Editor Mollah M Amzad Hossain Advisory Editor Anwarul Islam Tarek Saiful Amin International Editor Dr. Nafis Ahmed Contributing Editor Saleque Sufi Dr. A Rahman Managing Editor Afroza Akther Pervin Consultant Editor Enayet Kabir Design & Graphics Md. Monirul Islam Photography Bulbul Ahmed Farzan Karim Chowdhury Magazine Administrator AKM Shamsul Hoque Production Mufazzal Hossain Joy Computer Graphics Md. Uzzal Hossain Technical Support Laser Scan/Colour Touch Circulation Assistant Khokan Chandra Das Editorial, News and Commercial Room 509, Eastern Trade Center 56 Inner Circular Road (VIP Road) Naya Paltan. GPO Box : 677 Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh Tel & Fax : 88-02-8354532 Email: Website: Price Bangladesh: Tk 25, SAARC: US$ 3, Asia: US$ 5, Europe: US$ 6, North America, Africa & Australia: US$ 7.5


nergy crisis in Bangladesh is so critical now that the government has to compromise with its policies despite widespread criticism. The government is desperate to improve electricity situation by adding more megawatts to the existing generation capacity through quick rental power deals. The gas supply situation too is not encouraging. The gas-electricity twin crisis has emerged as a national crisis. In the recently announced national budget, the government has attached utmost priority to resolving the crisis. But everything depends on smooth implementation of the plans since implementation has been a chronic problem in Bangladesh. We are pleased to announce that Energy & Power magazine steps into its eighth year of publication. This was a long journey with quite a lot of obstacles in every step. But continued support from our readers helped us overcome the impediments. We convey our heartiest congratulations to all our readers, contributors, patrons, advertisers and well-wishers on our seventh anniversary of publication. We believe the sincere cooperation we got from our readers will continue to encourage us to contribute to the energy sector of Bangladesh as well as South Asia.


and 195 Finance of the lastPlanning Adviser caretakergovernment Dr Mirza Azizul Islam in an interview with the Energy & Power said that he sees nothing wrong with the government to install power plants without inviting tenders.

It does not need an expert to identify and evaluate the reasons behind the prevailing situation in the energy sector. We hope that in the current budget session the treasury bench and the opposition will meet with open mind and discuss the energy situation. There must be meeting of minds. Continued nightmare situation in the energy sector will not benefit anyone. We must develop our capacity to explore and exploit own resources as well as operate and maintain the infrastructures professionally.


Green Page

The Energy & Power had introduced Green Page marking its stepping into the 7th year to campaign for efficient use of energy, energy conservation and using environment-friendly energy. Encouraged by the readers and patrons, the EP decided to continue with the pages as it is stepping into the 8th year. The EP would make its best effort to keep up the campaign
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WORLD WATCH Latest Development in World SNAPSHOT Latest Development COVER The Nightmare Goes On GREEN PAGE Pioneering Renewable For Greener Life Country Needs to Set up Green Industries Having Energy Generation Facilities: Barua Paragon Plans Biogas Plants to Produce Power, Fertilizer REPORT Save Lives from Dhaka Death Trap Bangladesh to Spend $110 mln to Develop Six Gas Wells Tk 61B Budget to Revamp Power, Energy CNG Price Hike may Cause Sufferings to People $100m ADB Loan for Building Cross-Border Power Grid TECHNOLOGY Efficient Power for a Sustainable World COLUMN Want Growth and Peace? Go for Power! INTERVIEW Dr Mirza Azizul Fomer Finance & Planning Adviser



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Prof. M Tamim analyses how Bangladesh becomes an energy deficient country gradually from an energy surplus one. He also dwelt on ways to revert again to an energy surplus nation.

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M. Tamim Professor Dr. Md. Hussain Monsurn A S M Alamgir Kabir Mushfiqur Rahman Dr. Ijaz Hossain Engr. A N M Obaidullah Shamim Ara Hassan M. Rezwan Khan Mohammad Shawkat Akbar Engr Khondkar A Saleque Md. Mosharraf Hossain Farhana Shaon Dr. Thomas von Schwarzenberg

Yameen Farook

Coal extraction has been the most debated issue of the country in the recent times. The EP has been in its best effort to bring out very exclusive write ups on the issue, accommodating in its anniversary publication four renowned experts both from home and abroad. They are: Michael Katz, Dr Thomas Von Schwarzenberg, Mushfiqur Rahman & AKM Shamsuddin.

It’s not unknown that the country is suffering from acute power crisis and primary energy for power generation. The government is also taking various measures, including giving it top priority in the budget, to overcome the sorry state of the sector. Four experts looked deep into the crisis and came out with possible recommendations to solve the problem. They are: Md. Mosharraf Hossain, Prof. Md. Hussain Monsur, ASM Alamgir Kabir and Khondker A Saleque.

Bangladesh is now working on energy efficiency and energy conservation as part of its effort to mitigate the energy crisis. The EP also thinks it a right approach and gives special focus on the issue by incorporating four articles by Prof. Ijaj Hossain, Abdul Wadud, Yameen Farook and Engr. ANM Obaidullah.


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Muinul Ahsan Engr. Md. Fazlur Rahman Md. Maqbul-E-Elahi Dipal C Barua Engr Khondker Rezaur Rahman Professor Dr. Shahidul Islam Khan, Asif Iqbal, Mehbuba Tanzid, Nandinee Fariah Haq Dr. Zebun Nasreen Ahmed Dr. M A K Azad, PEng. Morten Siem Lynge Michael Katz Patricia Stevens Engr. A. K. M. Shamsuddin Abdul Wadud Dr. Habib Siddiqui Manzur Ahmed Matthew Doman

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The concept of zero-energy building has now become the buzz word across the globe. Bangladesh is not an exception as it started working on it amid severe energy crisis. Shamim Ara Hassan and Dr. Jebun Nasreen Ahmed gave some light on the issue.

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Sri Lanka Power Utility to Lose Rs40bn in 2010

Sri Lanka’s state-run power utility Ceylon Electricity Board is expected to lose 40 billion rupees or 350 million US dollars in 2010 and short term debt is mounting but there are plans to turn the utility around, officials said. The CEB is expected to earn 120 billion rupees as revenue in 2010 but its operational expenses would be 159 billion rupees. "We initially expected revenue to be around 127 billion but the latest projections show that it will be around 120 billion rupees," power minister Patali Ranawaka said. "In the last 10 years the CEB has lost 148 billion rupees and it will lose 391 billion rupees in the next 10 years." This year, the CEB is expecting demand to grow by 7-8 percent, power ministry secretary M M C Ferdinandez said.

US, France, Russia Unhappy With Iran Fuel Deal Proposal

The United States (US), France and Russia seemed to reject Iran's proposals for a nuclear fuel swap, saying it did not build enough confidence about the peaceful nature of Tehran's atomic program. The three powers -- known as the Vienna group -- handed their views on the deal here to International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano just hours before world powers were set to slap new sanctions on Iran. The IAEA confirmed receipt of the three countries' responses but did not reveal the content of their letters. Nevertheless, comments by Washington's envoy to the IAEA's closed-door session more or less set out the countries' concerns about the deal concluded with Brazil and Turkey. Diplomats attending the meeting said France and Russia had expressed similar worries. Iran's proposed arrangement for the supply of fuel for a research reactor in Tehran "provides no alternative means of ensuring that the confidence-building element of the arrangement would be maintained," US ambassador Glyn Davies told the IAEA's 35-member board of governors. Under Iran's proposal, a total 1,200 kilogram’s (2,640 pounds) of LEU would be shipped out for treatment, around half of the Islamic republic's current stockpile of nuclear material.

GAIL to Complete Dabhol – Bangalore Pipeline by March 2012

GAIL India intends to finish construction of its 1,370 km gas pipeline from Dabhol, Maharashtra, to Bangalore, Karnataka, India, by March 2012. With a planned gas transmission capacity of 30 MMcm/d, the trunk pipeline will extend from Dabhol, and pass through Kinjalkarvadi, Kasari river bank, Kharaklat, Tappalkatti Harva forest, Gadag, Gannaikanahalli, Gullur, Sarajapur, Palmaner, Chittoor, Kattivakkam, before terminating in Chennai. “The $US1.1 billion pipeline will supply gas to fertiliser and power plants coming up near Bangalore and Mangalore in Karnataka and Goa,” GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B.C. Tripathi has said. Terminals are being constructed in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Kerala to process the imported gas and the company plans to connect households in 201 cities India with piped natural gas by 2015.

Power Tariff-Hike to Crush National Economy: FPCCI

A meeting of Pakistan’s FPCCI has strongly condemned further increase in power tariffs and said that reason made by NEPRA that increase is due to increase in cost of producing electricity is nothing but to crush the national economy which will result in further enhancing cost of doing business. According FPCCI, President FPCCI Sultan Ahmed Chawla convened this meeting at Federation House here Wednesday to discuss the recent power rates by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). He criticized the government and NEPRA for frequently increasing power rates and said that they have been increased up to 92pc in the last two years. Chawla said that NEPRA and OGRA do not bother to consult stakeholders before any rise in tariff. Increases burden the industries and the masses. This is injustice to local investors and this will increase the cost of local produced goods in national and int'l market and making them uncompetitive in these markets.

OPEC Weekly Oil Price Rebounds to Above 70 U.S. Dollars

The weekly average oil price of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rebounded to 71.79 U.S. dollars per barrel last week, the Vienna-based cartel said. This has been the first time for the OPEC weekly average oil price to pick up following a consecutive price decline of four weeks. OPEC's weekly average oil price hit its record high this year of 83.36 dollars a barrel in the last week of April, which was followed with a continual decline, reaching 68.95 dollars a barrel in the last week of May. It was also the lowest level of the past 35 weeks.


PM Urges Russia to Implement Rooppur Power Plant

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the Russian government to take immediate steps to implement the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project (RNPP) as soon as possible.

Bangladesh economy in 2009 performed remarkably well despite global economic recession and maintained a steady growth with 5.9 percent growth which is expected to be 6 percent in 2010, International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh (ICC,B) President Mahbubur Rahman said. “Despite perceived uncertainties during the year (2009), the country achieved 5.9% growth in FY09 and is expecting 6% growth in the FY10,” he said while presenting the Executive Board Report at the 15th Council of ICC,B held in its office. Mahbubur Rahman said there is a strong justification to use local coal for power generation considering constraint of gas availability. “The estimated reserves of coal are close to 3,300 million tonnes, while the proven reserve is about 884 million tonnes.” With adequate power and energy supply and appropriate infrastructure, the country could have achieved a higher GDP growth, he said. Considering energy as the most crucial area for the economic development, the ICC,B president said power and energy crisis should be addressed on a top priority basis. Bangladesh will be one of the 11 countries that have a high potential of becoming a leading economy in the 21st century along with Brazil, Russia, India and China, it said referring to the prediction made in the Goldman Sachs Report released on December 4, 2009.

ICC,B Report Backs Coal-Based Power Generation

PM Sheikh Hasina

The prime minister made the request when a six-member delegation of the Russian Atomic Energy Corporation ‘Rosatom’ led by its Director General Sergey V Kirienko called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official

residence Ganobhaban. Bangladesh signed a framework agreement with Russia on cooperation for its maiden nuclear power plant on May 21 this year.

Chevron to Drill Bangladesh’s Gas Field in October

US oil giant Chevron (CVX.N) and a joint venture of South Korea's G S Caltex, will start drilling for hydrocarbons at a Bangladeshi gas field in October this year, a senior official said. The firms had begun preparatory works for oil and gas exploration in block seven located in southern Patuakhali district two months ago, Hussain Monsur, chairman of the state-run Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, or Petrobangla, said.

Country Reels under Gas, Electricity Crisis

Steve Wilson

The country is reeling under gas and power crisis again as generation has aggravating public sufferings, reached the lowest level since the onset of the current summer with mounting woes of sluggish business activities and fall in industrial output. Frequent power outages coupled with low gas pressure are taking heavy toll in every sphere of day to day life and in fields and factories. Overall electricity generation Wednesday was around 3,700 megawatt (MW), down by 500 MW from the previous week's average of 4200 MW, while gas output was less by around 100 million cubic feet (mmcf) from the month's average of 1980 mmcf. PDB officials said gas supply shortfall led to closure of Tongi, Haripur and newly installed Shiddhirganj power plants. Low gas pressure has reduced power generation of Ashuganj, Mymensingh, Baghabari, Rauzan and Shikalbaha power plants.

Petrobangla said drilling of the well in the block would cost more than $20 million and the oil firms planned to drill two more wells there if the first produced positive results. Steve Wilson, president of Chevron in Bangladesh, said last December the firm completed a seismic data acquisition program for the block and evaluation and data processing were under way. "An exploration well is planned to be completed by 2011," he said in a statement. G S Caltex owns a 45 per cent stake while Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited, a subsidiary of Petrobangla, holds 10 per cent carried over interest in this block.


ADB to Help Bangladesh Boost Natural Gas Supply

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh signed an agreement for $266 million in loans to help Bangladesh address natural gas supply constraints in a bid to spur economic growth and cut poverty.

Barua Urges UNIDO to Help Develop 'Green Industry'

M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD) and Thevakumar Kandiah, Country Director for ADB’s Bangladesh Resident Mission, signed the loan agreement on behalf of the Government and ADB respectively, at a ceremony at ERD. The assistance under Bangladesh Natural Gas Access Improvement Project, will be used to build new gas transmission and distribution pipelines to meet growing demand, and to expand coverage to less developed areas in the southwest. The project will install compressors and metering systems to boost reliability, improve safety, and strengthen the management of gas supply and demand. An investment program to promote energy-efficient gas use will be drawn up, and training and support will be given to sector agencies. The project will also help improve supply efficiency by developing four new wells and installing gas processing plants in Titas gas Fields to increase gas production by 120 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd). Around 200,000 new households in the southwest, along with 1,400 industrial and commercial establishments, will receive gas as a result of the expanded distribution network.

Industries Minister Dilip Barua sought more collaboration with UNIDO in the areas of technology transfer, capacity building and financial support to ensure greening of industries. He said rapid and sustainable growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) could be useful tools to significantly reduce poverty and unemployment.

Dilip Barua

He was speaking at a daylong seminar on "Application of Green Technologies in SME Sector for the Sustainable Industrial Development of Bangladesh". He said local SMEs growth is significant. Around six million SMEs and micro-enterprises are contributing 25 per cent to the GDP creating jobs. Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Dr Kandeh K Yumkella assured technological support to supplement its efforts in greening the industries of Bangladesh. Green technologies can increase the GDP by two per cent and solar power is the primary and immediate option for Bangladesh, he added saying "Solar is most developed, available and easy energy to use."

Govt Plans to Hike Power Tariff

The government plans to raise electricity tariff in the next few months as it seeks to pass the financial burden of quick-fixing the country's nagging power crisis on to the consumers. Prime Minister's energy advisor Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury said the authorities would propose a tariff hike as part of efforts to offset losses it would incur by buying power at a high-cost from dozens of diesel and furnace oil run power plants. "Power Development Board (PDB) will put forward proposal for tariff hike to the energy regulator in a month or two," Dr Tawfiq told a press briefing. The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) would decide on the tariff hike after examining the grounds behind the proposal, he told newsmen at the secretariat. The commission hiked electricity tariff by up to seven per cent in March this year and a new hike in a space of a few months could fuel public anger.

50pc Reduction in Gas Use by 2030, JICA Forecasts

The government looks to almost halve its reliance on gas as a major fuel for electricity generation over the next 20 years as it goes ahead with diversifying the energy use, officials said. ASM Alamgir Kabir, chairman of Power Development Board, said the revised power sector master plan, prepared by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), forecast that gas use should see a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 in view of supply crunch. Currently, 87 per cent of the country's electricity is generated by natural gas, reflecting the overwhelming dependence on a single fuel source. The JICA said the demand for electricity in Bangladesh could reach 30,000 megawatt (mw) to 35,000mw by 2030, the generation of which the power sector officials and experts say will require exploring multiple fuel options. "It's a huge challenge. Diversification of fuel sources is only option we have now," the PDB head said.


