A two-day “Bangladesh Energy and Power Summit 2018” concluded in Dhaka on June 27, with a call to explore opportunities and prospects for the foreign investors and engage them in the power generation, transmission and distribution sector of Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh is ready with all the possibilities and opportunities to bring your investment,” Abul Kalam Azad, principle coordinator for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Affairs of the Prime Minister's Office, told the closing session of the event.
He said the government has a plan to develop 100 economic zones across the country and already allocated 50,000 acres of land. To attract the investors, he said, the country offers some incentive packages like tax and vat incentives so that they can establish themselves as investors here in Bangladesh.
Azad said the country’s power sector has been developing rapidly in last 10 years. He informed the conference that around 50 percent of the total population had access to electricity in 2008 which now stands at around 90 percent and expressed the hope that 100 percent people would come under the coverage by the end of this year.
He pointed out that energy demands are increasing as the time progresses. On the other hand, the country can produce only around 2,700 MMCFD of gas against the demand of 3,700 MMCFD. “We are importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to meet the shortage,” he said, expressing the hope to add 1,000 MMCFD of LNG to the national grid soon.
Besides, Azad emphasized on developing smart grid system and said if we do not have the smart system or smart grid, the country will be covered by the transmission and distribution lines. So, technological support is also needed.
In his thanks giving speech at the closing session, Mollah Amzad Hossain, Editor of Energy & Power magazine, considered that the conference was very fruitful for all the participants from different countries as they exchanged views, shared experiences and offered their services and products. He expressed the hope to organize such kind of event in the upcoming years.
WISPOOL Group, an event management company of China, and Energy & Power, an energy sector fortnightly published in Dhaka, jointly organized the event.
Energy sector experts, academics, economists and stakeholders both from home and abroad as well as multilateral development partners, multinational and local energy sector stakeholders took part in the discussion and share their experiences at the two-day deliberations and networking event. They also showcased their products, services and solutions at the sideline of the event.
Earlier, adviser to Prime Minister on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, BB, inaugurated the summit as chief guest while Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Power, Energy & Mineral Resources Md. Tazul Islam, MP, present as special guest. Mamun Rashid, Managing Partner of PwC Bangladesh, moderated the program.
Elahi said pursuing proper technology and mobilizing funds will be major challenges for the country’s energy sector in the days to come as the government has set a target to generate 60,000 MW of electricity by 2041. “This target was set as part of the plan to become a developed nation by 2041,” he said while addressing at the session.
However advisor said the government has successfully created an enabling environment for investors from both the public and private sectors. “We hope both the sectors will take the challenges together to make more investment in the power and energy sector.”
He urged all to give emphasis on energy conservation alongside efforts for power generation.
The PM’s advisor said the government has planned to exploit all sources of primary energy for power generation while renewable energy can play a major role.
Observing that rooftop solar power has huge potential in the country, he said industries can utilize their rooftops for power generation. “They can consume their own electricity for lightening purpose on working days and sell the unused one on holidays to the government,” he said.
The government is creating a power generation hub for coal-based power plants and also building nuclear power plants as part of its diversified energy-mix policy, Tawfiq-e-Elahi said.
He said LNG is being imported to meet the growing demand for energy in the country.
The PM’s Advisor noted that a feasibility study is being conducted to see whether the abandoned gas fields could be utilized to preserve imported gas.
A couple of presentations and panel discussions also took place after the opining session where personalities from private sectors and public sectors discussed about the problems and potentials of the energy sector as well as sharing knowledge of experts and experiences from across the world.
However, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) executive member Emdadul Haque informed that the government has undertaken a project to create 100 economic zones across the country.
Once these economic zones come into operation, they will create a huge power demand as industries in those areas will need to consume bulk electricity.
He informed the session that the One Stop Service (OSS) act, 2017 has been already been promulgated by the parliament. Already it is providing 9 types of services to the investors who are dealing to develop their business in economic zones.
Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain gave a brief overview about the current status of the country’s power and energy sector.
