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Bangladesh Facing Massive Power Shortage; Nationwide Scheduled Load-Shedding

The country is facing a daily shortage of 1000-1500 megawatts of electricity.

An unusual power crisis has occurred in Bangladesh for the past one month due to which a load shedding schedule of 2 hours per day has been announced throughout Bangladesh. the Government has also decided to shut all petrol pumps once a week during the temporary load shedding limit. Apart from this, shortening business hours is also being considered. Faced with an unprecedented situation, the Government of Bangladesh recently announced to stop the production of domestic diesel power plants. 

These decisions were taken in a meeting at the office of the Bangladesh Prime Minister-Sheikh Hasina on Monday, July 18th. This information was given by Prime Minister's Power and Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid at the press conference after the meeting.

Presently, load shedding has been going on for at least six to seven hours a day all over the country. The power department is struggling to meet the electricity demand in the country's industrial factories.

According to the authorities, the government is struggling to meet the cost due to the increase in the price of fuel in the world market due to the ongoing  Russia-Ukraine conflict which started after the Pandemic. As a result, the energy sector has to suffer huge losses, therefore, the government has taken several decisions to reduce the losses and save money in the electricity sector.

Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has said that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the instability in the fuel oil market has affected many countries in the world including  Bangladesh. Due to this situation, area-wise load shedding started across the country from Tuesday, July 19th.

The minister also said that with the decision of area-wise load shedding, initiatives like intimating the customers in advance of the areas where there will be load shedding, are being taken. He has also added that the ongoing load shedding may continue till September.

Meanwhile, in order to implement load shedding based on the schedule announced by the government, Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) has already published the schedule of load shedding twice a day for two hours in 36 areas including the capital Dhaka. This process started with load shedding in several areas including Banshri-Ajimpur in the capital in the morning.

As a consequence, many people took to the streets to escape from the intense heat. while certain people have complained of suffering in the heat, some have applauded this initiative of the government.

Earlier, on July 6, the country's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on the people of Bangladesh to not light up various social functions, wedding ceremonies, community centres, shops, offices-courts and homes in order to save electricity.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, in a press briefing on the issue of saving electricity in the country on Monday at the Secretariat, warned that if the shops and shopping malls are open after 8 pm, their electricity would be disconnected. He said that no shops or shopping malls were to remain open after 8 pm. In particular, the power department has been directed to monitor this matter closely. 

According to the electricity department, Bangladesh currently has 25,566 megawatts of electricity generation capacity, including captive and renewable energy. On April 16, the maximum electricity generated was 14,782 megawatts. Now, it has come down to 12000-13000 megawatts. As a result, there is a daily shortage of 1000-1500 megawatts of electricity.

According to the calculations of the Electricity Development Board of Bangladesh, 7.89% of the current electricity is generated from coal, 50.84 % from gas, 28 % from furnace oil, and 6% from diesel. To deal with this, the government is taking these initiatives.

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