Considering that an energy growth of 1.7% is required for each 1% growth in GDP, the prevailing dismal situation will definitely impact adversely on the GDP growth, and it will be extremely difficult to achieve the Millennium Development Goals


Mollah Amzad Hossain Saleque Sufi

Bangladesh has one of the lowest per capita energy consumptions in the region, and about 60% of its 155 million populations have no access to power. Even then, the national power generation capacity is only 4000 MW against a peak demand of 6000 MW, the generation is predominantly dependent on natural gas (mono-fuel), with gas accounting for about 83% of the generated power ...


angladesh finds itself in a desperate energy situation. Electricity supply emergency, gas crunch and their associated impacts have panicked the policy makers. The overall circumstances have taken horror dimensions, and seem like an ongoing nightmare. More importantly, the suffering Bangladeshis cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel either. It is not that the country does not have enough basic energy resources; it is not that it does not have the required technical capacity to explore and exploit it. Leading IOCs are operating in Bangladesh to explore, develop and operate gas fields. IPPS are operating modern combined cycle power plants. Well-structured power and gas industries are in place, and an independent Energy Regulatory Commission is in existence. But what is missing good governance, political commitment, and the placement of right professionals in the right places.

Considering that an energy growth of 1.7% is required for each 1% growth in GDP, the prevailing dismal situation will definitely impact adversely on the GDP growth, and it will be extremely difficult to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MGD). It does not need an expert to identify and evaluate the reasons behind the prevailing situation in the energy sector. The present grand alliance government inherited an under-performing, crisisprone energy sector. Citizens in huge numbers voted the present grand alliance to power, attracted by an election pledge that it would change the energy situation though appropriate strategies and strong management. As time passes, however, the voters have started asking questions. What positive preparatory actions has the present government taken to explore and exploit domestic petroleum resources? What initiatives has it taken to extract coal resources? The overall situation of coal, natural gas exploration and exploitation remains the same as it was 2 years or 4 years back. There has been no progress in coal mining since 1998. The present government has not taken any meaningful initiatives to increase gas production or coal extraction, and the national coal policy is still hibernating. The Asia Energy Corporation contract is in stagnation, and the PSCs for offshore exploration are yet to be signed. This has left potential petroleum resources untapped in onshore and offshore fields, and a significant volume of coal under the sur-

face. Some policy makers are running after expensive options like the import of coal and LNG. According to professionals and experts, however, the import of coal and LNG in the near future may not be feasible, and suggest that the government should pay more attention to the exploration and exploitation of domestic resources without wasting any more time, i.e. our own coal and our own gas must provide our energy security for the foreseeable future. The election pledge of the Grand Alliance government foresaw the generation of an additional 5000 MW power during their 5 year term. After several rounds of brainstorming, the policy makers have finalized a mega plan to add 9426 MW of new energy by 2015. It merits mentioning here that Bangladesh has achieved an generation capacity of only 4000 MW after 39 years of independence.

Let us try to assess the government steps Bangladesh has one of the lowest per to confront and overcome the crisis over capita energy consumptions in the the last 17 months (about one-third of its region, and about 60% of its 155 milmandated term). The only development lion populations have no access to the government can claim is in the inipower. Even then, the national power tiative for liquid fuel based contingency generation capacity is only 4000 MW power plants. Work on a 520 MW furagainst a peak demand of 6000 MW, nace oil based peaking power plant and the generation is predominantly 390 MW diesel fuelled rental plants are dependent on natural gas (mono-fuel), still in progress. Initiatives to conclude with gas accounting for about 83% of agreements for 1107 MW unsolicited the generated power (other fuels in the quick rental plants [300 MW diesel mix are coal, hydro and liquid fuels). based and 807 MW furnace oil based] Natural gas is also used as the raw are ongoing. It is expected that 1987 material for urea production, for CNG MW (Diesel 450 MW and Furnace Oil and as a fuel for industrial, commercial 1537 MW) may come and domestic purposon-stream by March es. The present elec2011. The peaking tricity crisis is principlants may start power pally due to the failgeneration by ure in arranging suffiDecember 2011. cient fuel for power Diesel based plants generation, and there may come on stream exists a major crisis in by the end of the curthe gas sector as well. rent year. The power A 400 MCFD gas from the diesel plants deficit in the national will cost Tk13-14.00 gas grid has brought a per kwh, while furnear stalemate in nace oil based power trade, commerce and will cost around Tk business activities, 8.00 per unit. thereby stalling the economy itself. PM Sheikh Hasina lays foundation of 150MW combind cycle power station at Chandpur If everything goes

according to plan, the contingency plants may give some breathing space in confronting the serious electric crisis by the end of 2011. The question now hinges on whether the government exchequer can bear the additional financial burden of the more expensive imported liquid—fuelbased power? What are the government plans to absorb the huge subsidy? In their preliminary planning, the government anticipated a subsidy of US$ 1228 million for the power sector over 5 years. The target then, however, was to generate about 7800 MW by 2015. Now the revised target is to add 9426 MW by 2015. This will require a substantial increase of expensive liquid fuel based power generation, and the required subsidy will increase accordingly. Logically, the question arises: Can Bangladesh afford to pay the cut-throat power prices for too long? Uncertainty has already surfaced as to whether Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) can organize the required volume of liquid fuel supply in time? BPC is now managing the import and distribution of about 3.8 million tonnes of liquid fuel to meet present annual national demand. Can BPC manage the import and distribution of the additional liquid fuel for the generation of an additional 2000 MW in new power? BPDB is confident that BPC can manage that, however, interestingly, BPC has remained silent on the issue. The government must assess the capacity of BPC without delay. Otherwise it faces the risk of being thoroughly embarrassed if the liquid fuel plants fail to function after commissioning for the want of fuel. BPC will require substantial additional working capital and additional storage facility for furnace oil. What will be the price adjustment for electricity? Can the government afford to increase its power tariff by a wide margin? The cost of doing business will

no clue to when that might happen. One US Company has submitted a proposal for underground coal gasification (UCG) from the Jamalganj coal deposit, but there is been no progress on that either. The import of LNG is widely discussed these days. However, Bangladesh does not have the required infrastructure to receive LNG. It will require significant investment and time to build this infrastructure as an onshore or offshore facility. No feasibility study has been done, and no location for LNG terminal has been finalized. Recently a high powered delegation returned after discussing the import of LNG with Qatari authorities. Qatar has agreed to export LNG to Bangladesh, but at what cost? Without firming up the infrastructure for receiving LNG it is premature to discuss import. The weighted average price of natural gas in Bangladesh market now is about US$ 1.5 per unit. Under no circumstance Bangladesh can get LNG at any price below US$ 12 (for equivalent one unit of gas). Can the Bangladesh market absorb such expensive fuel? Who will invest in the perceived LNG terminal? Can any investor risk investing US$ 1 billion at least for LNG infrastructure development? Has anyone done the underlying calculations? The domestic price of gas has to be revised upwards significantly to make LNG import viable in Bangladesh. Is the government willing to take that risk? According to Petrobangla projections, gas demand will increase to 4200 MMCFD by 2015. The present production capacity is about 2000 MMCFD, which means that the production must more than double in 5 years. It is being said that Petrobangla will add about 1850 MMCFD by this time, of which 500 MMCFD would come from LNG import. According to Petrobangla figures 900 MMCFD will come from IOCs

Fuel mix for power generation

be significantly increased. Energy at an affordable cost will matter more to small and medium industries than their larger counterparts. Additional power tariffs will increase the cost of production. We must remember that small and medium industries are keeping the wheels of our industrial development in motion. There will be tremendous pressure on the national budget to account for the huge subsidy that will be required for expensive power generation over the next 5 years. The government has virtually taken no positive action to extract the substantial amount of high quality coal lying at mineable depths in Bangladesh. It will not be technically feasible to continue the underground longwall mining method being utilized in the (under-performing) Barapukuria mine after 2011. Serious mine subsidence is already a reality. A plan has been initiated for a Tk 552 crore feasibility study plus pilot scheme for surface mining in Barapukuria, but has not been approved as yet. Upon approval it may take another five years to prepare for the surface mining and start mining operations. In the meantime, the would be affected people need to be relocated and rehabilitated. Asia Energy Corporation submitted a scheme for surface mining at the Phulbari site in 2005. There has been no progress on that. In the recent past they submitted a revised proposal offering 10% stake to Bangladesh government without any investment, but there has been no response as yet, and

operating in Bangladesh. Gas from block 7, extended section of Jalalabad field, Sangu South, Magnama and Hatiya explorations are included. Petrobangla expects that the PSCs for the offshore would be concluded by that time and about 3000 MCFD would come from that source. In addition, 250 MMCFD may come from BAPEX efforts. It is also being said that about 160 MMCFD additional gas will come on stream by December 2010. Given the present state of the gas infrastructure and past track record, the Petrobangla planning appears to be pretty optimistic. No gas from deep-water PSCs can be expected within this period. There may be additional gas from Sangu and Sangu South, and gas may be available from Magnama and Hatiya as well, but Petrobangla has made a mess of Cairn/ Santos proposal for additional investment. Chevron may increase production from three under-operating gas fields, but evacuation of residual gas is a serious problem. It is required to be seen how Petrobangla companies including BAPEX implement the projects at hand. Experts are very apprehensive that the time of three and half years left of the present government is not enough to organize the required primary fuel supply needed to meet the demand for the projected power generation. Experts are also genuinely concerned about the extent of subsidy that the government can afford for the rental power plants and LNG. There are talks of setting up two imported 1300 MW capacity coal fired power plants at Khulna and Chittagong. Where will the coal come from, and at what price? Bangladesh does not have the port facilities to receive ocean going coal carriers, and no facilities to store the huge coal stocks safely. If deep sea ports are needed to be set up when will that be done? People

have genuine concern about going for the import option while no steps are being taken to exploit the large quantity of domestic coal. If a positive decision for extraction of coal is taken immediately it will take at least 4 years to bring coal on surface and put to use. Some initiatives have been taken on nuclear power generation issue, but nothing is confirmed. Where will the investment for nuclear power come from? It is probably not feasible to bring nuclear power on stream before 2017, even with the most aggressive of efforts. In essence, pragmatically, very little has been done so far to source and ensure stable primary fuel supply for power generation, and immediate and appropriate action is essential here. Otherwise the country's energy security will remain extremely vulnerable to various factors, and there is the danger of a drift to instability. There is also a serious crisis in terms human resources in the energy sector. Experienced professionals are essential for confronting the prevailing crisis effectively and professionally and manage all project implementations. The placement of the right persons at the right places must be ensured. Efficiency must be ensured in regulating, monitoring and operational implementation.. What can the government do? What is the most logical way forward? There is nothing wrong in making mega plans for adding 9426 MW of additional generation by 2015, and the nation

needs it in any case. It is definitely achievable if all the paraphernalia to achieve such an ambitious plan is ready at hand. However, there is no clue so far to where the huge investment required will come from, and there is no guarantee of the needed primary fuel supply. Such a mega plan requires action of a committed team of professionals working on a war footing. It will require billions of dollars of investment, and most of it will have to come from the private sector, more specifically from foreign direct investment. Until now the government has not released any transparent investment policies and action plans. Neither foreign investors nor local private sector investors are therefore encouraged to come forward with investment plans. The energy sector management has very poor coordination between every segment of the organizational structure. Given our past proven track record it is highly unlikely that the government's mega plan will be achieved at all. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is very positive, and has taken all important decisions in energy sector so far. The emergency contingency plan options have taken off only after her specific instructions. It seems that positive actions for coal extraction also require a big push from PM Hasina. The sooner she realizes that the import options for LNG and coal are not feasible in near terms the better. She must also assess the performance of the key personnel involved in the energy sector. Valuable time has been lost. The coal policy could have been finalized much earlier, and exploration for new petroleum should have advanced by now. The PM must ask what Bangladesh gained from the Energy Ministry road shows? Not only the loyalty to party be the yardstick for holding key positions of energy sector. She must Photo: BPDB r e a l i z e w h y h e r

Fenchuganj Power station

government in the early years of her earlier term performed much better. Time is fast running out. The PM must act very quickly to turn the tide. Continuation of the energy sector nightmare will create landslide fall in popularity of the government. Energy crisis is national crisis, and must be viewed as such. There must be bipartisan consensus in the parliament to devise effective ways for confronting the dire strait the country is in. Past bitterness and the game of blaming and counter blaming must be done away

with. The leader of the opposition in her alternate budget proposal has outlined appropriate actions for the extraction of our domestic coal and for its proper utilization. She has also appreciated the action for nuclear power generation and stressed upon training of professionals to mange the operation safely. She stressed upon greater use of renewable energy. We hope government will take due note of her proclamations. We hope that in the current budget session the treasury bench and the opposition will meet with open mind and dis-

cuss the energy situation. There must be meeting of minds. Continued nightmare situation in the energy sector will not benefit anyone. Our own coal, our own petroleum resources must form the backbone of our energy security. It will take about 8-10 years to make the country ready for imported LNG and coal. We must develop our capacity to explore and exploit our own resources and operate and maintain the infrastructures professionally.

Bangladesh Makes Energy Priority in Budget


nergy supply will be the top priority in Bangladesh's 2010-11 annual fiscal budget this week, as the slow pace of development in the sector is widely blamed for poor investment flow in the country, a government adviser said. "Energy and power sectors have been earmarked for highest allocations after food and agriculture in the annual development spendings," Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, an adviser on energy and power to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said in an interview with Reuters on Sunday. Bangladesh has allocated 47.21 billion taka ($680.2 million) in the 385 billion taka annual development plan for the fiscal year to end in June 2011. "We plan to raise both electricity and natural gas production by 1,500 megawatts and 500 million cubic feet (MMCF), respectively, per day at the end of coming fiscal year," Tawfiq said. Bangladesh currently produces about 4,000 MW of electricity and about 2,000 mmcf gas per day compared with daily demand of up to 6,000 MW and 2,500 MMCF. "The new budget will focus on close partnership between private and public sectors to enhance production of these key items, also crucial to push the economy," Tawfiq said. All available options would be explored to meet the fast-growing energy demand, Tawfiq said. He said the government planned to set up coal-based power plants and would look for gas. "There will be separate funds for exploring new gas fields both onshore and offshore along with renovation of abandoned gas wells," he said. The adviser said a two-unit, 1,300megawatt capacity coal-fired power plant
Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury

would be set up in joint venture with India, on equal equity basis. Bangladesh and India signed a memorandum of understanding on the exchange of power during off-peak hours when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited India in January. Bangladesh will install a 40-kilometre 400kv cross-border power transmission line at a cost of $150 million by June 2012 aiming at importing electricity from India, officials in the government's Power Division said separately on Sunday. The officials said the government had begun a project to build the two-way transmission line, which will have capacity to transmit 500-megawatt electricity between the two nations. The PGCB, state-owned power transmission company will execute the scheme, under which about 100-km cross-border power grid will connect Bangladesh's western Bheramara and India's eastern Baharampur area in the West Bengal state. The Asian Development Bank has committed $100 million to finance the project, the officials said.

