Volume 14, Issue 24

For taking Bangladesh to the level of developed country by 2041, one of the preconditions is to ensure smooth and adequate energy supply. This is a major challenge as the country’s gas reserve is depleting fast. The energy demand grew at annual average of 8% per annum from 2000 to 2012. Natural gas contributed 70% of this growth. However, a number of other energy projects are now under implementation, these include two imported coal based projects each of 1,320 MW capacity at Rampal in Bagerhat and Payra in Patuakhali. Besides, Bangladesh is going to set up an energy hub in Matarbari-Maheshkhali region.  Bangladesh would definitely need to have a deep seaport for developing into regional development hub. By the next decade the two existing ports including the under development Payra would seriously struggle in managing the growing economy demand. Sonadia deep seaport development initiative has been stalled. Sonadia is also very environmental and echo sensitive. North Maheshkahli and Matarbari is ideal alternative for its unique geographical location. Experts suggest developing Matarbari Maheshkhali under integrated planning with a deep seaport and considering deep water LNG terminals and coal transshipment terminals.

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