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Trial run of Bangladesh’s first undersea submarine power line begins

  • Published at 02:05 am November 17th, 2018
Sandwip

Sandwip received the electricity through two 33kV submarine cables from Chittagong’s Sitakunda upazila, some 16km away from the island, which the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has begun operating on a trial basis

Those living on island of Sandwip under Chittagong district received power from the national grid for the first time on Thursday.

Sandwip received the electricity through two 33kV submarine cables from Chittagong’s Sitakunda upazila, some 16km away from the island, which the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has begun operating on a trial basis.

The power connection running underneath the Bay of Bengal is the first of its kind in Bangladesh, and the project cost amounted to about Tk145 crore, said BPDB Director (Public Relations) Saiful Islam Chowdhury.

The government approved the project on September 10, 2014, as part of initiatives to improve the power distribution system in Chittagong zone. The combined cost of the power distribution system initiatives is Tk1,099 crore.

In September 2017, the BPDB engaged ZTT, a Chinese construction firm, to implement the project. The company began work in December last year.

BPDB Director Saiful said he expects the power supply to transmit up to 3MW of electricity to Sandwip from next week.

Earlier, the BPDB had said it would be transmitting 10MW electricity a day for 10,000 of the islanders from December.

A maximum of 50MW electricity will be transmitted through the sub-marine cables, which are capable of transmitting 30MW each and will be in operation for 50 years. 

Currently, 2,300 connections are being supplied with electricity through the power lines, and the number is set to gradually increase to 10,000, BPDB sources said.  

Prabir Kumar Sen, chief engineer (distribution) of the Power Development Board’s Chittagong south zone, said project would benefit the islanders and greatly impact their lifestyle.

The power transmission line will be formally inaugurated soon, he added. 

The electricity is being supplied from Barabkunda substation, where a 10-km overhead line has been installed along the Sitakunda mainland to connect it to the 16-km sub-marine cables, he further said.

When contacted, Sandwip Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Nurul Huda said they were overwhelmed by the introduction power from the national grid. 

The UNO expressed his hope that overall economy would change for the better due to the power supply. 

“The government has undertaken another project, involving Tk300 crore, to bring 100% grid connectivity to Sandwip,” he added.

The cables are linked to Bauria Transmitter of Sandwip, where a 15-km overhead transmission line has been installed, he added.

As many as 630 out of 1,500 poles were installed for the project, with the BPDB planning to install another 300km of transmission lines on the island. 

Before access to the national grid, the BPDB used to supply 1MW of electricity to some parts of Sandwip from 6pm to 12pm, through a generator and solar panels. 

According to the Bangladesh census2011, the island is home to 278,605 people.