Serajul Islam Quadir



M. Tamim

Apart from uncontrolled & unplanned expansion of gas use, no other decision was taken in the ten years since 1999


as was first discovered in Chhatak field at the Northeast Bangladesh in 1959. Although the first drilling in Bangladesh started in early nineteen hundred, the major thrust was given after the discovery of Sui gas field in the then West Pakistan. Commercial use of gas commenced in 1962 establishing Chhatak Cement factory. In the height of oil use, gas was not considered a valuable item at that time. It was treated


as a by-product of oil production and was considered more as a nuisance than of any value. As a result, the best commercial use at that time was its household use. The first household connection was given by Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company in Dhaka in 1968. After the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the commercial value of gas rose rapidly. Oil became very expensive and Bangladesh switched fuel for most of its power plants, steel/re-rolling mills and other industries from oil to gas in early eighties. There was a big jump in gas use during the same period compared to the previous one and a half decade. Since then gas use has been increasing between 5% and 10% per annum. A summary of primary energy consumption in the financial year 2007-08 is given in Table 1. It is worth noting the mono fuel dependency of Bangladesh on gas. Seventy percent of total commercial energy comes from gas and 85% power production is gas based. Biomass still plays a big role in rural area where 95% cooking is done by burning biomass. Table 2 shows the energy infrastructure and reserve snapshot of the country. It is quite obvious that the total physical establishment for electricity is inadequate. Less than 45% households have electricity connection, and approximately 45% households have natural gas supply. The Rural Electrification Board (REB) network covers approximately 40% of rural Bangladesh, but within the grid covered area only 50% households have electricity connection because many households cannot afford the connection charge. The country suffers from chronic power shortage. Especially the summer months are becoming unbearable due to increasing load shedding. In 2009,

consideration. Exploration Dilemma In a situation where the gas supply and demand gap is widening everyday, one must look back how we arrived here because it is affecting power production, industrial growth and the overall economy. It all started in 1999 when UNOCAL discovered Bibiyana gas field. At that time, Bangladesh could not use the gas because there was not enough market. It was a short term surplus. As a result, all IOCs essentially stopped looking for any more gas except the minimum work obligation of the contract. They gave up most of the risky areas. The PSC says that if a commercial discovery is made, Petrobangla will have the first right of refusal and if they cannot buy the gas, the IOCs can sell it to any local third party as the second alternative. The third option is to export in the form of LNG that was never viable for the 4 TCF gas situated far away from the shore. As a result, the company proposed a pipeline export to India that was not included in the PSC contract, for a quick return on investment. This created the expected commotion and while vigorously debating the proposal, Bangladesh went out of its way to increase the usage. During the same time a gas utilization committee (2002) suggested that IOCs should be allowed to export their share of gas from new discovery only. This was concluded from a demand analysis that showed that while short term surplus prevailed at that time, there would be supply shortage from as early as 2010 if new gas discovery was not made. The complete idleness of the IOCs was alarming. The export suggestion was more a market signal to invigorate exploration than actual reality as Bangladesh could always exercise its first right of

the peak hour (6-11 PM) loadshedding on some hot days was about 1200 MW whereas in the current year it is estimated to be 2000 MW. This year is being considered as the worst in terms of power cuts that some days has been as high as 10 hours. Since the middle of 2007, the country started experiencing gas shortages as well although it was exposed to the public in early 2008. Presently Petrobangla and IOCs are supplying about 1950 MMCFD gas with an estimated demand of 2300 MMCFD. A total of 700 MW of power generation is stranded due to gas supply shortage. A large number of industries are producing at fifty percent capacity due to the gas deficit. The country turned from a gas surplus situation into a gas deficit position within a span of five years (2005-2010) time. There are several reasons for today’s energy crisis. Most of them have been due to policy indecision on both technical and political

refusal to buy the gas. Apart from uncontrolled and unplanned expansion of gas use, no other decision was taken in the ten years since 1999 to find new gas field despite written warning. The result is the leanest decade of gas discovery in the history of Bangladesh. Only 0.5 TCF Bangura field was discovered from a know structure and after all these talks, UNOCAL had to sit on their investment for eight years before Bibiyana came into production in March 2007. The indecision also affected BAPEX, the national exploration company. No attempt was made to activate them either. The prediction of the 2002 Gas Utilization Committee has come into effect couple of years early due to unexpected and uncontrolled growth of captive power and CNG sector. Due to a court case by an environmental law group and supported by a section of political activists, no new PSCs were signed for last ten years. The notion that PSC is too expensive or detrimental to the interest of the country propagated by this group created enough pressure for the governments that kept all exploration work frozen. At the same time no government seriously tried to extract coal either. Table 3 gives the estimated cost of IOC gas up to December 2007. In the mean time Bibiyana cost recovery is almost finished and Bangladesh share has increased considerably. It can be seen that for Sangu where large investment was made by IOC for a small reserve, Bangladesh got only 20% free gas. On the other hand in Jalalabad, Bangladesh got 70% share. Maulabhi bazaar is 50:50 and after cost recovery both Bibiyana and Bangura will be 50:50 on a cumulative basis. Most impor-

tantly the country have to spend only about Tk 80/MCF on average for all the IOC gas including the free share. The notion that the country has to buy its own gas from IOCs at a so called high price and PSCs are bad for the country is completely baseless. It is a much cheaper option than importing gas at 67 times higher price. Pricing & Subsidy The price of gas in 1974 for both power and fertilizer was Taka 3.7/MCF. The price of oil was $10.41/bbl and the dollar-taka exchange rate was taka 8.08. In terms of energy parity, 1000 cubic ft (1 MCF) of gas is equivalent to 0.1765 bbl of oil. Using all these numbers it can be concluded that the price of gas in Bangladesh was about $0.46/MCF for power sector and in terms of equivalent price for oil this was $1.83/MCF. For generating electricity, the alternate or replacement fuel for gas is furnace oil or heating oil where no other fuel is available. Assuming the cost of furnace oil being 70% of crude price, the alternate fuel price is $1.28/MCF - a net saving of over 170%. The case of gas price for electricity generation was

picked up because that sector is most heavily subsidized and the highest user (about 50%) in Bangladesh. Despite the system loss (pilferage and technical), the subsidy in electricity tariff along with the gas subsidy did not allow to save any money for even maintaining a reasonable service, let alone adding new generation. Table 4 gives these numbers for the subsequent years. In the early seventies, gas became the focus of international oil companies due to sudden increase in oil price. Bangladesh started feeling the pain of increasing oil import bills and decided to switch fuel. Chittagong steel mill, rerolling mills, several power plants started switching fuel from early eighties. By 1990, most of the power plants and other industries completely converted to gas in the eastern part of the country. When the use of gas in the decade of 1970-80 was only 0.3 TCF, it jumped to 1 TCF during 1980-90. Due to lack of vision and understanding of economics, Bangladesh lost the opportunity to raise the gas price to the level of price of the fuel it was replacing. Instead, it supplied it at 1/6 of the replaced fuel price (1985 oil price is indeed the average for the decade). It definitely reduced the import bill but at what cost? Within a decade the generation efficiency plummeted to 25%, some of the fertilizer factories were using 1.5 to 2 times more gas than a more efficient newer plant, domestic sector was using gas for drying clothes and saving match sticks! The slide could not be checked even by doubling the real price of gas in 1990 from the 1985 rate (see table). By looking at the table, it can be seen that the gas price has remained virtually constant since 1990 in

nominal dollar term. The average generation efficiency has now increased to 30% due to the introduction of 1000 MW of combined cycle (50% efficiency) IPP power plants. The country went through another historic mistake of energy subsidy. The CNG feed gas was being sold at $1/MCF (Tk. 8.5/CM) since its large scale introduction in 2004. One cubic meter of gas is roughly equivalent to one liter of octane. The savings in fuel initially was about 75% but with increase of gasoline price it was never adjusted till early 2008 by the Caretaker Government. The saving in fuel cost went up to as high as 87.3% for a CNG driven vehicle making the fuel cost virtually nothing. Despite saving in foreign currency and subsidy, the government was losing large revenue and by keeping low CNG price it encouraged tremendous growth in private car ownership that has resulted in unbearable traffic congestion in Dhaka and other cities. The CNG sector now consumes 6% of total gas in the country. The uncontrolled growth due to high subsidy is a major parameter for the present gas deficit. The entire philosophy of raising gasoline price is completely defeated here. The richest segment of the society is being supplied almost free fuel for their vehicles! As of 2008, the price advantage of CNG over other fuel in some select Asian countries is given in Table 5. With the exception of Iran where diesel is sold only to trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles along with abundance of unused natural gas, Bangladesh CNG as a replacement fuel is still the cheapest in Asia even after doubling the price in 2008. Coal Debate Although the contribution of coal in Bangladesh primary energy supply is negligible, its potential remains significant. The biggest challenge of coal development is geology. The regional aquifer over all our coal beds poses a tremendous engineering test

Chinese supplier credit using a deep shaft technology with the initial target of supplying 1 million tonne per year primarily for a 250MW power plant. The production in the mine started in 2006. Moreover, the price of coal was not high enough to attract any investor. Only in 2005, when Asia Energy proposed to develop Phulbari mine by open-cut technology, the country woke up and started talking coal seriously. Presently there is no other alternate but to develop the coal for reasonably priced electricity generation. Rehabilitation, crop loss compensation or environment protection (except the challenge of the huge aquifer water management that need to be thoroughly examined) are solvable problems at internationally acceptable levels. Tax, Revenue & Commercial Framework Although the upstream side of both power and gas value chain have multiple participants — both private and public, the single buyer model in the downstream side is taking away all competitive nature from the market. The classical political dilemma of state’s responsibility of providing universal service and market force is not serving anyone’s purpose. The entire system of energy supply has become intermittent without providing quality service for any segment of the clientele. As a result, key economic sectors like industry, power and fertilizer are suffering. Multiple buyers market with quality assurance is essential for a proper commercial framework of business that will support participation of private sectors in the downstream instead of the present state monopoly. The government energy companies are also not allowed to work independently. Instead of applying proper corporate tax, a whopping 55% revenue is taken away from Petrobangla in the form of SD and VAT, leaving almost no money for the

irrespective to the method of extraction. Political bickering by the so called experts on both side of the debate have confused everyone and delayed the inevitable. There have been seven or eight drafts of a coal policy that is still lying on the Minister’s table. It was recognized in the 1996 energy policy that fuel diversification was essential for energy security and coal should be developed for power production. There was hardly any interest from any quarter to implement that except the development of Barapukuria coal mining project. This was developed with

Aview of Habiganj gas field

companies for reinvestment. Table 6 shows the bar chart of the revenue sharing from gas sales proceedings from different sectors. This practice along with lack of financial independence kept all these so called independent companies under complete government control. As a result, even after forty years of energy business, Bangladesh has not seen the creation of a world class energy company. Now, the critical question that needs to be asked is how the country is going to meet its primary energy requirement to produce power. Rigorous exploration for new gas must be started by both IOCs and BAPEX immediately so that the existing plants can be run without interruption. Provided, another 15 TCF gas is found, will it be wise to use that gas to feed a new power plant, especially when there is a vast reserve of coal? Thirty six countries produce more than 25% of their power from coal that includes China, India and USA where more than fifty percent power comes from coal. Coal was also the fastest growing fossil fuel in 2009 after renewable energy sources. Moreover clean coal technology is becoming less expensive by the day. Gas use must be prioritized. The economic multiplier of gas use is highest in its industrial use. CNG use has two fold effects. The primary benefit is environmental and the secondary but equally important benefit is import replacement of liquid fuel. Care must be taken so that government realizes maximum economic rent from both uses which will require opening up the market for private participation. For power production, the country does not have too many options but to develop coal. The nuclear option can also be explored as

a long term alternate. LNG import is another long term alternate that must be initiated immediately. Recently adopted renewable energy policy (2008) now allows the government to embark large scale projects with incentives that can play a good supplementary role. There are several barriers to achieve the coveted energy security everyone is talking about. The biggest is the mind set and the next is the money. A thousand megawatt coal fired power plant requires one billion dollar, a 1500 MW nuclear power plant requires 4 to 6 billion dollars, one TCF of new gas will require a billion dollar for exploration and development. The tk 3.15/kWhr average electricity rate is the cheapest in the region because of the heavy subsidy at one dollar gas for electricity production in Bangladesh. Coal based (local or imported), imported gas based (LNG or Myanmar pipeline), Indian or Nepal power — none will be cheap. The days of cheap power are over. Anything less than Tk 5.0/kWhr by end users is not commercially viable in today’s global energy market. Energy, even gas is not a local product any more. The regional price of gas is anywhere between Tk. 300/MCF (Reliance India new discovery) to Tk 500/MCF (Myanmar gas to Thailand and China). Unfortunately, there is no quick solution to the country’s present suffering.

All mistakes and indecisions have a price to pay. While major emphasis must be given for long term energy security the immediate relief remains in demand management (both gas and power) and production enhancement from existing gas fields. BAPEX is incapable of achieving the kind of intervention required to quickly increase gas production at this moment. Third party contracts must be handed over to specialized companies that would require use of advanced technology and large investment. Any dilemma or indecision will aggravate the present crisis even more. All sort of inefficient use of both power and gas must be terminated strong handedly. All pilferage and system loss must be minimized to get by before the mid and long term solutions kick in. In the mean time two imported coal based 500-1000 MW power plants should be set up — one in Chittagong and the other one in Khulna. The MOU with India to buy 200 MW must be implemented immediately. All regional cooperation must be vigorously pursued. For energy security, fuel and source diversity is absolutely essential. BAPEX alone cannot solve the immediate gas exploration requirement of the country. Due to the generous allotment of fund and gas price adjustment by the last caretaker government that approved a seven year self reliance target, BAPEX is fully tied up with all their manpower and equipment for the next three years. Moreover, no country in the world has been successful relying only on NOC. The negligence of BAPEX for years has been a cardinal offense but to discard the IOCs in future will be a big mistake. For optimum and reliable supply of

energy, both local and international investment is required. The risk and the amount of investment are enormous. All gas exploration embargoes must be lifted. A quick decision in favor of offshore exploration is also warranted. In the mean time, businesses and industries are suffering. There are some short term solutions for them. Until new gas is discovered or enhanced production is ensured, new or stranded businesses can look into starting the production using imported LPG to replace gas. The same equipment can be used for both sources. The merchant power plant policy approved by the last government may play a role in providing reliable electricity to private business. It allows any company to produce and sell power to any bulk customer at any price negotiated between them. Government will neither supply the raw material nor buy the final product. Both these options have one catch. Electricity and gas are going to cost more than the government subsidized supply. For reliability, the business in

the country will have to adjust to this higher price of energy. Obviously the price disparity creates unfair competitiveness, especially for local market. On the other hand, these solutions can be attractive to many export oriented industries whose energy cost is only 38% of their total product cost. For the massive investment done by the private sector in the last decade, it is almost impossible for the state subsidiaries to cater the need for reliable energy at their present state of commercial or organizational status. Single buyer model for both power and gas must be replaced by a multiple buyer/supplier model. Merchant plants with mutual understanding of all the parties can be a good starting point where relationship between proper price and reliability can be demonstrated. Our business cannot run on subsidized energy any more. There is massive scope of efficiency improvement in both management and technical operation that can be only achieved through gradual adjustment of energy price.

By taking the following steps, a twenty year energy security can easily be achieved. Find new gas, enhance existing production Release maximum gas from power production using coal fired generation Prioritize gas use for industry, CNG and fertilizer Promote LPG for cooking (freeze all lateral expansion of household connection) Promote renewable, especially biogas and solar (photo-voltaic and heating) for both rural and urban areas Immediate adjustment of all energy prices based on any rational formula Reform of organizational and commercial framework of energy business After years of free ride, energy security comes with a price and a lot of pain.

M. Tamim Professor, Petroleum Engineering, BUET



Professor Dr. Md. Hussain Monsur

Upon successful implementation of the short term program about 158 MMCFD gas is expected to be added to the national gas grid by December 2010



supply was 1974 MMCFD. This product is evident that the energy sector of lization of that area. Bangladesh (or any other country) is To achieve these goals indigenous oil, tion increase has been through approthe driving force for the economic gas and coal resources deserve due priate gas management during the onedevelopment of the country. Bangladesh attention, and as such, short term, mid year tenure of the present government. has the potential to achieve the desired term and long-term plans including Nevertheless, in respect of gas demand GDP growth rate to improve the living some fast track programs have been and supply, presently the country has standard of its huge population through taken up by Petrobangla/Government been, and is, facing gas shortages. proper harnessing and utilization of the for domestic primary fuel, particularly Because of the inaction of the past two energy resources, though it is yet limit- gas and coal exploration, development recent governments in indigenous gas ed. It may be mentioned here that the extraction/production and distribution. sector development, particularly for present energy crisis has taken an acute Furthermore, to meet the immediate reserve enhancement through exploshape due to the absence of proper ini- energy supply gap necessary steps are ration, this sector has lost valuable time tiatives for the last seven years. As a being taken to import 500 MMCFD of in harmonizing the gas demand and result, the GDP growth of the country is LNG by 2012, and importing fuel for supply balance. It is known that gas being hampered in the industrial and diesel/furnace oil based power plants. exploration cannot be conducted other production sectors, including Parallel to these, initiatives have also overnight even you have sufficient funds power sector. To overcome the energy been taken for the development of coal in hand; it is time consuming due to the stagnancy of the country the present fields including finalization of the coal nature of the technology and sub-surface geological/reservoir conditions. government has been putting its best policy. However, to meet the incremental efforts for ensuring energy supply to expedite the economic development. Petrobangla through its companies has demand, tremendous efforts have been Driven by its election manifesto, the been functioning, for and on behalf of taken up by Petrobangla (thereby by the present government has been prioritiz- the government, for the indigenous oil government) for gas exploration, proing efforts toward achieving energy and gas exploration, production, trans- duction, transmission and distribution security at the earliest possible time. As mission and distribution. With govern- including strengthening the national such the government has declared its ment authority it also functions to company BAPEX. Various strategic and Vision 2021. The main features of the extract coal and stones respectively challenging plans like Short, Mid and manifesto vision 2021 of the govern- from the Barapukuria coal field and Long-Term plans as well as Fast Track ment in regard to the energy security Maddapara granite field. As of April programs have been taken up to drill 2010 the total number of gas fields both exploratory and development are: To ensure energy security by 2021 stands at 23, out of which 17 producing wells and to have workover jobs at with consideration of oil, gas, coal, gas fields have been producing gas some existing wells now showing less water, wind & solar energy as primary through 79 wells. At present, the esti- production than originally expected. mated gas reserve (proven + probable) is energy sources in the energy policy. Upon successful implementation of the Increase power supply to 8,000 MW about 12 TCF. Daily gas production short term program about 158 MMCFD by 2015, as well as to enhance power capacity is about 2000 MMCFD against gas is expected to be added to the supply to ensure country’s maximum daily a gas demand of 2500(+) MMCFD, national gas grid by December 2010. In demand of up to 20,000 MW by 2021, resulting in a daily gas shortage of about the mid-term plan to be implemented by inclusive of industries and every village 500(+) MMCFD. It may be mentioned December 2013, Petrobangla compahere that in January 2009 gas producof the country. nies and international oil companies tion and supply was 1766 MMCFD, but Prepare & implement short, mid & (OICs) are expected to add about 585 in the January 2010 gas production and long-term plan at the state-of-the-art MMCFD gas to the national grid. Under level through review of power fast track program some system master plan and development drilling and power sector development workover of some wells are strategy. being completed at a war footing. Under the same proCampaign for regional gram some more activities energy security through mutuare taken up to find out new al cooperation between the exploration drilling locations neighboring countries. through seismic data colIn the national interest, lection, computer processing adopt environment friendly and interpretation. With this policy to acquire mineral view, about 3100 kilometer resources of the northern 2D seismic survey in different Bangladesh area, with priority to energy mitigation, industri- Petrobangla chairman Dr. Hussain Monsur visits Rashidpur gas field for onshore blocks will be conducted. If these exploration alization and manpower utiinaugurate 3D seismic survey by Bapex

