State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that about Tk 90 billion electricity bills have been pending with consumers since the coronavirus outbreak in March last year.
Of these, about Tk 20 billion is with household consumers while the remaining is with the industrial consumers, he said at a meeting with executive body of the Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) at Power Division conference room on Tuesday, reports UNB.
He said that as per a list forwarded by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), over 250 apparel factories were forced to shut down as their buyers cancelled orders following the Covid-19 outbreak.
But the Power Division is not taking a hard stance against these pending bills considering the national interest, he said adding that steps will be taken to realise outstanding bills when normalcy returns.
“Still no sign is visible that a big demand will be coming from the industrial sector to raise power consumption,” he said.
The junior minister said he is expecting the overall electricity demand will go up to 14,000MW while the country’s electricity generation capacity is over 20,000MW.
Currently, the electricity generation is 8,2000MW, he noted adding that a big load should come from the industrial consumers to fully utilise the country’s power generation capacity.
Nasrul Hamid said the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will go up this year as the power sector will require 1,400 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) to meet the power sector’s demand.
He said the share of coal use in electricity generation will be lowered in the coming review of power system master plan (PSMP) as Bangladesh targets to reduce carbon emission to a substantial level by 2050 as part of its commitment to the Climate Vulnerable Nations’ Forum as its chair.
FERB Chairman Arun Karmaker, Executive Director Shamimn Jahangir and other leaders of the executive body of the organisation were present in the meeting.