come down to zero level. He said the government will have to make a policy to overcome the challenge to becreated by gas shortage. Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Vice President Kamrul Islam calledfor a map to specify the places which will get gas and power connection on priority basis.
Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board Chairman Major General Moin Uddin, BGMEAVice President (Finance) Mohammd Nasir, Bangladesh Auto Re-Rolling & Steel MillsAssociation Secretary General Md Shahidullah, Bangladesh Power Development BoardMember Md Fakhruzzman and Director Kazi Afsaruddin, Bangladesh Independent PowerProducers Association Secretary Abdul Halim and Bangladesh-India Friendship PowerCompany Limited Managing Director Ujjwal Kanti Bhattacharya also spoke at theroundtable. Business leader at the event said many entrepreneurs have to count loss by investing in aplace where gas connection is not available for long.

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