activities are successful gas reserves will be enhanced and there will have a possibility of increasing gas production in the near future. Besides this, considering the crying need and to allay the immediate gas shortage at the Chittagong region, the government has been considering whether present gas supply gap of about 500 MMCFD could be met through LNG import by the year 2012. During mid-term gas production augmentation program necessary steps have been taken to evacuate the producible additional gas to the customers end. With this view, besides constructing transmission pipeline compressor stations will also be installed as necessary. At least three compressor stations at Ashuganj, Elenga and Muchai are likely to be installed by the year 2013. During the long-term plan, to be completed by the year 2016, programs have been taken up with the target of adding 1080 MMCFD gas in the national grid by Petrobangla companies and IOCs. Therefore, the comprehensive programs that have been taken (and if completed as per program during 2012 — 2016) is expected to add 2323 MMCFD gas (including 500 mmcfd through LNG import) to the national grid. Alongside, necessary steps are being considered to conduct more exploration and production activities through onshore bidding round under PSC where scope has been opened up with the withdrawal of the embargo by the Honorable High Court. The strengthening of the only national oil and gas exploration and production company (BAPEX) has been being ignored for long. The present government has prioritized to strengthen it both technologically and financially. With this view various noticeable steps have been taken which will lead us to be independent of foreign help and to go forward with using state-of-the- art technological know-how by BAPEX in order to mitigate the energy demand by strong exploration activities in the onshore and offshore areas of the country. BAPEX has been doing its exploration activities by very old rigs since long. A highly sophisticated rig with drilling capacity of more than 5000 meters depth has been bought and has already reached the Fenchugonj drilling

for the first time 3D seismic survey has been started at Rashidpur gas field. Besides drilling program at Fenchugonj gas field, Petrobangla’s next programs for drilling production wells are at Saldanadi, Titas and Rashidpur gas fields, and the exploration wells will be drilled at Sundalpur, Kapasia, Srikail, Mobarakpur and Netrokona. It is expected that the exploration and production activities of our national company BAPEX will help in fulfilling the growing energy demand in the power, industrial, agricultural, transport and domestic sectors. It is expected that the consumers will keep patience and have confidence on our earnest efforts. It may be mentioned here that the present government has effectively launched and created a fund namely “Gas Development Fund” which will be generated from the gas sales price and will be utilized in the gas exploration and development activities of the respective national companies. As a result, dependency on foreign aid will be decreased gradually as well as exploration and development activities will be accelerated in line with the national requirements, conducted by the national companies. Finally, it is to be mentioned that the oil and gas exploration and production business is hugely investment dependent. It is also a time consuming and risk oriented business by nature of its technology and uncertainty. It deserves proper technological know-how with appropriate equipment and application which was not properly taken care of by the past two governments. The present government has to take care of the backlog and to go forward with the vision of energy security. Considering the above situation the follow-up of necessary strategies, steps and programs/projects have been taken up by Petrobangla, and hence by the present government. We believe, the outputs/outcome from them will help the nation in the efforts of achieving a poverty free Bangladesh.

A view of a BAPEX drilling rig

site. This new rig is now under commissioning with the target to start drilling operation there by the first week of August 2010. Moreover, a draft agreement has already been signed with the supplying organization to buy a workover rig. The final agreement will be signed after the completion of vetting by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and it is hoped that supplier will delivery it as soon as possible. 2D and 3D seismic survey activities are essential in order to accelerate the gas exploration and development. Two modern seismic equipment (one 2D and 3D each) have already been collected with their auxiliaries. Besides, related data processing and interpretation hardware and software have also been procured. In order to support financial solvency of BAPEX, the price of the gas to be produced by BAPEX has been increased from Tk 7.00 to Tk 25.00 per thousand cubic feet (MCF). Also, GOB’s grant financing has been increased significantly in case of oil and gas exploration and development activities of BAPEX. Rigorous activities have been started by BAPEX. Three rigs are now in simultaneous operations for workover programs at Habigonj # 11, Megna Ghat # 1 and Titas # 12. The 2D seismic survey is going on over Kamta gas field area and

Professor Dr. Md. Hussain Monsur Chairman, Petrobangla; Edited by: Dr Nafis Ahmed CP Eng, Internatonal Editor


A S M Alamgir Kabir


lectricity is critical for supporting economic growth, poverty reduction and social development. Due to improvement in the quality of living of the people, development in agriculture and industry sectors and the overall expansion of the economy, demand of electricity is increasing day by day. However, power generation capacity of the country has not increased at the desired rate required to meet the demand for the past several years. This has resulted in an inevitable power shortage, both in the urban and rural areas. The present government has placed the highest priority to power sector development since they came to power in early 2009. After some initial quandary due to inherited problems, the government has reformulated Power Generation Expansion Program with pragmatic immediate, short and mid-term plans. The government has also introduced strict monitoring system on the project

Indigenous natural gas has been the most reliable, efficient & cost effective fuel for power generation


implementation to avoid possible delays due to various bottlenecks. Existing power generation scenario at a glance is summarized below: Table 1. Present Power Supply Situation The present power generation capability is about 3800 — 4300 MW. Without fuel constraint this capacity would be about 4500 4800 MW. Due to shortage in supply of natural gas, about 500-700 MW of power cannot be generated in spite of available capacity. The highest peak demand is 5500-5800 MW, and loadshedding of about 1200-1800 MW is thus inevitable in hot summer days. The share of private sector is 35% and remaining is from public sector. About 30% of public sector power plants are running beyond their economic lifetime and have become less efficient and capacity derated to about 5400 MW. However, due to concerted efforts, the power generation capacity of the country has increased significantly since 2009. Following figure has illustrated a comparison of monthly average peak generation during present and the last four (4) years (Figure 1). Strategic Approach for Power Generation Planning Power generation in Bangladesh is still mono-fuel dependent, i.e. indigenous natural gas. The remainder is from oil, coal and hydropower. Share of renewable is still insignificant. (a) Fuel Diversity Indigenous natural gas has been the most reliable, efficient and cost effective fuel for power generation.

energy. The government is also considering i m p o r t e d Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) based power generation projects, which can take advantage of the country’s reasonably developed pipeline infrastructure. (b) Regional Cooperation Another important strategic step in long term planning is the initiative to add power to the national grid through regional cooperation. Recently a project on regional grid interconnection has been adopted as per an MOU signed between the Bangladesh and India governments. About 500 MW of power is expected to be imported from India through this regional grid interconnection by July 2012. Initiatives are also underway to harness hydropower resources in Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. The power would be transmitted through the regional grid. The grid will also be used to export power from Bangladesh to the regional countries in future. (c) Demand Side Management (DSM) One watt of electricity saved is more than one watt of electricity generated without burning of fuel. Therefore, in addition to generation expansion activities, various Demand Side Management (DSM) measures have been adopted to curb power demand, for example: 1. Limited use of air conditioners keeping temperature at 25°C. 2. Encouraging the business community to adopt solar energy options 3. Holiday staggering. 4. Introduction of Energy Star

However, in recent years, supply of natural gas has become uncertain due to depleting gas reserves. Due to uncertainty in exploration of new gas reserves, the natural gas based power generation projects (committed and under construction) have to convert to duel fuel options. Power Sector now, is in the midst of a challenging period. The strategic change in the power generation planning has been made in terms of fuel security. Unless new gas reserves are discovered, after 2014, coal has been considered as the key fuel for base load power supply. Liquid fuel is taking an important stake especially for peaking duty and short term solution. Introduction of renewable energy based power projects has been adopted as a new strategy for sustainable future

Rating system in the electric appliances through BSTI. 5. Closing of markets and shopping malls by 8 p.m. 6. Installation of quality pre-paid and smart meters all over the country. 7. Inclusion of energy conservation and solar power uses in the National Building Code. 8. Inclusion of Energy Conservation and Alternative Energy concepts in the school curricula. 9. Installation of solar panel in the govrnment., semi-government and autonomous organizations within next 3 years. 10. Replacement of 40 million incandescent lamps (IL) nation wide with CFL (10 million in 2010). 11. Use of CFL bulbs in all ministries and public sector entities. 12. Conventional street lights to be replaced by LED and solar subsequently. 13. Public awareness for energy conservation. By adopting the above mentioned measures, about 700-800 MW of electricity could be saved. Power Generation Expansion Program (Up to 2015) In the election manifesto of the present democratic government it was promised to add generation capacity of 7,000 MW by 2013, 8,000 MW by 2015 and 20,000 MW by 2021. The generation expansion program has been reformulated to fit in that goal. Pragmatic steps have been taken to add new generation capacity each year according to the demand. According to the power generation augmentation program, about 7,000 MW of power will be added to the national grid by 2013. Initiatives are also underway to add about 11,000 MW of

power by 2015. In this development process, private sector will have a significant role since 63% of the capacity addition is expected to be from private sector. Loadshedding Within Tolerable Limits: Immediate Priority Conventional power projects need substantial time to implement. Therefore, the present power expansion program will not be able to solve the immediate power crisis, and power deficit is

December this year and another 850 MW will be added by March 2 0 1 1 . Procurement of those quick rental projects have been done following the government purchase rules (Article No. 68 of PPR 2006). The major cost component of the rental plants is fuel (80%), while the rent and O&M charges account for the other 20%. The price of the recent rental projects is competitive. Demand — Supply Gap with Generation Capacity Addition The generation addition plan first adopted was without Quick Rental Power Plants as illustrated below: Figure 3. With the above plan, it was found that, the power supply would not be adequate to meet the demand until 2012. Even after 2012, power supply would narrowly exceed demand and in 2014 power demand and supply would coincide again. Unless there is significant surplus, reliability of power supply cannot be actually ensured. That is why the government has opted for quick rental power plants to provide reliable power supply at the earliest by adding additional power to the grid within 3-9 months. The demand-supply situation with inclusion of Quick Rental Power Projects in the generation expansion plan is shown below: Figure 4. It is expected that with the addition of Quick Rental projects, the supply situation will improve substantially beyond 2011. Therefore, we can now expect to provide reliable and quality power supply in 2012, and beyond. Financing Power Generation Project Power projects are capital intensive & needs substantial

expected to continue to rise in the coming 2-4 years, until the conventional power projects are commissioned. Under the above scenario, the government has adopted a Fast Track Rental power plant projects to mitigate the immediate irrigation and summer loads of 2011 and 2012. Due to natural gas shortage and non-availability of low cost alternative primary fuel(s), these projects will run on liquid fuel. The projects are to be commissioned within 3 to 9 months from the date of contract signing, with contract period of 35 years. About 650 MW of rental power should be added to the grid by

investment to materialize. Power generation projects under government sector would need about US$ 3.84 billion in investment. The government may invest about US$ 1.72 billion from its own fund. The remaining US$ 2.12 Billion will come from multilateral and bilateral donors (about US$ 1.4 billion already committed). For power projects to be developed under the private sector, it is estimated that about US$ 9.32 billion will be needed 25% of the investment (US$ 2.33 billion) will come from equity financing by private sector. The remaining 75% (US$ 6.99 billion) will be debt financing. Government is going to form an Infrastructure Financing Company to provide debt and equity finance (about US$ 1.0 billion) for IPP and PPP projects. Power Evacuation: Transmission Requirements Evacuation of power from power plants to the load center and ultimately to the customers is to be ensured to achieve the exact benefit from power generation expansion program. Several Transmission Projects have been taken for power evacuation from Bibiyana, Sylhet area, South-west Zone (Bhola) and from two mega coal power projects in Khulna and Chittagong. Bangladesh-India Regional Grid Interconnection project is also under implementation. Initiatives are underway to evacuate power from other

planned power generation projects including rental power plants. It is estimated that about US$ 1.8 Billion investment will be required for the transmission projects. 45% of such investment will be sourced from government funds. The remaining will be sourced from development partners. Tariff Adjustment Due to prevailing gas crisis, power generation from more expensive fuels, like liquid fuel and imported coals will be costlier. As a result, supply cost of electricity will be higher and sustainability of the power system development will be at risk without price adjustment. It may be mentioned that Power Pricing Framework 2004 has illustrated plain guideline for cost reflective tariff adjustment. Without cost reflective tariff adjustment, huge compensation

from national exchequers will be needed to meet the revenue shortfall. This is not desirable as those money could be utilized to meet other much needed social objectives of the government. Thus, it would be more rationale if cost of supply of electricity could be realized from customers by tariff rationalization in phases. Lifeline tariff up to a suitable limit (may be 50 Units) shall be introduced for poor and vulnerable customers to reduce the burden. This will address social responsibility of the government. Cost reflective tariff adjustment also gives a price signal to the customers to motivate them to save electricity. However, tariff adjustments should be carried out gradually so that it is within tolerable limit for the customers. Conclusion Since independence, this is the first time, the government has adopted a pragmatic, timely and massive power system expansion program and has taken multifaceted efforts to meet the power demand and development goal of the country. Concerted efforts from all quarters including stakeholders can only make the mission successful.

