Bangladesh Rolls Out Power Rationing Including 2 Hours Of Daily Load-shedding, Weekly Closure Of Filling Stations, Shutdown Of Diesel Power Plants
Bangladesh has announced that it is implementing several measures to restrict energy consumption and shut down power plants Tuesday as a major power crisis threatens to engulf the country.
Two hours of load shedding will be carried out initially for about a week, and if the power situation does not show improvement, the government will be forced to increase the duration of the blackout, said State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid.
The minister also said that the government has decided to stop buying gas from the international market as prices have increased so much it makes it unaffordable for the country already hit by severe economic woes.
"We must realise that all the countries across the globe are facing a fuel crisis somehow," he said, referring to the Russia-Ukraine war that has pushed the global economy to the brink of a recession amid the recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The government said that the filling stations in the country will also be shut down once a week. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation will discuss with the owners of the refuelling stations to finalise the decision on keeping them closed for a day every week.
The power ministry said that international fuel prices had surged since the beginning of the Russia -Ukraine war, prompting Bangladesh to shut down diesel-powered plants. It has also led many gas-fired power factories to stay idle as it lacks fuel.
In a media briefing on Tuesday (July 19), the power ministry admitted that the energy shortfall is estimated to be 1000-1500 MW and added that period load shedding throughout the country is the only way to address it.
Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, Prime Minister's Principal Secretary, said that the government has also decided to make government and private offices virtual to save electricity. The government is also considering reducing timings in the government offices to save electricity, reports the official news agency BSS.
Officials said that the government has also ordered a shutdown of shops after 8 pm.
"Electricity connections to shops and malls will be cut if they violate the order", a government official said.
The mosques across the country have been asked only to run air-conditioners during the five daily prayers.
In Bangladesh, gas accounts for 50.84 per cent of power generation, furnace oil 27.69 per cent, coal 7.89 per cent, and diesel 6 per cent. Other sources make up the remaining 7.58 per cent.
Imports account for almost all of Bangladesh's fuel oil stock. 90 per cent of the country's transport sector and 34 per cent of power generation are dependent on fuel imports.
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