State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the government will not give any new power and gas connection to industrial units established outside industrial zones.
He disclosed the plan at a roundtable discussion on energy security organised by the Daily Sun at East West Media Group Limited auditorium in Bashundhara Residential Area on Tuesday.
The state minister said providing new gas connections to industries remains suspended but 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 discussion titled “Energy Security & Vision 2041” while the daily’s Executive Editor Shiabur Rahman moderated it.
The state minister said the government is going to introduce energy audit system with a view to ensuring efficient use of energy and power.
Mohammad Hossain, director general of Power Cell of Power Division, presented the keynote paper.
He said power production was 5,000 megawatt in 2009, when the Awami League-led government assumed office, but it jumped to 15,000 megawatt due to timely steps of the government.
About short-term, mid-term and long-term steps of the government, he said quick rental power plants have contributed to magical growth in power generation.
“Electricity coverage has increased from 47 percent to 80 percent. Number of power plants has grown from 27 to 81. Systems loss has come down from 17 percent to 13 percent,” he added.
He spoke of the need for diversification of energy basket by increasing production of solar power, hydropower and wind power.
He said the government has a target to raise power generation to 24,000mw by 2021 and 60,500mw by 2041 to materialise the vision of the government.
Attaching importance to energy saving, he said 1mw energy saving means 1mw energy production.
He said the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) has opened a new avenue for the countries of this region to share energy with each other.
According to him, energy supply at affordable cost in reliable and environmental friendly manner and equitable distribution are important to ensure energy security.
FBCCI President Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said economic development of the country should be given priority while taking any plan for power generation.
BUET professor of Department of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Engineering M Tamim suggested that the organisations involved in power and gas generation and distribution present real picture of the sector for better future planning.
“Unless they provide the real statistics it will be very difficult to formulate flawless planning,” he said.
Enamul Hoque Chowdhury said the incumbent government made tremendous success in power generation and distribution.
“Power cut was a regular phenomenon before this government resumed office. But now there is almost no load-shedding,” he said.
Shiabur Rahman said the country has a target to be a developed nation by 2041, the time when 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 be created by gas shortage.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Vice President Kamrul Islam called for 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, BGMEA Vice President (Finance) Mohammd Nasir, Bangladesh Auto Re-Rolling & Steel Mills Association Secretary General Md Shahidullah, Bangladesh Power Development Board Member Md Fakhruzzman and Director Kazi Afsaruddin, Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association Secretary Abdul Halim and Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited Managing Director Ujjwal Kanti Bhattacharya also spoke at the roundtable.
Business leader at the event said many entrepreneurs have to count loss by investing in a place where gas connection is not available for long.