14000 12000 10000 8000

6000 4000 2000 0




2012 Year




Max.Demand considering DSM

Depandable Capacity( with gas crises)

A S M Alamgir Kabir Chairman, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). The content of this article reflect only his personal, and not official views. Edited by: Dr Nafis Ahmed CP Eng, International Editor




Hopefully the investigation committees would discuss and make recommendations for likely way outs of the problems surfaced now. But one thing is sure, that the concerned parties and the miners became scared and put serious doubts on the possibility of mining in the slices bellow the so called top coal slice of the seam VI. Earlier the Chinese Contractors claimed that they could mine 8 subsequent slices in the seam VI and the consultants had serious doubt about the practicality of such claim. Now the Chinese Contractors are limiting their projections for mining maximum three slices of coal from the working seam VI observing serious threat of bumps in the face 1108 and adjacent mine districts. Already, the justification of the huge capital investment for the insignificant recovery of coal from the underground coal mine is questioned. The further limiting of the production targets will definitely be inviting more questions. Also the attempts to coal recovery from subsequent coal slices of the seam VI will require additional capital and operation investments and the mining will be more risky. The manifestation of wide spread land subsidence on the surface above the coal extraction areas and beyond put forward the major land subsidence issues and its social agonies. The Contractor clearly has pushed the responsibility of land subsidence induced impact management including agricultural and settlement land loss, and resettlement issues for several thousand people of the area to government’s shoulder. Surely, more coal extraction will have more subsidence impacts on the surface as well as the underground mine strata control problems. There are skeptic views on the suitability of continuing mining of coal with longwall method in Barapukuria mine and thus the underground mine may end up with the accomplishment of mining coal from the remaining 4-5 smaller size tar-

areas floor may suddenly heave. Such a failure is usually accompanied by a very loud noise and tremors or vibrations that can be detected at some distance in the surrounding earth and mine atmosphere (the villagers living in the mine area and the miners both reported such noise and tremors during the accident at Barapukuria on 11 May 2010). There are reports of geological disturbances in and around the place of the Barapukuria mine ‘bump’ (in the underground mines geologically disturbed areas are usually risky in terms of roof and floor stability). The stability of the ‘belt gate’ of the long wall face 1108 has been critical as the neighboring faces 1104 and 1106 were mined out and with the retreating 270 m long hanging roof with minimum artificial support (the roadways are having steel support with 0.7m intervals within coal with wooden planks in between). Once the mine face and connecting roadways are placed in between the worked out areas in the sequence of mining, the overall support system became week. This situation demanded close monitoring and appropriate and prompt measures of strata pressure control from the mine operators. But the reality of the industry is different. In absence of the regulatory control and systematic monitoring the underground mining has been in the free hands of the contractors and seldom the contractors are willing voluntarily to take care of occupational health, safety and miners welfare. The miners’ violent protests in the recent past in Barapukuria coal mine reiterated the state of affairs there. Unfortunately little change has been taken place since then in terms of mine safety and occupational health. Roof falls rarely occur without warning. Usually before the roof fall the timber used for support cracks and splits under the increasing load, giving an indication of the approaching danger. Also the

get faces (1112, 1116, 1110, 1111 and 1113) from the top slice of seam VI within the year 2011. The recent sudden roof fall accident in Barapukuria coal mine is a similar phenomenon of ‘bump’ which is not desired but not uncommon in the underground coal mines (the term ‘bump’ first was used in the eastern USA to cover the sudden roof or wall collapse in the coal mines. Available data suggests bumps have caused 49 accidents during 1978-1984 and resulted 14 fatalities in 1959-1984 in the eastern USA coal mines) relating to excessive stress accumulated on the hanging roof. This stressed situation is made worse when mining is conducted in areas encased in rigid associated strata. Coal and overlying rock when subjected to an increasing load adjust the stressed situation by deformation and fracturing of the roof, floor and coal pillars. Strata pressure in mine workings manifests in various ways, e.g. convergence, prop loads, crush, creep and heave etc. Commonly high strata pressure with consequent increased convergence, prop loads, crush etc. are encountered in the extraction phase, particularly when roof falls are imminent. But in certain geological environment even drivage of roadways may result in largescale squeezes causing considerable roadway closure and buckling of supporting arches. Occasionally, the ground failure is catastrophic when bump takes place. As a result coal may expel violently from the pillar. In some

ground itself in breaking emits a cracking noise, sometimes as loud as a gunshot. Finally a few seconds before the fall, small stone begin to drop out of the roof. To avoid falls of ground in the mine working area several actions are taken: the method of working must be selected appropriate to the geological conditions and the physio-mechanical properties of the rock, the face/area under strata pressure must be quickly and correctly supported, the roof control method must be well chosen and undeviatingly maintained; the condition of the roof and its supports should be systematically and carefully monitored. The frequent monitoring and observations of changed stress conditions in the roadways and in the face area could identify the likely roof collapse possibilities. Considerations should have been given to monitoring with pressure cells, measuring roof to floor convergence, delineating lithological transitions and employing geophysical methods (installations of geo-seismic phones to monitor the frequency of rock breaks and to determine their loci) to detect impeding problems. Unfortunately none of the concerned authorities took seriously the complains of the local miners who used to take regular risk in the face without adequate training on the developing risks in their movements through the face 1108 and its connecting roadways. The miners who suffered the accident reportedly complained earlier about the poor state of supports installed there and also the developing stress conditions in the roadways. Bump reduction techniques other than mine design include slotting, drilling, volley firing and water infusion. Each of these methods is a mean of distressing coal resulting in pillar load transfer and must be used with great caution. Pillars should all be approximately uniform in size and shape and large

enough to support the vertical load during development and small enough to yield under abutment zone loading during retreat mining. In the coal beds where bump problems occur on development gate entries, the advancing longwall design may be effective. It might sound ironic that there is no office of the Mines’ Inspector in the country and practically no supervision works have been carried out from the part of Mining Lease regulator despite the fact that several fatal accidents took place in the coal and rock mines of the country. Although the Mines and Minerals Rules, 1968 and the Mines Act, 1923 empowered the Director, Bureau of Mineral Development to inspect, monitor and take appropriate actions for securing safe practices of mine. Considering the technical constraints and commercial viability of the underground mining option, Barapukuria coal mine authority has recently forwarded a preliminary project development proposal for the government’s consideration for meeting the future challenge to produce large volume of coal for electricity generation in the country. It basically suggested for a Feasibility study and subsequent mine development for production of coal using open pit technology from the northern part of (281 hectares of land) the 668 hectares size Barapukuria coal field. The drill holes already established that the coal seam confined within the northern part of Barapukuria basin lies

within 118 m to 247 m depth range having approximately 100 million tonne of coal resource. The project proposal targets for annual production of 1.5 million tonne from this small scale open pit mine operations. Also the study envisages to understand the possibility of 6 million tonne of coal production annually from Barapukuria field and their impacts. As projected the study for open pit mine (the so called ‘test pit’) will require 10 years time and approximately BDT 552 crore investment. If the proposal is considered positively the government will require not only to make available the resource but also the appropriate foreign contractors and consultants to carry out the studies and excavation works. It also warrants the justification for investing the resources for a ‘test pit’ development for a limited production target. Irrespective to the Barapukuria mine’s future developments at this stage, among others a compulsory training center at the mine gate for all miners, visitors to be set up without delay to ensure minimum orientation and safety precautions for all who enters the mine. Until the local educational institutes take initiative to start producing graduates in mining engineering, mining geology, mine surveying, resource economics and other mine related disciplines, immediate initiatives are needed for sending abroad energetic graduates of engineering institutes and universities and from the earth science departments of the existing universities. It is the high time to realize that without investment in education and training no effective mine industry will be developed and in absence of national mine regulatory authorities equipped with technical knowledge based manpower safe mining practices will remain a distant dream.

Workers coming out from inside the Barapukuria coal mine after a recent roof-fall accident, leaving one killed and several injured

Dr. Mushfiqur Rahman Mining Engineer


Dr. Ijaz Hossain

In an era of extreme energy shortage in Bangladesh, one would naturally expect that all that canbe done in terms of energy efficiency has been done, but that is not at all the case.



he importance of energy efficiency to manage demand and ensure energy security is finally dawning on the policymakers of Bangladesh. It was extremely refreshing to hear the Finance Minister in his 2010-11 budget speech talk about old and inefficient power plants. Even though greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction was the focus for energy efficiency, the power of energy efficiency in delivering stable energy supply is now well accepted. The European Union has identified energy efficiency as a key element in GHG emission reduction in the short run. In an era of extreme energy shortage in Bangladesh, one would naturally expect that all that can be done in terms of energy efficiency has been done, but that is not at all the case. Despite the huge shortage of primary energy (for Bangladesh’s case it is natural gas), there remains huge inefficiency in all sectors of energy consumption. The two largest sectors in terms of potential of energy efficiency improvement are the power generation and fertilizer sectors. This article investigates the existing inefficiency, and shows how if remedial actions were taken in a timely fashion, today there would be very little or no energy shortage. Of course EE alone cannot ensure energy security in the future, but it can certainly make energy delivery much

there. Several other more recently built baseload power plants could not take advantage of the CCGT technology because those were built through bilateral contracts or supplier’s credit. However, when Bangladesh went for IPPs in early 1990 they did opt for CCGT, and now all projects in the pipeline are CCGTs. Figure: 1 shows the generation of electricity in the country in the year 2007-08 by plant type. The share of combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) is only 23% even though our majority fuel is natural gas. Interestingly, most of that is owned by the IPPs. Of the 2400 MW of baseload power plants owned by BPDB, only 90 MW is CCGT, and even that is a converted one operating with an efficiency of 40%. BPDB has not built a single new CCGT, and continues to operate plants as old as 37 years. This has come about purely from the lack of sufficient funding. Since 1998, the new CCGT baseload plants have been built and operated by IPPs. These are running successfully for more than 12 years at efficiencies ranging between 44% and 52%; average being 48%. Many IPPs are eager to build CCGTs, but BPDB is cautious about inviting IPPs and losing its share of the baseload market. Tender documents for a 450 MW baseload IPP plant at Bibiyana are being processed, and another 300450 MW gas based plant as IPP is being considered. The steam thermal

easier for the government. Combined Cycle Gas Turbines to Replace Steam Thermal Plants CCGT is a well-established commercial technology that is still improving, with new state-of-the-art CCGT plant designs nearing 60% efficiency. If combined with state-of-the-art gas turbines, CCGTs can easily achieve efficiencies above 50%. Since many of Bangladesh’s baseload power plants were built in the early eighties, the advantages of using commercially proven CCGT technology was not

baseload plants of BPDB are operating at an average efficiency of 31%, and at least 1500 MW is more than 20 years old. A rehabilitation program in some of these older plants can bring the efficiency up to a maximum of 36% because of the age of these plants. It should be noted that the maximum theoretical efficiency of these subcritical steam thermal plants is 38%. Therefore, a far superior option is to start replacing the older plants with CCGTs. From a purely energy efficiency point of view this process should have been started 10 years back because the CCGT technology, which had fully matured by then was available at very competitive prices, and efficiencies had already reached the 50% mark. Donor funding for power plants was stopped in the early 1990 mainly because IPPs were eager to construct power plants in Bangladesh. In fact, the IPPs have built 800 MWs of CCGTs since the late 1990. Three plants (Ashuganj [128 MW]; Ghorashal [110 MW]; Chittagong [60 MW]) are more than 25 years old. These three plants have consumed 15624 million ft3 of natural gas in the last year to generate 1203 GWh (net of stations own use) of electricity. Using the same amount of gas in new state-of-the-art CCGTs one could

baseload plants; 2500 MW at 85% load factor or 18615 GWh of electricity per year. State-of-the-art & Aeroderivative Gas Turbines The average efficiency of Gas Turbines (GT) in Bangladesh is 25%; one GT is operating at an efficiency of 18% (see Figures [Figure: 2.1 & 2.2] for plant age and efficiency). These plants can be rehabilitated to restore the efficiencies close to their design values, but because the technologies are old, the increase will probably not exceed 4-5%. Commercially available State-of-the-art Gas Turbines and Aeroderivative Gas Turbines have efficiencies of 35% and 45% respectively. Therefore, between 10 and 20% efficiency improvement is possible if new turbines are used to replace the 20+ year old turbines of BPDB. However, the prices of these turbines are much more than what Bangladesh is used to paying for the cheapest GTs commercially available in the market. Because of the availability of natural gas in Bangladesh, peaking plants built after 1980 have always been Gas Turbines (GT). However, because BPDB could never build sufficient GTs to supply the peak demand since 1990, the very old diesel and furnace oil plants have been kept in operation. In the year 2008, 2% and 5%

generate more than 2000 GWh of electricity (using an annual load factor greater than 80%). In the last 15 years BPDB has not built a single large power plant thus depriving themselves of the heat rate advantages of high efficiency combined cycle power plants. The efficiencies of the new CCGT plants are so much better than older steam thermal units that using the Challenger-Defender concept of engineering economics one would recommend shutting down even those plants which have not reached their retirement age. The potential of this option is all the existing gas based

electricity have been generated using diesel and furnace oil respectively. Supplier’s Credit that essentially ties Bangladesh to technologies only from the donor country and the tendering rules of the government that stipulate purchase from the lowest bidder have combined to create a situation where Bangladeshi utilities are forced to accept inefficient and inferior quality GTs. To make matters worse several peaking gas turbines are operated as baseload plants some clocking an annual load factor of 75%. Three plants (Haripur [100 MW]; Shajibazar [60 MW]; Chittagong [30 MW]) are more than 20 years old. The Haripur and Shajibazar plants have consumed 7090 million m3 of natural gas to generate 480 GWh (net of stations own use) of electricity. Using the same gas in a state-of-the-art and Aeroderivative gas turbine 683 [42% more] and 879 [83% more] GWh of electricity respectively could have been generated. Even though Gas Turbines are standard pieces of power generation equipment, their heat rate (or efficiency) can vary a lot depending on the quality of the turbine. State-of-the-art GE and similar standard gas turbines today can achieve 35% efficiency. Advanced Gas Turbines (also known as Aeroderivative turbines) can achieve efficiencies over 45%. Both these options for peaking plants are standard commercial technologies, but the cost of these turbines are between 40% and 100% more than the cheapest turbines available in the market.

As commented earlier, all old peaking power plants in Bangladesh can be phased out, and over time as more and more gas turbine plants reach their retirement age these can also be replaced. Nearly 1000 MW of capacity can be targeted for efficiency improvement. Urea Fertilizer Plants Bangladesh owns one small size and six world class fertilizer plants. Seven ammonia-urea complexes (six public and one private) have been built in the country since 1961. The total installed capacities of these plants are 2,895,700 tons of urea and 1,886,700 tonnes of

ammonia per year. Except for JFCL in Tarakandi, all plants are more than 20 years old. NGFF in Fenchuganj and UFFL in Ghorashal are 47 and 37 years old respectively. The Specific Energy Consumption, or SEC (the natural gas in MSCF consumed to produce a ton of urea) of these plants is more than double (46 MSCF/ton urea) that of a state-of-the art urea plant (22 MSCF/ton urea). Therefore, the best option for these two plants is to build totally new plants in the existing factory location. The SECs of the other four plants vary but are also high: JFCL [30 MSCF/ton]; CUFL [36 MSCF/ton]; ZFCL [41 MSCF/ton]; PUFF [51 MSCF/ton]. The significant gas throughput efficiency of replacing these older plants is obvious. The reasons why older urea plants require so much more natural gas feedstock compared to their design value include: extra natural gas consumption for repeated shutdowns and start-ups lower plant load of ammonia plant requiring more steam from auxiliary boiler lower efficiency of turbines, compressors, pumps, fans etc. when operating at reduced load lack of proper budget/management for r e p l a c i n g unit/equipment/valves in a timely manner The best performing plant in Bangladesh is owned by a consortium of foreign

companies, and is called KAFCO. Most of the government owned plants are very old. As can be seen from Figure, compared to KAFCO, the government owned plants are consuming 30% to 300% more natural gas to produce 1 ton of urea. A noteworthy observation is that KAFCO is achieving a SEC better than its design value. It is very interesting if we compare the design value with the actual gas usage of KAFCO (Compare the red and blue bars). As can be seen KAFCO is consuming less gas per ton of urea produced than what it was designed at. On the other hand, except for PUFF, all the BCIC plants are consuming more than the design values. This is quite outstanding performance for a plant operating in Bangladesh. Therefore, the conditions in Bangladesh are not unfavorable for efficient operation. What then is the problem with our public sector fertilizer plants? As it happens most of KAFCO’s employees are ex-BCIC employees — lured by the high salaries. Our engineers can perform very well if

the conditions are right. What is the secret of KAFCO? The following four factors are vital in the keeping KAFCO’s performance high. 1. Regular and timely maintenance 2. Funds are always available for maintenance and emergencies 3. A motivated workforce 4. An independent Board It is clear that the public sectors plants are wasting huge quantities of scarce natural gas. If all the plants under BCIC could achieve KAFCO’s performance then 75 MMCFD of gas could have been saved. Or, we could have produced more 1 million tonnes of urea saving the country nearly US$ 400-500 million annually. The energy savings potential is obvious. However, since the mid-nineties Bangladesh has not been able to secure investment funds for building new plants so that old plants can be retired. The NGFF plant was supposed to have been retired at least 10 years back, and

a new one built in its place, but that hasn’t materialized yet. Efficiency improvement measures can be of two types, namely, 1. Rehabilitation of existing plants to restore specific energy consumption (SEC) close to its design value. 2. Completely new plants to replace old plants An in-house study by BCIC found that investment of US$ 32 million dollars can restore the SEC of the ZFCL close to its design value with a life of 10 years. On the other hand an entirely new plant of capacity approximately 1800 tonnes of urea per day at a cost of $500 million having a useful life of 25 years with a SEC of 22 MCF/Ton can be built. Alternatively if the saved gas was used in a CCGT, more than 800 MW of electricity could be generated.

Dr. Ijaz Hossain Chemical Engineer, BUET



Engr. A N M Obaidullah

Energy conservation & efficiency improvement was one of the main agenda of the SAARC leaders in 2009.

