The worst power crisis in nine years, coupled with heat waves sweeping across the country, has made life unbearable for the people. The power crisis will continue till the arrival of the first drops of monsoon rain, sources in the power sector said. The demand for electricity has skyrocketed very quickly, breaking the prediction made by the Power System Master Plan (PSMP). Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power and energy, posted on his facebook that the demand of power is 12,000MW this year, which is well past the 10,300MW predicted by the PSMP. “The power situation is not going to improve significantly this year,” an official of the Power Division, pleading anonymity, said on May 24. For the last few days, power outage at peak hours has amounted to 2,000–3,200MW every day. The website of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) shows that the country has been experiencing the worst spell of load-shedding in the last nine years. This is in stark contrast to the previous year, when the government celebrated the generation of 15,000MW of power in the country.
According to BPDB website, the highest generation of power was 4,356MW, and load shedding was 743 MW on May 24, 2010. The peak generation on May 24, 2011 was 4,837MW and the load shedding was 707MW. The highest generation was 5,782MW, in May, 2012; 5,366MW on May 24, 2013; the highest general was 5,705MW and load shedding was 140MW on 24 May, 2014; the highest generation was 7,394MW on May 24, 2015; and the highest generation was 7,878MW and load shedding was 252MW on May 24, 2016. The BPDB website showed that the load shedding figure was 979 MW on May 24 this year. But the experts believe that this is not the actual figure of load shedding. According to them it should be between 2,000MW to 3,000MW.
“The calculation is very simple. The captive power is more than 2,000MW from outside, which is not connected to the national grid. But within the grid, it is not possible to generate 950MW of electricity out of the total amount owing to gas shortage. Besides, some private companies, such as Summit, require 1,200MW of electricity to maintain their plants,” said Abul Baser Khan, member of the power generation department of the BPDB. “Not only are we able to generate 1,400MW of power in the Asuganj zone, but also can we inject 1,200MW of power in the grid as the Ashuganj–Shirajganj grid line is under maintenance. Some accidents have happened this year and they are beyond our hand. We hope that the BPDB will able to generate 10,000MW of power from the next week and accordingly the situation will improve,” he added.