DHAKA, Jan 24, 2023 (BSS) - State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid today said that electricity supply will be ensured with priority basis during the irrigation season.
"Farmers will get benefit if supervision activities are strengthened through overall situation," he told an inter-ministerial meeting on uninterrupted power supply during the irrigation season at Bidyut Bhaban.
Nasrul Hamid said, "Don't waste unnecessary time in the name of maintenance. If there is possibility of power shortage, concerned distribution companies should take initiative to resolve it by alternative ways".
He said that power production is being increased in coordination with the demand, adding, "If farmers follow peak and off-peak hours during irrigation season then better results will be yielded".
The state minister directed authorities concerned to supply natural gas and fuel oil as required by the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).
He also instructed Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) to purchase furnace oil more than the demand.
According to the ministry information, irrigation season starts from February every year and it continues till 31st May. At this time demand for electricity increases. The highest electricity demand was 14,782 MW in the last irrigation season in April 2022, while the electricity demand for the current (2023) irrigation season will be 16,000 MW.
It said the total number of irrigation connections in the current season is 4,65,456, for which 24,00 MW electricity will be required.
The meeting discussed about supply of gas, furnace oil and diesel to increase power generation for the current irrigation season.
Nasrul Hamid said that gas supply to all gas-based capable power plants would be priority basis so that electricity could be generated without interruption.
He said that fuel transportation during the current irrigation season should be smooth to this end. The BPDB would contact concerned officials including Railways Ministry, Road Transport and Highways Division, BIWTC and BIWTA.
The BPC would have to ensure fuel transportation in every place.
"Ensure smooth supply of fuel oil, gas and coal to power generation plants, conduct extensive campaign to popularize alternate wet and dry method for economical use of irrigation water," he said.
He also called for reserving fuel oil at power plants for at least two months production capacity and appointing focal point officers and using modern technology to maintain close communication during irrigation season.
It is necessary to form monitoring committee for supervision of uninterrupted power supply to irrigation pumps and strengthening activities of the monitoring committee.
During the meeting power secretary Md Habibur Rahman, BPDB Chairman Engineer Md Mahbubur Rahman, Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) Chairman Md Salim Uddin, Petrobangla Chairman Janendra Nath Sarkar and Power Cell Director General Engineer Mohammad Hossain were present, among others.