However, due to the poor penetration of energy efficient appliances in most developing countries, there are a number of barriers to their implementation that need to be overcome, such as lack of awareness of the benefits of energy efficient (EE) appliances, high initial cost of EE appliances and the nonavailability of EE appliances in the market. Introduction of a mechanism to harmonize appliances standards and labeling program in South Asia may create enabling environment towards implementation of energy efficiency and conservation programs. SAARC Commitment Energy conservation and efficiency improvement was one of the main

agenda of the SAARC leaders in 2009. To promote this agenda, SAARC experts formulated different action plan in its Energy Dialogue meeting held in Delhi in 2008. The meeting came out with some recommendations, which are as below: Formation of a task force to study and formulate energy efficiency standards and labeling at the regional level. Formulation and establishment of Minimum Energy Standards for the region. Harmonization of test procedures and capability of testing facility. Development of strategies for removal of barriers to promote energy efficient products (based on life cycle cost analysis) in the region.


n response to the ever rising energy demand, limited availability of energy resources and growing concern over climate change, demand for energy conservation, efficiency improvement and standardization of appliances have become a global concern. Because of its low energy consumption per capita in comparison to the more developed parts of the world, South Asia has been less concerned about these issues. On the other hand, wastage of available energy is also remarkable, and in some cases it is around 25 percent. Considering the ground reality, leaders of South Asia in their 15th SAARC Summit held in Colombo in March 2009 expressed their concern over these matters. The importance of energy efficiency standards setting and labeling of end-use appliances is enormous and also considered as a tool for sustainable economic development. The experience of these programs in many countries demonstrates the potential for substantial electricity peak demand reduction and energy savings with attractive cost and benefit ratios. Studies conducted in several Asian countries have shown that the cost of saving a unit of energy through energy efficiency strategies is much less than producing a unit of energy through new generation.

Sharing of success stories, test facilities and programs between member states. Training and capacity building initiatives at the regional level. Standard & Labeling Energy standards are a set of procedures and figures that define the energy performance of manufactured products, sometimes prohibiting the sale of products where energy consumption is higher than the minimum standard. Energy levels, on the other hand, are

the informative labels affixed to manufactured products in order to provide consumers with the data necessary for making informed purchases. In short, this movement offers numerous potential benefits, which include reduction in electricity peak demand, increased energy security for sustainable economic development and increased consumer awareness of energy and the environment. Energy labels improve the market’s operation by displaying accurate energy consumption information on products. Nowadays, energy labeling of household appliances are getting popularity in different countries. The most commonly labeled appliances are refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, lighting products, rice cookers and washing machines. In some countries, labeling includes gas and oil equipment in their program. There are two main types of labels: Endorsement and comparison. Endorsement labels indicate that products belong to the “most energy efficient” class of products or meet a predetermined standard or eligibility criteria. Products generally display a logo or mark which identifies that they have met the standard or product class, and the labels generally contains little or no comparative energy efficiency information. This type of label merely informs the consumer that the product meets the required standard. Endorsement labeling programs are mostly of a voluntary nature. An endorsement label may be specifically for energy efficiency or it may be an “Eco” label. Eco label programs endorse products that have low impact across a wide range of environmental factors, with energy consumption levels often having a high priority (but not always). Comparative labels allow consumers to form a judgment about the energy

efficiency (or energy consumption) and relative ranking of all products that carry a label. The comparative labeling programs in OECD countries are primarily mandatory; however, some comparative programs in other countries are voluntary. Endorsement and comparative labels can coexist, and do so in many countries. The most commonly used comparison labels use a scale with absolutely defined efficiency categories. This type of label allows consumers to easily assess the efficiency of a product in relation to an absolute scale, by means of a simple numerical or ranking system. The concept is that it is much easier for a consumer to remember and compare a simple ranking scale (such as 1, 2, 3 or 1 star, 2 star, 3 star or A, B, C) than to remember and compare energy consumption values. Essentially the visual designs of comparison labels in use around the world can be grouped into three basic types: i. Dial Label: This type of label has a “dial” or gauge, with greater efficiency linked to advancement along the gauge (more efficient represented by a clockwise arc). This type of label is used in Australia, Thailand, and Korea and has also been adopted by India. The number of stars or the “grading” numeral on the scale depends on the highest preset threshold for energy performance that the model is able to meet. ii. Bar Label: This type of label uses a

bar chart with a grading from best to worst. All grade bars are visible on every label with a marker next to the appropriate bar indicating the grade of the model. This label is used primarily in Europe and South America. Mexico uses this concept for some products, but the format is different. iii. Linear Label: This label has a linear scale indicating the highest and lowest energy use of models on the market, locating the specific model within that scale. As energy is used as the comparator (rather than efficiency), it is necessary to group models into similar size categories for comparison. This model is used in North America. Labeling programs are not necessarily restricted within country borders. For example, the European Union Label extends not only to EU member states but has been adopted by several other countries in the region. The US EPA ENERGY STAR® program for office equipment has been adopted in many other countries around the world and, attempts are underway to design and implement a unified energy labeling program for that continent. Currently, most countries are developing energy labels in isolation from each other. To get maximum benefit from energy labeling, a unified approach is required. In this case, customers want and need, its link up with stakeholders is essential. A major component of any energy labeling program is the testing method used to determine the key performance data to be shown on the energy label (capacity, energy consumption, etc.) — harmonization of test methods is where real gains can be made at an international level. The Collaborate Standards and Labeling Program (CLASP) has beens

Examples of different labels

set up to assist countries to develop their own energy labeling and Minimum Energy Performance Standard programs. They have already published a number of such guides — these are available on Minimum Energy Performance Standard Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) are the specified minimum energy efficiency levels products must meet before they can be legally sold. These mandatory standards are set at levels that balance the technical possibility with economic viability and competitive forces within a particular market. MEPS are usually not static but are revised over time to reflect improving levels of energy efficiency. MEPS rely on test procedures which are used to determine appliance performance, energy consumption and hence energy efficiency. They are critical as they enable products to be compared on a fair basis. Some countries prefer to encourage manufacturers to increase product efficiency in a voluntary manner without threat of regulation. Instead of legislating MEPS, target efficiency levels are set usually based on average market efficiency rather than the performance of individual appliances and are referred to as targets or negotiated agreements. Outcome of S&L Program In the era of energy crisis, energy standards and labels can play a pivotal role for the sustainable development of South Asia. As a developing economy, consumers of South Asia are less sensitive about the long term benefits of the usage of standard appliances. As a result, South Asian markets are vulnerable to sub standard household appliances. From different studies, it is observed that every one dollar investment on demand side management of electricity can save more than two dollars of investment in the power sector or almost three dollars in developing countries like South Asia. In South Asia, almost 80 percent of electricity consumption is consumed by domes-

tic and industrial sector. Because of market economy, usage of household appliances are increasing day by day and creating pressure on the electricity industry. Standard and labeling program has multiplier effect on economy. It would not only save the peak load demand but also reduce generation capacity, energy and investment cost for new generation to a great extent. In south Asia, India and Sri Lanka have taken extensive measures to promote and implement S&L program. Through Bureau of Energy Efficiency, India is implementing its S&L program and in Sri Lanka, it is being implemented by SSI, SEA and NERDC. According to the information of BEE, in 2008-09, India saved around 2,106 million units of energy through its S&L program from refrigerators, air conditioners and tubular fluorescent lamps, which avoided power generation to the tune of 600 MW. Critical Issues of Standard & Labeling Program A series of steps need to be taken in order to improve the energy efficiency of household appliances through an appliance standards and labeling program. A Planning Phase needs to be established during which decisions will be made regarding which appliances should be addressed in what order, which labeling approach should be selected, which standard-setting approach should be selected, whether the labels will be voluntary or mandatory, whether the standards will be voluntary or mandatory, and how the standards and labels will be implemented in a phased and coordinated manner. Decisions also need to be made regarding matters during an implementation phase- exactly how will the right labels get on all the right appliances, how will fraud be prevented, how will appliances be inspected for compliance with the standards, what sort of public awareness campaign will be conducted, what sort of financing or financial incentives will be provided to help people pay for the more

expensive appliances, and where will the financial resources come from to support all of the above? Finally, decisions will need to be made regarding what kind of ongoing Monitoring and Independent Evaluation Phase of the program would be undertaken. The above program elements cannot be undertaken on a haphazard or ad hoc basis. One of the first necessary steps will involve the designation of an institution to steer the program through the design, implementation, and evaluation phases, and coordinate a range of stakeholders- government ministries, electric utilities, private businesses, and trade associations, and NGOs- with a range of interests and views. The institution must be designed with sufficient authority to allow it to overcome institutional barriers and resolve differing views among the stakeholders; and it must operate with sufficient transparency so that stakeholders will respect its process and decisions even if they do not always agree with them. Finally, the institution will need legal authority to enforce the standards and labeling rules and to pursue penalties for violations. This authority could also be vested in a companion institution, but it is a necessary function for the successful operation of the standard and labeling program. In this regard, single entity is to be established. Under this entity a detailed feasibility study may be conducted which includes market surveys on customer awareness and preferences, appliance saturation and usage profiles, scope of appliance efficiency gains, detailed cost/benefit analysis, institutional framework for standard and labeling, power system characteristics etc. The study may find out possibilities to establish a mechanism to harmonize standard setting and labeling programs with ongoing programs in neighboring countries. Harmonized test procedures and sharing of test facilities through the mechanism of mutual recognition agreements may enhance cooperation

among the SAARC Member States. Harmonization is basically the selection of procedures and practices from the list of already existing programs throughout the world. Last year, SAARC Energy Centre organized two-day Workshop on Appliances Standards and Labeling Program in Sri Lanka. The objective of this Workshop was to enhance the knowledge base of the policy makers and professionals of the Member States, and sharing of experiences and best practices in the field of energy efficiency standards and labeling for appliances. The Workshop ended up with the following recommendations:Formation of an Expert Group with the following Terms of Reference to formulate Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling for SAARC region: a. Identify appliances on priority basis for the SAARC Member States. Considering the ground situation of SAARC region, CFL may be consid-

ered as primary appliance for setting up a common standard. b. Develop time-based action plan for planning and implementation of standard and labeling program. c. Recommend standard and test procedures for different appliances selected on priority basis. d. Identify standard testing facilities available in SAARC Member States. e. Develop standard policy for implementation of standard and labeling program. f. Develop Draft Framework Agreement to promote Standard and Labeling Program within SAARC Member States. (i) Strengthening of Cooperation and linkages amongst existing Standard Testing Laboratories. (ii) Formation of Accreditation Body for Standard and Labeling Program for SAARC Member States.

Conclusion In short, standard and labeling program is a program of stakeholders. Success of this program mostly depends on the planning and implementation stages. In this program interest and involvement of both producers and customers is critical. Implementation of this program will not only conserve energy but it will also reduce the long run marginal cost of consumers and increase the market share of efficient producers. Establishment of a mechanism to harmonize standard setting and labeling programs with existing programs in other countries would reduce the possibilities of reinventing the wheels. In this case, existing situation and goals of the adopting countries would play decisive role.

Engr. A N M Obaidullah Research Fellow (Energy SAARC Energy Centre Edited by Nafis Ahmed International Editor.




Shamim Ara Hassan

The current proven reserve of fossil energy in Bangladesh is not sufficient enough to meet this growing demand for energy



there is also a ver the steady rise in last few the Green years sevHouse Gas eral initiatives emission have been taken around the around the world globe. The to design buildworld is curings for achieving rently facing the goals of netthe consezero energy and quences and net-zero carbon challenges of emissions. This G l o b a l drive towards Warming and achieving netc l i m a t e zero energy buildchanges (Figings (NZEB), is the 1). Adverse latest phase of impacts of ongoing processes Fig1: Correlation between Global Consumption of Fossil Fuel, Green house gas emissions, Global c l i m a t e warming and storm damage (1970-2000) of raising the bar change due on sustainably important to get to Zero (in context to to increase in the consumption in fossil designed buildings. The trend targets at Bangladesh)? setting new benchmarks for buildings 2) What is actually meant by Zero ener- fuel, is the pme of the most important concern of our planet, demanding with the intention to increase the stan- gy Building? dard of current sustainable building 3) Implementing and executing Zero immediate reduction in the use of fossil fuel. practices. Energy buildings Significant increase of energy efficienA number of project teams are currentWhy is it Important to Get to Zero? cies of buildings is essential for effecly striving worldwide for the ambitious a. Energy crisis and Building scenario: tive planning to stabilize and mitigate goal of creating zero-energy buildings Building industry is one of the major Earth’s climatic degradation. At the that fully offset their energy consump- areas where maximum energy consame time, we are also faced with the tions and carbon emissions by generat- sumption and Green House Gas emisinadvertent truth about the possibility ing electricity and/or heat onsite, using sions take place. Fossil fuel being the of totally exhausting fossil fuel reserve renewable resources. Zero energy is primary source of energy in the world, around the world, causing a serious related with the Green Building continuous increase in the energy conand irreversible resource crisis in the Movement, which is used in many are- sumption in Building industry sectors is near future. nas as advertising slogans, political depleting the world reserve of fossil agendas, conference presentations and fuel at an alarming rate. Energy prices b. In Bangladesh context: Developing technical papers. Although, there is an are escalating every year, with its ever countries with over population are facexcitement over the phrase yet a com- increasing demand. As the energy con- ing a number of problems both due to mon understanding is generally lacking sumption rate is steadily increasing, energy crisis and induced effects of climate changes. Bangladesh, a developregarding what actually is meant by ing country Z e r o with a small Energy/Zero area but large E n e r g y population, is Goal/Zero at present facEnergy Building ing severe ener(ZEB). gy crisis. At The concept of present electriczero energy has ity coverage in been explained: Bangladesh is here only 43% and We will also per capita elecaddress the foltricity conlowing quessumption is tions? about 140 kWh Fig 2: The projected demand of electricity from year 2009 to year 2020. 1) Why is it Source: Bangladesh Power Development Board. which is one of

the lowest in the World. This situation is made even worse with rapid urbanization process, giving rise to continuously increasing energy demands in the country (Fig-2).

Country. For hot tropical climate like Bangladesh, this scenario will be different, with substantial energy being used in buildings for cooling Load.

Most of the power generating What is Actually Meant By plants in Bangladesh is producZero Energy Building? ing electricity from fossil fuel. a. Zero-energy defined: The The current proven reserve of way in which zero-energy is fossil energy in Bangladesh is Table 1: Average Import Price of Petroleum Products 2003-2004 to defined, affects the choices not sufficient enough to meet 2008-2009 designers make to achieve this growing demand for energy. also to reduce total energy demand and goals and whether or not they can Energy prices in the international mar- consumption, thereby minimizing attain success. ket are also increasing every year and energy crisis and ensuring the energy A zero energy building (ZEB) or net within next few decades it is expected security at large. zero energy building (NZEB) is a generthat the world reserve of fossil fuel will In FY 2007-08, the total installed gen- al term applied to a building's use with come to its lowest possible level (Table1). We, therefore, have to be prepared eration capacity was 5305 MW with zero net energy consumption and zero to effectively confront the upcoming 3809 MW in public sector and 1496 carbon emissions annually. Zero enerMW in private sector (including REB). gy buildings can be used autonomousfuel crisis situation. In FY 2007-08, it was possible to sup- ly from the energy grid supply — energy Renewable energy sources, such as, ply 4130 MW of maximum demand can be harvested on-site(Fig-5). The net solar energy, wind energy, bio-gas, bio(Public sector 2826 MW and IPP 1304 zero design principle is overlaid on the mass, hydro electricity, etc., offer the requested comfort of the building occuMW). feasible alternatives for our future According to the base forecast of the pant and the zero fossil energy consources of energy. Unfortunately, these Power System Master Plan drawn up in sumption principle. Generally, the renewable energy resources are cur2005, the maximum demand in 2009, more extreme the exposure to the elerently not popular enough or cost effec2012, and 2015 would be about 6,066 ments the more energy is needed to tive and their availabilities have not MW, 7,732 MW and 9,786 MW achieve a comfortable environment of been sufficiently explored in the counrespectively. The demand is expected human use. The zero fossil energy contries , where building industry (residensumption principle is gaining considerto be 13,993 MW in 2020. tial, commercial, industrial etc.) is the able interest as renewable energy harlargest energy consumer of available The Role of Building Sector in total vesting is a means to cut greenhouse energy (Fig-3). [Residential, Commercial &Industrial] gas emissions. Implementation of the “Zero Energy energy demand & energy consumption Zero-energy is defined in several disBuildings (ZEB) concept” is now Residential and commercial building tinct ways. viewed as an essential measure in sectors combined form the largest enerBangladesh for adaptation to climatic gy consumer in our country. Energy ASHRAE defines Net- Zero Energy disasters, mitigation of global warming consumption in this sector is growing Buildings (NZEBs) as: and effectively dealing with the energy faster than any other sector in the Buildings which, on an annual basis, crisis situation looming large over the use no more energy than is provided globe. Zero energy buildings will by on-site renewable energy sources. reduce carbon footprints, building’s Researchers at the National operational costs, because with the Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) cost of fossil fuels going up, savings have analyzed the policy and design also increase proportionately. In addiimplications of four common definition, zero-energy buildings will not tions (Fig-6): only protect the owners from the uncertainties of fuel price increases in future, but will also help to achieve energy security. Zero energy buildings will significantly reduce the Green house gas emission over the years to come. The role of Zero Energy Buildings is
Fig 3: Percentage of electricity Consumer sales in various sectors (FY 2006-2008);

Zero-net-annual Zero-net-annual Zero-net-annual Zero-net-annual

site energy source energy energy cost emissions

Net-zero site energy: Producing at least as much energy as used in a year, when accounted for at the site.

