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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Govt targets 5,000MW power

The Daily Star

The government has designed a plan for 5,000MW power generation during its tenure through public and private involvement, said an adviser to the prime minister yesterday.The public sector will generate 2,000MW, while the private sector will produce the rest, said Dr Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, adviser to the prime minister on power, energy and mineral resources.

Chowdhury yesterday inaugurated the 33MW power plant of Summit Uttaranchol Power Company Limited at Maona in Gazipur.The plant, which went into operation in May, sells power to the Rural Electrification Board (REB) at Tk 2.32 per unit. Mymensingh-2 Pally Bidyut Samiti and Gazipur Pally Bidyut Samiti supplies power to around 1.12 lakh clients, including 3,149 industrial units.

Addressing the inaugural at the plant premises, Chowdhury said the government would start implementing the plan to create a fund of Tk 10,000 crore with finances from the capital market, private sector and international financers for power generation this fiscal year, instead of depending solely on budget. The government itself will provide Tk 2,000 crore.

Over the last seven years, efforts to generate power were virtually on hold and gas supply came down, the adviser said. “We cannot generate power immediately even if we want. But the prime minister is very sincere about it.”

As there are problems in gas supply, furnace oil could be a source of energy for now, said Chowdhury, also former energy secretary.The government will provide three crore energy-saving bulbs to people for free by February, which he said would save 300MW to 400MW power and millions of taka.

Besides, the government will promote solar power, biogas and even wind power to generate more power, Chowdhury told the gathering.Lauding Summit Power's role in generating power when load shedding and power cuts seriously hamper industrial output and normal life, local lawmaker advocate Rahmat Ali said the plant can immensely help people.

Summit Group and Summit Power Limited Chairman Muhammad Aziz Khan said they had installed "world-class" engines for the power plant that saves a lot of gas.

“Generally, 25 to 27 units of power are generated from 100 units of gas, but this plant generates 44 units of power from 100 units of gas,” Khan said. "The system loss in transmission is also less."

Summit Power plans to install more power plants.Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited (IIDFC) Managing Director Asaduzzaman Khan said it was the government's policy support that helped the power company set up plants in the private sector.

IIDFC is the lead arranger of finance for the Maona plant. Its installation required Tk 145 crore."Money is not a big problem. If the government makes its rules a bit flexible, power generation will be easier," he said.

REB Chairman Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam, Gazipur Deputy Commissioner Kamaluddin Talukder and Summit Power Limited Managing Director Touhidul Islam also spoke.

Summit Power presently operates 10 power plants with generation capacity of 215MW.



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