This time too there will be a low-voltage crisis in the north
Own Correspondent: Bangladesh Power Development Board concerned about low-voltage in the north. Engineer Belayet Hossain, chairman of the board, claimed that the 115-megawatt power plant of Energypack under construction in Syedpur could actually generate electricity in late April or early May. This problem will be especially evident in Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh. Attempts are being made to increase coal reserves by setting up a 150-megawatt unit in Barapukuria for those whose crisis is not more pronounced in the coming summer, Ramadan and irrigation seasons. On the other hand, 1300 million cubic feet (MMCFD) of gas per day was supposed to be supplied during this period, but 800 MMCFD is available. As a result, the power plants of Sirajganj cannot be kept in full production.
Belayet Hossain, an engineer at EP Talks titled ‘Quality Power Supply to Northern Cities: Challenge for Nesco’ organized by Energy and Power. Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton was present as the chief guest at the virtual event on Saturday. AKM Humayun Kabir, Chairman, Nesco and Additional Secretary, Power Department was the special guest. Zakirul Islam, Managing Director of Nesco, Mahfuzul Islam Raj, Vice President of Bogra Chamber of Commerce, Yakub Ilahi Chowdhury, Executive Director of PGCB and Liaquat Ali, President of Bangladesh Silk Industry Owners Association spoke on the occasion. Nesco Supervising Engineer Shirin Yasmin presented the keynote address by Energy and Power Secretary Mollah Amjad Hossain.
Khairuzzaman Liton said, “There is no doubt that the country’s power supply has improved a lot in the northern region including Rajshahi.” But here it is not 100% safe and uninterrupted. Nuclear power plant is going to be started in Rooppur. Earlier, he called on the PGCB to take the transmission and distribution system in the north to an international level. Nesco praised Nair’s pilot project to set up an underground distribution line and suggested phasing out the entire distribution network in the city. He called upon the concerned to ensure that quality power is supplied to all the planned industrial areas in Rajshahi region.
Humayun Kabir said that even though Nesco practically supplies electricity to the northern urban areas, 26,000 irrigation customers depend on us to run its pumps. As a result, Nesco instructed to make special preparations for irrigation and Ramadan next summer. He said that in order to alleviate the hassle of paying the bills of the customers, an initiative has been taken to bring everyone under the prepaid meter. 5 lakh meters will be installed in the first phase and all will be brought under it in phases. Again, it will be facilitated by increasing the prepaid billing points.
Belayet Hossain said it would take another two to three years to get out of the low-voltage crisis in the north. In the meantime, besides the transmission network, the Ruppur nuclear power plant will be commissioned, power will start coming from Adani’s Jharkhand power plant, and power will come from Nepal under an agreement with GMI. Until then, there will be no good news for the north.
Zakirul Islam claims that if it is possible to complete the installation of smart meters in the next few years and complete the work of digitization, it will be possible to reduce the system to 3 percent. This will save the company at least Tk 64 crore annually. On the other hand, 40 percent of Cesarco’s customers are currently paying their bills online. If it can be made completely paperless, it will save another 54 crore rupees annually. However, there is no alternative but to wait till the completion of PGCB’s work to provide quality power.
Yakub Elahi Chowdhury claimed that two 400 kV grids will come to Bogra from Rahanpur and Rooppur in the next five years. 230 and 132 KV grid will go to different districts from Bogra. 24 grid substations will be set up in the entire northern region. Many of its projects are in progress. In 2 years the north will start to bear fruit and in 3 years the power supply will be secure.