Net-zero source energy: Producing at least as much energy as used in a year when accounted for at the source, referring to the primary energy used. Uses site-to source conversion factors Net-zero energy costs: Money paid by the utility to the building owner for energy exported to the grid is at least equal to the amount the owner pays the utility over a year. Net-zero energy emissions: Producing at least as much emissions-free renewable energy as used from emissions-producing energy sources.

Integrated design process 02. High Performance Building Envelope & Equipment 40% Energy efficient equipment Combined heat & power, CHP Energy management system Exhaust heat exchange recovery Equipment sizing Off peak heat / cold storage CO2 ventilation control Service hot water from use of waste heat High performance elevators
Fig 4: Building Energy Consumption – Envelope Relationship

b. Characteristics and common features of Zero Energy Building (Fig-7) These buildings can be of any scale, small or large, be it residential, commercial, institutional or industrial Efficiency comes first. Every bit of savings counts. Integrated design and operation are necessary. On-site renewable energy generation is essential Grid connection is an option, which makes it possible for overall net gain by export and import c. Getting to Net Zero: The Key Factors of Zero Energy Building Optimizing orientation, envelope, day lighting for achieving passive solar gains or losses Reducing energy loads first Determining appropriate system sizes Selecting efficient equipment & systems Renewable energy sought after other options are optimally used How to Achieve Zero Energy Building a. Strategies for reducing Non-renewable Energy consumption by 100% (project wise variations may occur in the reduc-

tion % age) 1. Use of passive strategies 35% 2. High performance building envelope & equipment 40% 3. Renewable energy use on site 25% to 15% 4. Purchase of renewable energy credits 0% to 10% End result: non-Renewable Energy Reduction 100% 1. Use of Passive Strategies 35% Volumetric — air flow & light Open planning and high ceilings vs. closed rooms, low ceilings Window overhangs Atriums & stack effect towers Sloped roofs facing south Site pond for geo exchange / cooling tower / fire fighting / storm drainage

03. Renewable Energy Use on Site 15% to 30% Small windmill(s) (may be in high wind areas, e.g. coastal and island areas) Photovoltaic panels Solar thermal panels Solar preheat wall Solar hot water panels Bio-fuel system Net metering 04. Purchase of renewable Energy Credits (REC) 0% to 15% Cooperative construction — assist with other institutions to buy/build own REC facility Cooperative purchase — with or without others, purchase long-term (10 year) REC at fixed price Buy market rate RECs B. Guidelines and requirements to implement “Zero energy A Building” concept: zero or low energy building can be defined as a built form, where the total energy consumed by it throughout its entire life cycle is generated by the building from renewable energy sources. From above definition, it is clear that a ZEB will not be using any energy produced from fossil fuel to operate the building. As such, running and operating the building will be 100% environment

Fig 5: Zero Energy Building, Modefied after GE Press release on Zero Energy Homes buy2015

2. Operating appliances: a) Photovoltaic technology–Solar Panel installed in buildings can provide electric energy for small to medium ranges of appliances, typical to our households. In fact, a household can be entirely dependent to solar energy supplied by solar panels. In a typical building, elecEnergy- efficient applitricity produced from fos6: Zero sil energy is usually the FigNet-Zero Energy Building; Source: Integrated Design –Delivery and Operations ances and lights can be of Energy Buildings, Building Industry Day Workshop Washington, D.C. used to minimize the prime source of energy October 2009 electricity energy loads of used to provide these services. Before a new ZEB is designed sources–Earth’s temperature is usually a household, which in turn will cut or a building is retrofitted for operating constant a few meters under the ground down the size and price of solar panels entirely on the renewable energy pro- throughout the year, irrespective of sea- making them more affordable to the duced by the building, the first step sonal changes. In most places of users. would be to assess and reduce the elec- Bangladesh, the temperature under a 3. Lighting trical loads, thereby reducing the year- depth of approximately 4 meters is a) Using building design–Energy ly energy consumed or to be consumed about 19 deg. cel. If ambient air can be flowed through a pipe located at this requirement lighting of a household by the building. depth, made of heat exchanging mate- can be effectively reduced by designrial and effectively circulated through ing substantial openings and providing 1. Space cooling/heating: a) Passive design---Effects of building indoor spaces, the air (with a tempera- appropriate building materials to allow sitting and orientation through passive ture of 19 deg. cel.) will cool down the maximum lights in the desired spaces. solar methods---Energy required for indoor spaces in summer and heat up b) Using energy efficient lighting space cooling/heating can be substan- in winter, with air conditioning effects. sources---In addition, energy efficient tially minimized through building Air flow through the pipe and up into lights, such as, CFL and LED design where site selection, should be provided to reduce location and orientation can electricity loads of a building. take advantage or reduce the These lights fitted with and adverse effects of the climatic operated by monitors can furelements, such as, wind and ther improve energy saving and sunlight, in order to cool or heat also life span of the bulbs. indoor spaces. 4. Hot Water and Cooking b) Designers can also reduce or needs increase solar heating effects a) Solar Heaters with vacuum and natural lighting and ventilatubes can be installed on roof tion within the building spaces tops to meet all hot water needs through use of appropriate of a building. In addition approbuilding mass, volume, opening priately located solar reflectors size and shape, location and can be devised to provide boilsize of opening, appropriate ing water for the kitchen. shading devices. Using high b) Bio Gas generation technoloperformance glass, proper gy can be installed to produce building materials comprising of gas to provide heat for cooking. insulations/ thermal mass during 5. Other Areas for Reducing construction are also highly Energy Consumptions effective. a) Pure water supply, use and Fig 7: Zero Energy Building North America's first 100% Solar, Net c) Using Geo Thermal heat Zero Energy condo building. waste water disposal can be a

friendly, without adding any carbon emission or pollution to the environment, an ideal thing/solution in the present energy crisis and environmental pollution situation. Energy is required in the built forms to provide four services, namely, space cooling/heating, operating appliances, lighting and hot water.

the indoor spaces can be done by low pressure solar powered air pumps.

big user of fossil fuel energy. This can be reduced through rain water harvesting for drinking purposes and waste water can be purified and recalculated in the toilet flushes and for watering the gardens. This will substantially reduce the total need for energy used in a household associated with water supply and waste water disposal. Solar pumps can be used for the water circulation systems, both pure and waste water. b) Other measures suggested are, Heat recovery and Heat Exchange units, Combined Heat & Power generations etc. Items Required for Effectively Managing Energy Needs of a Building Before designing a ZEB, the first step, in fact, is to select energy efficient equipment in order to reduce the overall energy need, based on which the ZEB is to be designed. Other items, such as, sensors and monitors are equally important, which would assist in managing and monitoring the energy consumptions within a building within the predicted levels. 1. Installation of Building Energy Management System–Software controlled sensors need to be installed to constantly monitor occupancy and motion s of each place within the built form for managing lights provided. The sensors can also detect carbon mono oxide and humidity levels in the designated areas and maintain data base of the same. Further improvement of comfort can be achieved by analyzing the data, without requiring to use more energy. 2. Weather stations–Wireless operated Weather stations for the Zero Energy Building can provide essential weather data on which further improvement on building energy efficiency can be done on a continuous basis. 3. Improved Cooking Stoves–specially

Fig 8: Zero Energy Building

requires superior efficiency and a significant investment for onsite renewable energy generation. Other factors, such as building type, climate, and occupants’ inclinations, also play a pivotal role. In addition, Getting to zero without purchasing renewable energy credits is difficult. However, a group of skilled and experienced professionals with high technical acumen having sufficient research knowledge making effective and appropriate site selection and design, building material selection as well as selecting low energy equipment to be used, can successfully build and run a ZEB in Bangladesh. It is believed that through long term plans and programs for awareness development among different stake holders, professionals, policy makers and occupants and through introduction of design & construction processes standards, codes, laws and by-laws, sufficient building science related research data and standard operation and maintenance practices will help in the building of more ZEB’s in the near future. Certain equipment for producing renewable energy can be imposed for building sectors, such as, Solar Panels, Solar Water Heaters etc. The author is currently working as a Team Leader on a research project funded by GTZ on Promoting Green Architecture Concept in Bangladesh. She is also doing research on Zero energy building and is a recipient (principle investigator) of research grant on Zero Energy Building from Climate Change Trust Fund.

designed cooking stoves minimize heat losses to the environment, thereby requiring lesser heat energy to cook. Improved cooking stoves also cut down smoke substantially thereby reducing environmental pollution. 4. Solar Refrigerators–Refrigerators operated by built in solar panels can be useful for storing perishable medicine and other such items. 5. Using Biomass for energy– Briquettes, Charcoal, Bio coal and biomass gasifier can be used to produce heat energy that can be used for drying as well as for space heating. Improved version of biomass gasifiers along with efficient smoke less burners that can be used for many purposes Conclusion Challenges to face in the implementation of (ZEB) in Bangladesh can be summarized as below: Cost of building technologies & renewable energy sources Awareness building and educating owners, architects and engineers Design & construction processes Standards, codes, laws and by-laws Sufficient research related to building science Operation and Maintenance practices So far, no attempts have been made in Bangladesh to design, build and run a ZEB effectively. Getting to zero is difficult for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is the upfront cost, which may be inherent to the goal but is also affected by project team capabilities and technological challenges. It

Shamim Ara Hassan Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, BUET


Load shedding & shortage of power has virtually stalled the growth of rural economy

M. Rezwan Khan


he problems related to acute power shortage in Bangladesh has reached its limit to term is as a crisis. This has been an accumulated effect of indecision, corruption and mismanagement for a long time. The problem has reached a stage, where we can no more stand its fall outs. There has been severe resentment in power

users of residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors. Let us not try to analyze who’s failure is this, because it will go too far. Rather let us try to see what can be and should be done. We often come across in the news papers and in the BPDB websites the statistics of power demand, power delivered and

amount of load shedpower from rural ding. But it is quite Table I. Price of Grid Connected Electricity Generated Using Different micro-grid, let it be understandable that Generating Units diesel, furnace oil or these figures for PV based system, so Fuel Electricity price, Tk/unit demand are a misreplong the price is comDiesel 15 resentation of the actupetitive to their existFurnace oil 12 al demand, as the ing kerosene lamps. It Solar PV* 22 actual demand is so should be mentioned high that even if * Solar PV price is assumed to be USD 2.0 per watt-peak. here that the price of Bangladesh produces solar PV panels are more than 10,000MW, coming down quite to grid electricity (a figure that does not the demand cannot be fully met. This rapidly in the world market and it is look convincing to me). Even if I accept just to reiterate that there is a huge marexpected that it will be around USD this figure, there still remains a vast proket for power in Bangladesh. But the 2.0 per watt peak by the end of 2010. portion of rural area, where lack of irriquestion is when there is such a big The question that comes up at this gation opportunity leaves the agriculmarket, why then the production is not stage — what will be the actual volume tural lands uncultivated. It is an ecoincreasing? The main factor that holds of the power consumption? Will it be nomic opportunity lost so far the culback the decision for increased power high enough to set up a micro-grid that tivability of the lands is concerned. production is the price of power. We all can run commercially without making Besides irrigation, load know that Bangladesh is predominantthe energy price too high? shedding/unavailability of power has ly dependent on its natural gas for severely crippled the potential rural Before going into any analysis let us power production and the gas is supeconomic sector, where the possibility look at the cost of electricity when proplied to the BPDB and the IPPs at a of growth of any small or cottage indus- duced using different fuels (actual interprice less than 1/5th the international try has been virtually choked. The national market price is considered and price. So, the price of power is artifiimportant fact is, we shall have to make any government subsidy on fuel has cially kept low. Now, when the supply a choice between a total absence of been ignored), as presented in Table I. of gas is dwindling, BPDB cannot build power resulting in a completely choked new power stations using imported This cost calculation is based on a load rural economy or supply them with fuels, as the cost of power comes out to factor of 70% for the conventional fuel higher cost electricity to keep the be too high when compared to the subengines. In case of solar PV, grid conwheel of rural economy turning. It is sidized rate of power delivered at the nected PV system with no storage batvery important to look at the success of present price. If the government tries to tery is considered. Solar Home System based on microproduce power and deliver it to the financing from IDCOL. At a PV price of In case of a rural micro grid, there are a consumers at the existing price, it has USD 3.0 per watt peak and the usual number of additional problems that to pay a huge amount of subsidy which price of industrial grade battery, the make the cost of electricity high. amounts to an absurd figure. price of electricity for Solar Home Increasing the price of power to reduce a) Consumer density is relatively low. Systems comes around Tk.65 per unit the amount of subsidy can become a This makes the cost of transmission and (kW-hr) out of which PV contribution is political issue that all the governments distribution high when compared to the around Tk.30 and the battery cost conare scared of. But my opinion is - it is to the actual consumption of electrical tribution is the rest Tk.35. This is an high time for the government to take a energy extremely high price for electricity bold step in this regard and save the b) Load factor is expected to be very compared to an average grid electricity economy from a catastrophe. poor (less than 50%), as the load of Tk 4.00 per unit. Despite this appardemand will fall quite rapidly at night. There is no doubt that load shedding ent discrimination, people are buying However, the situation is expected to and unavailability of power is affecting solar home systems due to the fact that improve with the development of rural all the sectors, but my main concern is kerosene based lamps incur similar economy, once the power is made about our rural people and agricultural expenses and moreover their fume is available. sector. Despite of significant industrial unhealthy and it can cause fire hazc) In case of solar PV stand alone sysgrowth in the last 2 decades, agricul- ards. Solar Home System is a glaring tem, battery storage is necessary and tural sector still plays the most impor- example of demand for power starving the cost of electricity can be signifitant role in the economy of rural areas of Bangladesh. It also clearcantly higher. Bangladesh. Load shedding and short- ly indicates that people are willing to age of power has virtually stalled the buy expensive power if the price is Considering low consumer density and growth of rural economy. As per the competitive to their existing kerosene low load factor, the price of electricity claim of Ministry of Power, 48% of the lamps. Hence, it can be safely assumed for rural micro-grid can vary signifihouseholds in Bangladesh have access that rural people are going to buy cantly with respect to the values

presented in Table I and is depicted in Table II.

will also go up and the cost of energy production will reduce gradually. Fuel Electricity price, Tk/unit If we compare the Moreover, falling Diesel 17-18 electricity price gensolar PV prices indiFurnace oil 14-15 erated using Diesel or cate that within next Solar PV* 50-55 Furnace oil with the 3 years, the price of price of electricity in * Solar PV price is assumed to be USD 2.0 per watt-peak and full battery solar PV in the interSolar Home System backup is considered. national market will (where each house be low enough to hold owns their solar generate Solar PV tions during off-irrigation seasons. It PV panel and battery for household may be mentioned here that the cost of based electricity (around Tk 10/kW-hr) small scale energy usages), the price is irrigation using diesel engines is higher at a cost lower than furnace oil or significantly lower. As already men- than Tk. 20/kW-hr (as these small diesel based power plants for irrigation tioned, the energy cost for solar Home engines have quite low fuel efficiency), purposes during the day time, as no System is around Tk65 per unit (kW- that will make the cost of irrigation per battery backup will be needed. hr). There is no doubt that the price, as kg of rice to be Tk.1.90. Once, the However, solar PV based generators, if mentioned in Table II, will be quite access to electricity is ensured, the designed to deliver electricity at night acceptable if they are considered as other small industries that will start will not show much reduction in cost replacement for kerosene lamps. At flourishing immediately are due to steady and high battery price. In this stage, it is very likely that a relevant course of time, within foreseeable question will arise — with the prices i) Poultry future, a solar PV-diesel/furnace oil mentioned in Table II, will it be cost ii) Dairy based hybrid power plant will prove to effective to run cold storage, irrigation iii) Fisheries be the most economic solution for rural Bangladesh. Table III. Comparative Cost When Used Grid Power & Fuel Based Rural Micro-Grid Power
Table Ii. Price of Electricity Generated for Rural Micro-Grid Using Different Generating Units Item Cost of energy consumption Using grid power (Tk.4/unit) Using Rural micro-grid

