Dhaka, March 27, 2021 (EP Report) - The Textile and Garments sectors are using 30% of the electricity used in the industrial sector. If energy efficient machinery are adopted in these sectors, then electricity usage can be reduced to 17.6%. For this to happen, concerned parties need to be incentivized.
Energy & Power organized a virtual seminar titled EP Talks with the support of SREDA & GIZ “Energy Efficiency Opportunities in RMG & Textile Industry” on Saturday, March 27, where such opinions were voiced. The seminar was moderated by Mollah Amzad, Editor, Energy & Power magazine.
Energy Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr. Tawfiq E. Elahi Chowdhury BB said that it’s necessary to listen to what industrialists need. Pragmatic solutions are needed by talking to them to understand what are the problems they face. How we can increase the number of energy auditors. Similarly we need to increase the number of those who will give certifications after auditing. There is need for greater integration among banks, other financial institutions and industry. There are instances when industrialists suffer delays in securing finance and this discourages them because sought amounts are not large but the hassles are. Hence it is necessary to simplify the rules for their easy access to funds.
The Advisor said that Shopno Nagar’s zero wait system can be adopted for garments sector. You can go and see Shopno Nagar physically. There, human waste is being transformed into biogas. This will benefit industries in different ways.
BGMEA President Dr. Rubana Huq stated that for every good initiative government incentive is required. Incentive doesn’t mean financial support only but also encouragement from policymakers. Bangladesh has 133 ‘Green’ factories and about 500 factories are in the process of getting LEED-certification. 7 out of 10 Green factories in the world are located in Bangladesh. 41 lakh (4.1 million) people are employed by this sector. Naturally we will make some mistakes. But if all we get is negative press, it is disheartening. Auditing doesn’t sound nice, monitoring is a better term.
No initiative can be successful if it isn’t a coordinated effort. Our slogan for robust industry is an old one. Frankly speaking this initiative should have been initiated some time ago. For a green revolution to actually take effect, all factories need to become efficient.
We need to say we will try. In the last budget we had asked for TOFK. It will be done. SREDA can do adopt SPV model to make a special company.
Let those companies that become energy efficient pay 5% corporate tax instead of 10%. Instead of simply responding to buyers’ demands, an award should be introduced for smaller factories to go green.
SREDA Chairman Mohammad Alauddin opined that the government’s interest in energy efficiency is reinforced by the very existence of SREDA. We have energy audited 12 institutions. It is true that often there are no public documents. We will publish a book on our findings. We are committed to reducing carbon emission in NDC and there is no alternative to efficiency in such matters. We can highlight these as business cases and it will be done.
Dr. Nurul Islam (former Professor BUET), said that the case studies can be compiled and delivered to relevant parties. Bangladesh Bank takes up projects that fall under green financing. It’s necessary to highlight how many parties have received such funding, what has it been used for, what were the results, which projects have not been monitored.
Dr. Zahurul Haq, Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering (BUET) shared that we have achieved much, but more should have been done. We are still talking about the low hanging fruits. If payback is between 3 to 5 years, then the investment should be made voluntarily. We have reached the time for pilot projects which will illustrate what investment has been made, how savings are being done and how much more profit being generated.
He further stated that in the first certification test taken using BUET standard, only 1 out of 150 test takers passed. If we do not have quality auditors then what should we do to ensure quality? Test takers are saying that they are machine operators and have forgotten how to calculate. He said we will finance green products. Which one will we call green product – American standard or Bangladeshi standard. We have to fist decide Bangladesh’s Baseline. If some company is more green then that company should be given more incentive.
BGMEA Director Asif Ibrahim said that we can go for rooftop solar and if incentives are given to that effect, then it will bear fruit. Red tape culture in financing must be reduced. The goal is a good one and everyone needs to believe in energy saving.
IDCOL’s Chief Financial Officer Nazmul Haque stated that we have achieved our 5-year goal in 2 years. We are providing low-interest financing and encourage all to take advantage of this facility.
Chittagong Stock Exchange Chairman Mr. Asif Ibrahim suggested an integrated approach that combines renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation to effect efficiency of the sector. Red tape has to be cut down for industry to gain access to the Green Climate Fund and Bangladesh Bank’s Green Fund.
Al Mudabbir Bin Anam, Program Coordinator (REEEP II) GIZ said that three things are needed to make industry efficient. These are, sustainable energy supply, market and resource-based competitiveness, and, energy management for energy efficiency and conservation. But there is great shortage of skilled manpower and this has to be addressed immediately.
SREDA member (EE&C) Ms. Farzana Mamtaz presented the keynote in the seminar. She said of all the electricity produced, 48% goes to industry, residential consumes 31% and transport takes 11%. In the industrial sector, Textile and Garments sector consumes 30% electricity. If we can ensure efficiency, then this figure will come down to 17.6%. This sector holds the potential to save 41.5% savings if energy efficiency measures are adopted.
Adoption of energy efficient machinery is not just reducing costs. Rather it is improving the internal environment in a factory and increasing the quality of products. Awareness campaign is needed. SREDA is taking initiative in this regard.
Energy demand is increasing day by day, but production isn’t keeping pace. If we save energy then usage will decrease. For this reason, master plan has been made. It is envisaged that in FY2020-21 15% savings and by 2030, savings will increase to 20%. We are providing low-cost financing for certain machineries. To get access to SREDA financing for machinery, these have to be SREDA-certified.
Ms. Mamtaz said that SREDA is working. But it is not getting the required information from relevant parties. There is limitation of testing facility availability. Also there is dearth of certified energy auditors.
GIZ’s Senior Advisor (REEEP II) Shafiqul Alam stated that RMG sector is consuming 28% of primary energy resources. If energy efficiency measures are effectively deployed, then it will play a positive role in supply chain. This whole process is time consuming and company-focused awareness building is very much needed. This is why we have conducted many trainings and still are. Standardizing quality of LED light bulbs is need of the hour, so that low grade lights can be phased out of the market.