However Mohammad Hossain said the evaluation of the country’s power sector in last 10 years has been a referential success story. The ministry was able to triple their generation capacity. He added, not only in the generation sector but also in the transmission and distribution sector, “we tripled the capacity respectively”.
On the other hand, as “our indigenous gas is rapidly depleting, we are facing some energy crisis which is acting like a barrier to economic development of the country. To solve this problem we are looking for alternative energy sources”.
However, the government introduced nuclear and coal in the energy mix. The government is developing three coal hubs in the country. “Nevertheless, we are importing LNG even we are going beyond the boarder to import electricity from India.”
“Additionally, we are trying to develop interconnectivity between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. So, we are working hard to secure our energy security,” he added.
Senior project management specialist, Bangladesh resident mission, from Asian Development Bank (ADB) briefly figured out its operations in energy sector in Bangladesh. He informed that ADB already awarded US $ 288 million worth project and disbursed US$ 168 million which is respectively 83 percent and 44 percent of its annual target in 2018.
Senior Advisor, India, Middle East and South East Asia, to the World Nuclear Association Shah Nawaz Ahmad talked about the nuclear power, its evaluation, safely and the worlds views about the prospects of nuclear power over other conventional energy.
Besides, a panel discussions on LPG market in Bangladesh moderated by Senior Business Consultant & Project Manager, LightCastle Partners Imran Chowdhury took place at the event site. The panelist briefly discussed about LPG market overview and latest updates, future of LPG, prospects of government and private sectors collaborative initiatives on development on LNG market and the challenges they are facing.
Another discussion on “Energy and Power Project Financing and Investment and Regional Experience” highlighted the current status of power and energy project financing in Bangladesh, latest power project financing, Regional experience and trends in power and energy project financing and risk management.
The panelists also had talks about the renewable energy and conventional power project financing and challenges and key implications for Bangladesh. Vice President of Investment Banking Asia, SMBC Prem Raj Suman; Managing Director of Global Greengen Zillur Rahman and Vice President & Unit Head of Infrastructure Finance Unit, IDCOL Tanvir A Siddiqui participated in the panel discussion.
Mamun Rashid, Managing Partner of PwC Bangladesh, made a presentation on energy security of Bangladesh. He said the GoB put a major focus on LNG imports & associated infrastructure to meet rising energy needs of power sector as well as industrial and commercial sector.
He said that Excelerate Energy’s FSRU arrived at Moheshkhali on April 2018 bringing along the country’s first LNG cargo from Qatar but LNG supply to gas grid is yet to start with ongoing completion work of pipelines which is expected to commence on July 4, 2018.
However, the entire volume of Re-gasified LNG will not be supplied immediately due to infrastructure constraints.
On the second day, Member of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) Siddique Zobair highlighted SREDA’s activity on development of renewable sector in Bangladesh.
According to SREDA, more than 532 MW large scale solar PV projects are under implementation by various Independent Power Producers (IPPs) across the country with the largest project having a capacity of 200 MW.
Besides, a panel discussion on “Unleashing the Potential of Solar Energy in Bangladesh” was held followed by the session. Adnan Sirajee, Country Manager, Global Greengen moderated the discussion where Vice President Project Development of Scatec Solar Ann-Mari Lillejord; CEO of Symboir Solar Florian Bennhold; Vice President of Bangladesh Solar Energy Dr. Md. Khalequzzaman; Managing Director of Intraco Group Mohammed Riyadh Ali were participated.
Power Plant Development and O&M was also held when experts shared experience on the Ultra-Supercritical Circulating Fluidized Bed Boiler Technology, a high value Carbon and Fuel Flexible option for Utility power in Bangladesh; Best Practices and Operational Excellence in Power Plant Development and O&M; and Transformer is Going Green with Increased Load Ability & Fire Safety.
Following the panel discussion on the day, a session on “Future Trends in Power and Energy Sector: Role of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things” was held before closing the summit.