The minister made the comment at a meeting on the new government’s plans for the power sector, held at the Bidyut Bhaban in Dhaka
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hami on Tuesday said his ministry’s primary goal is to ensure smooth and uninterrupted supply of electricity for the people of Bangladesh.
The minister made the comment at a meeting on the new government’s plans for the power sector, held at the Bidyut Bhaban in Dhaka.
“We are aiming to diversify the country’s power sector. Accessibility has been satisfactory, and now the goal is to provide uninterrupted and smooth electricity supply,” he said.
Appointed as a state minister for the second consecutive time, Nasrul expressed his hope that working in a coordinated manner by engaging all stakeholders would help the power sector achieve success in its initiatives.
Nasrul is among 47 cabinet members sworn-in on Monday, after the Awami League registered a landslide victory in the December 30 general election, assuming office for the third time on the trot.
Referring to a recent study that ranked Bangladesh as the 41st largest economy with a predicted rise to 24th by 2033, the minister said smooth supply of power was essential to maintaining the country’s trend of development.
Nasrul added that Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources was keen to retain its position as the prolific ministry in the country in terms of implementing projects. “We would like to make a good start based on the experience we have gathered, as well as with new plans for the power sector.”
He also thanked the prime minister for giving recognition to his performance over his previous tenure by reappointing him as state minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Chairman Khaled Mahmood were among those in attendance at the meeting.
Earlier in a seminar on September 1, State Minister Nasrul had said it would be difficult to provide uninterrupted power at the consumer level due to unplanned infrastructural development.
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Bangladesh’s current installed power generation capacity, including captive power and renewable energy, stands at 20,400 MW.
The government is also keen to provide the entire country with electricity coverage by 2020. Currently, 90% of the population has access to electricity, with power sector high-ups saying the target may be achieved by this year.
The BPDB has taken up an extensive capacity expansion plan to add about 11,600 MW over the next five years, aiming to generate 24,000MW of electricity by 2021, and 40,000MW by 2030. A mammoth $80 billion in investment is needed to execute the plans.
In its manifesto for the 11th parliamentary polls, the Awami League pledged to increase the country’s power generation capacity to 24,000MW by 2023.
A total of 55 power plants with a combined generation capacity of 13,654MW electricity are in the process of being constructed.