The government is not taking a hard stance regarding the pending bills, considering the situation due to the pandemic, the state minister says
Electricity bills amounting to about Tk9,000 crore are pending with consumers since Covid-19 broke out in Bangladesh in March last year, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said.
Of these, about Tk2,000 crore is due from household consumers, while the remaining is from industrial consumers, he said at a meeting with the executive body of the Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) at the Power Division conference room on Tuesday.
He said that as per a list forwarded by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), over 250 apparel factories were forced to shut down as their buyers cancelled orders following the Covid-19 outbreak.
But the Power Division is not taking a hard stance against these pending bills considering the national interest, he said, adding that steps will be taken to realize outstanding bills when normalcy returns.
"Still no sign is visible that a big demand will be coming from the industrial sector to raise power consumption," he said.
The state minister said he was expecting the overall electricity demand to go up to 14,000MW, when the country's electricity generation capacity is over 20,000MW.
Currently, the electricity generation is 8,200MW, he noted, adding that a big load should come from the industrial consumers to fully utilize the country's power generation capacity.
Nasrul Hamid said the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) would go up this year as the power sector will require 1,400 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) of gas to meet the power sector's demand.
He said the use of coal in electricity generation would be decreased in the coming review of power system master plan (PSMP) as Bangladesh targets to reduce carbon emission to a substantial level by 2050 as part of its commitment to the Climate Vulnerable Nations' Forum as its chair.
FERB Chairman Arun Karmaker, Executive Director Shamim Jahangir and other leaders of the executive body of the organization were present in the meeting.