Bangladesh – Concentrated solar energy plant on cards by 2016

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Mohammad Enamul Huq has recently told parliament Asian Development Bank (ADB) is willing to finance a 10 to 20 MW capacity Solar Thermal Power Plant inside Kaptai Hydro-electric Plant.

The minister disclosed this in response to a question of Nasimul Alam Chowdhury during the question-answer hour in Jatiya Sangsad (JS) chaired by Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali in absence of BNP-led opposition.

Enamul Huq, in reply to a supplementary question, said the government is attaching priority to alternative energy resources like LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), coal and other fuels due to shortage of natural gas for setting up of power plants by IPP (Independent Power Producers).

To another supplementary question of Abdul Mannan, the minister replied that the government under its Wet and Dry system will give power connection gradually to 800 deep tube-wells in the Barind Multipurpose Irrigation Project from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am during the ongoing farming season to get a better yield of crops.

Responding to a scripted question of HM Golam Reza, the minister disclosed that nearly one million electric connections have been given over the past two years of the government which included 2,34,243 connections in the areas under Power Development Board, 7,13,726 in Rural Electrification Board, 48,784 in Dhaka Power Distribution Company, 53,801 in DESCO and 46,582 connections in West Zone Power Distribution Company.

He added that against a total demand of 7000 MW per day, 4500 to 4600 MW electricity could be produced in the country. Despite the generation shortfall, the minister claimed that the government has taken initiative to supply electricity during the ongoing irrigation season from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am for enhanced food production.

Kaptai is a region in south-eastern Bangladesh. The Kaptai Upazila (subdistrict) is part of the Rangamati District of Chittagong Division. Karnaphuli Hydroelectric Power Station, the only Hydro-electric power plant of Bangladesh is located here. The Kaptai Dam built for this purpose on the Karnaphuli River created the Kaptai Lake, the largest man-made dam in Bangladesh.

Karnafuli Hydro Power Station the only hydropower plant in the country is located at kaptai, about 50 km from the port city of chittagong. This plant was constructed in 1962 as part of the ‘Karnafuli Multipurpose Project’, and is one of the biggest water resources development project of Bangladesh.

After being commissioned in 1962, the plant could feed the national grid with 80 MW of electricity. In later years, the generation capacity was increased in two phases to a total of 230 MW. The plant not only plays an important role in meeting the power demand of the country but is also vital as a flood management installation for the areas downstream.