Potato in cold storage Irrigation (using electricity)

pump or other small scale cottage industries? Let us try to look at this vital question. Let us first consider the usual price of potatoes over a year, it varies by about 100% (from Tk. 12 to Tk 25 per kg). So, increasing cost of cold storage can easily be accommodated if the profit margin of the middle man group can be controlled to some extent. In case of rice, the energy cost is around 5% of the rice price when irrigated by taking power from rural micro-grid. This is also well within a comfortable fluctuation margin. Hence, it can be inferred that the two main agricultural aspects vitally important for the rural areas can be easily sustained economically using power from rural micro-grid. Additionally, the same motor used for irrigation can be used for husking and other small scale mechanical applica-

All the above discussions finally boil down to the single most important question — who is going to 2.50/kg 4.50/kg establish small scale 0.50/kg of rice 1.55/kg power houses? Should it be the public or private All these sectors are small scale consector? I personally feel that this should sumers of electricity, but electricity is an essential component for keeping be opened up for the private sector, vaccines and medicines for live stocks, otherwise it will not be easy for the aeration of water bodies for fish culti- public sector to arrange the huge vation and night time lighting for high- amount of money needed for the rural micro-grids and maintain them later er productivity in poultry. on. To encourage the private sector, So far other village activities are con- proper rules should be framed to procerned, access to electricity will give a tect both the investor and consumer big boost to health and education sec- interests, land acquisition for the transtor and there will be significant change mission and distribution lines and other in the quality of life in the villages. issues including environment. As there People will get access to TV for regular exists a huge profitable market, there is entertainment, educational institutions no reason for its healthy growth if propwill have computers and access to er regulatory rules are framed to internet, life saving medicines and encourage energy generation. drugs will be readily available, students will have longer hours for study at EP night, cottage industries and rural businesses can sustain longer working M. Rezwan Khan hours and so on. With the develop- Professor & Vice Chancellor, ment of rural economy, energy usage United International University


The government has already taken a crash program to increase the generation of electricity by 2015 to more than double than that of 2008
Mohammad Shawkat Akbar


he government is committed to transforming Bangladesh into a modern, technologically advanced and middle income country by 2021 through the realization of the Vision 2021. A road map of socioeconomic development has been formulated to accelerate the economic growth and improving the quality of life. The GDP growth should be 10% beyond 2015, which can be achieved and sustained through an increase in the industrial input to the total GDP. The government has planned to increase the contribution of the industrial share to the total GDP from its existing level of 28% to 40% by 2021

by expanding the economic activities and creating new job opportunities in the sector. The plan projects that the industrial labor force will increase from 16% to 25% and the poverty rate will come down to 15% from its present level of 45% by this period. It is recognized by all concerned that the availability of electricity is essential to increase and sustain economic growth of the country. Recognizing the importance of electricity supply in diversify economic activities, industrialization, higher economic growth and creation of huge job opportunities, the government has outlined targets and milestones for addition of about 12,000 MW of electricity from 2016 to 2021 for meeting the increasing power demand projected to reach 20,000 MW by 2021. The target of electricity generation beyond 2015 may be achieved if the country is able to ensure the addition of about 2,000 MW every year, which cannot be realized without the construction of larger units of base load generating capacity. Bangladesh has limited indigenous energy resources. At present, natural gas and coal are the main energy resources of the country. The gas resource is limited and is not expected to last too distant into the future. The country has decided to import coal but necessary infrastructure is yet to be developed. Under the circumstances, the country needs to look for another alternatives, and nuclear energy is one of them. It is highly competitive with fossil-fuelled thermal power generation, and may be a priority option for Bangladesh in the context of acute power shortage, meeting the ever increasing energy demand and securing the supply of electricity for the country’s industrialization. It is also a favored option in the climate change and clean energy requirement contexts. Nuclear plant can provide base load electricity at a cost effective manner. It would be the best power generating option for a developing country like Bangladesh in transforming its eco-

nomic structure from agro-based to an industrial one. In addition, the energy production cost would be reasonable, ensuring its availability to the crosssection of the end-users, and the benefits arising from technological spin-offs by introducing nuclear power can be significant for developing a technology based society. On the other hand, Bangladesh will progressively reduce its gas dependence for power generation to save gas for industrial and value addition purposes. The Nuclear Vision of Bangladesh The government has already taken a crash program to increase the generation of electricity by 2015 to more than double than that of 2008. The present government is also working hard to identify projects to be implemented in the mid to long-term future so that the country establishes a balanced growth in the generation, transmission and distribution capabilities, as well as ensure the energy security of the country. To ensure the electricity supply to all by 2021, the government is considering an appropriate energy supply mix of gas, oil, coal, hydro, wind, nuclear and solar energy. The Perspective Plan of Bangladesh for the period 2010 — 2021 has recommended the following energy mix given in Table 1 to achieve the generation of 20,000 MW by 2021. Nuclear power would contribute to the realization of Vision 2021 in line with the dream of the father of the nation. Nuclear power has thus been identified as an inevitable option for power generation due to its economic, financial, environmental and technological advantages. Implementation of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP) is an electoral pledge of the present government. Necessary steps have been taken to build two Nuclear Reactors with the capacity of 1000 MW each to ensure about 10% of the total electricity generation from nuclear energy by 2021. Continued efforts will be made to achieve 20% of total electricity generation from nuclear power by 2030. The RNPP has been in the government’s plan since

early 1960s. The present government has taken necessary steps for implementation of RNPP. The essential activities to start implementation of the project are now under execution. Some site specific studies namely geology, seismology of the area, hydrological and morphological characteristics of Ganges River around the project area, identification of intake point on the main channel of Ganges, identification of locations and alignments of intake canal and outfall, and assessment of change in the ambient temperature of river water due to release of hot water from the power plant and possibility of the recirculation of warm water from the river to the power plant are being carried out. These studies are important to build a nuclear power plant and sensitive structures in a safer, secured manner. In addition, site related data are being updated. Basic Considerations for Construction of NPP & the Status of RNPP The development of a nuclear power program entails attention to many complex and interrelated issues over a long duration. The decision to embark on an NPP requires careful planning, preparation and investment in time and human resources along with a strong national commitment of at least 100 years to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in a safe and secure manner. Thus, a high level administrative provision through establishment of the ownership option and a management system is one of the preconditions for implementation of nuclear power program. The international experiences have shown that at the initial decision making process of construction of a nuclear power plant, the high level committees are assigned to carry out the functional responsibilities of institutions. Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) was appointed as the implementing agency by the 1973 Presidential Order and the Bangladesh Nuclear Power Action Plan (BANPAP) 2000 to deal with all activities for

implementation of RNPP. The Ministry of Science and ICT is the focal Ministry for execution and implementation of the project. The Nuclear Power Authority of Bangladesh (NPAB) head by the Minister, Ministry of Science and ICT will be established in the future for planning, implementation, operation, maintenance, sale of electricity in bulk and all other activities This NPAB will then become the nuclear power operating organization. The NPAB will have linkages with other relevant government agencies for R&D support, HRD, nuclear safety, etc. as well institutions having the mandate for power purchase, its transmission and distribution as well as to integrate the nuclear power projects into the overall electricity generation planning. At the national level, the NPAB will be responsible to a National Nuclear Power Council (NNPC). The apex body, NNPC will be headed by the Prime Minister. The Council will have other members, including ministers and/or secretaries of the relevant ministries. In light of international practices, the present government has taken steps to expedite the implementation of the RNPP. Recently, the government has formed a Cabinet Committee on RNPP headed by the Prime Minister to carry out the functional responsibilities of above-mentioned NNPC. The ministers, advisers, secretaries of the relevant ministers are the members of the Committee. A technical committee headed by the minister, Ministry of Science and ICT has been formed to perform the functional responsibilities of NPAB. It will have other Members representing relevant ministries and agencies. A Working Group on RNPP and SubGroups has also been formed to address different issues for successful implementation of RNPP. The introduction of nuclear power requires the early establishment of a national legal and regulatory framework to ensure safety at different phases of the program. Bangladesh has established nuclear regulatory infrastructure. The "Nuclear Safety

and Radiation Control Act, 1993" was passed by the National Assembly of Bangladesh in July, 1993 and it is in force since then. The current status of the regulatory framework is clearly focused on the IAEA Basic Safety Standards (BSS 115). However, the existing national infrastructure for radiation, waste and transportation safety is in compliance with international standards; other safety standards which are important to embark on a nuclear power program in Bangladesh will be considered. The government has realized the situation and has taken necessary measures for strengthening nuclear regulatory infrastructure for the successful implementation of RNPP. Bangladesh has already pledged a conclusive, determined and irrevocable commitment to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons by signing the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and bilateral agreement with the IAEA on safeguards as well as bilateral agreements on nuclear cooperation with the governments of USA, France, Republic of China and Russian Federation. Bangladesh has always upheld its credentials on non-proliferation. In case of the first nuclear power plant, the scope of the participation of the national industry in the project will be limited to items that do not have safety implications. If local participation could be maximized, it is desirable that about 30 — 35% of total investment mostly civil constructions works can be undertaken locally. The coun-

try has received practical ideas on nuclear infrastructure development both from regulatory and operational points, project implementation methodology and financing options for RNPP through visiting under construction nuclear power plants, exchanging views with experts of nuclear power plant operating nations and the IAEA. The electric grid is a required basic infrastructure for introduction of nuclear power. It has an impact on the size and type of reactor that can be deployed. The existing electric grid may not provide reliable off-site power to RNPP with a stable frequency and voltage. The lack of reliability in offsite power from the grid may be compensated for by increased reliability of on-site power sources. The RNPP is located almost in the load center of the western zone and is just about 5 km from Ishurdi sub-station. The plant will be fed into the Ishurdi sub-station where the high voltage 230 KV East-West inter-connector; KhulnaIshurdi and Ishurdi-BaghabariSirajgang-Bogra transmission lines tie in. Moreover, the construction of an Ishurdi-Rajshahi transmission line is under consideration. Thus, the electricity of the RNPP could be transmitted to any part of the country. Moreover, the present government is taken the necessary measures in building new power plants to increase the generation capacity and upgrade/improvement of grid system compatible with the expected increased generation capacity. The existing grid and the future expansion plan will be reviewed with due consideration of the construction and commissioning of the planned RNPP. Currently,, Generation III and Generation III+ reactors have been built in different countries of the world. In this consideration, Generation III/Generation III+ reactor with advanced safety features may be selected for Rooppur project. The socalled “reference plant” concept should be an option for RNPP. Three different types of contractual

approach are applied for nuclear power plant projects. They are: (1) Turn-key approach, (2) Split-package and (3) Multi-contract. In turnkey contract, a single contractor (prime contractor) or a consortium of contractors takes the technical responsibility for the whole nuclear power plant project. In this type of contract the contractor has total responsibility from site preparation to commissioning of the nuclear plant and hand over to the utility after satisfactory demonstration of its operation at the rated capacity. The successful implementation of RNPP depends on the determination of the project execution model by considering the project management and procurement capabilities of the utility. The turnkey model is usually used for the first project and also on subsequent projects. A turnkey approach with a prime contractor from the supplier, granting the contractor overall responsibility for the whole project starting from design, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, erection, equipment installation, commissioning and management will be a suitable option for RNPP. In this case, it is important to realize that turnkey agreement should be on the basis of performance specifications set forth by Bangladesh side. About 1000 persons will work for RNPP facilities during its operational phase, out which about 500 - 600 persons collectively are expected to have a variety of scientific, engineering and other technical background It is important to realize that the opportunity for professional training of the manpower required for operation and maintenance (O&M) and management is limited, and the contractor will probably play a vital role in the development of the necessary human resources. Public Universities of Bangladesh (general & engineering and technology) will be encouraged to offer courses on nuclear engineering and reactor physics in the post graduate as well as under-graduate levels. It is necessary to strengthen the education and research facilities at Bangladeshi universities. A collaborative exchange

program on nuclear education and research between Bangladeshi universities and the universities of the supplier nation may be developed. Presently, a healthy market exists at the front end of the fuel cycle. Currently, all reprocessing plants are state owned and any guarantee from a supplier would have the implicit or explicit agreement with the corresponding government. Based upon the existing nature of the nuclear business worldwide, Bangladesh may consider a long-term contract and transparent suppliers' arrangements with supplier(s) (through backing of the relevant government) to ensure availability of fuel for the nuclear power reactor of the country. Examples would be: fuel leasing and fuel take-back offers, commercial offers to store and dispose of spent fuel, as well as commercial fuel banks. Bangladesh may consider the life cycle assurance of supply that include all services related to the front end of the fuel cycle. “Fuel leasing-fuel take-back” model or partial ‘fuel-leasing-fuel take-back’ model is conceivable for Bangladesh. A nuclear power project requires for the realization of both a financing component in national currency for the investment activities to be paid for locally and the financing component in the foreign currency for payments abroad for imported goods and services. In view of economy of the country, the government expects to build the first nuclear power project RNPP through bilateral funding. The possible financing sources will be the equity (Bangladesh government own source) as well as the state credit of the technology supplier’s nation, loan on soft commercial term, aid credit, countertrade financing, etc. Bangladesh could render guarantees to domestic and international financial institutions/banks through various types of support as well as credible and technically sound business plans. The two cost components namely; capacity payment and energy payment will be covered by tariff of the generated electricity from RNPP. The capacity

payment will cover debt service, return on equity, fixed operation and maintenance cost, insurance and other fixed costs. The successful transportation of the plant machinery to the site area preferably via waterways will probably be very important for the cost effective implementation of the plant. Transportation of heavy equipment to the site requires careful planning. The transportation of heavy equipment has to be undertaken during the monsoon. Surveys of the draught conditions and a detailed transport study will be carried out soon. Issue to be Addressed for Successful Implementation of RNPP Bangladesh needs to consider the following issues/points carefully in making decision for selection of a vendor for implementation of RNPP. Nuclear Power Technology Management The supplier nation must provide a clear and transparent program to ensure the development required infrastructure for starting construction of RNPP, construction and management of RNPP; type and size of the nuclear reactor; improvement of grid capacity; nuclear fuel cycle and assurance of supply chain: supply of nuclear grade components and manufacturing capacities; human resource development, technology transfer program and balance between project schedule and localization and decision on high level waste and spent fuel management system: Interim and long term management. Regulatory Infrastructure Development The supplier should provide support to Bangladesh to build infrastructure for training and licensing of operational personnel; addressing complex issues like security and safeguards, nuclear liability and establishing an Independent Regulatory Body. Financing for RNPP Bangladesh may seek a financial package for RNPP from the supplier side.

The source(s) of financing; amount and currency, the terms and conditions interest rate, repayment period, grace period, fees and commissions, downpayment, schedule of payments, guarantees and issues of multilateral counter trade (products, goods, resources, etc) must be assessed carefully. Conclusion The addition of 2000 MW of nuclear based power capacity by 2021 will certainly help in meeting the elevated demand for electricity in the next eight to nine years. The addition of nuclear capacity will certainly ensure the adequate and affordable supply of electricity that will support expanding the industrial sector of Bangladesh. An additional of one or two units of similar size and similar type of the first unit may be implemented with a time lag of two years at Rooppur site at a lower construction cost and time compared to the first unit. The addition of two nuclear power plants to the grid from Rooppur by 2021 would help in fulfill-

ing the country’s obligation in the context of the “Universal Electrification Program”. Bangladesh should a select supplier (and country) on the basis of the following considerations: (1) long experience in the nuclear field with a proven record of designing, manufacturing, construction and operation in different types and different sizes of reactors on their own; (2) significant experiences in construction of nuclear power plants abroad; (3) a member of nuclear supplier group and at present in a position to supply nuclear reactors and associated technologies abroad, (4) long experience in fabricating nuclear fuel for domestic use and export; (5) it possesses permanent radioactive/spent fuel storing facilities on a regional/global basis and agreeable on taking back spent fuel as well. Moreover, Bangladesh should consider a trusted and historic friend of Bangladesh as a supplier. A proposal on a comprehensive pack-

ages of proposal (technical and financial) on the mode of supply, construction, commissioning and management of two units of 1000 MW each (total 2000 MW) for RNPP can be sought from the supplier. The proposed package should cover the areas of cooperation from the supplier sources/side on technical, technological, financial, safety, training and capacity building, HR development, research and management as well as mode of funding, source(s) of funding, terms and capacity on the possibility of the state credit and other loans. (The views of the article are author’s own, do not reflect the official position)

Dr Mohammad Shawkat Akbar, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, Edited by: Dr Nafis Ahmed, CPEng, International Editor



Engr Khondkar A Saleque

ome call it horror, some call deep crisis, and some term it steep crunch. Bangladesh is passing through the worst-ever energy and power crisis in its lifetime. Unfortunately, the one and only energy magazine of SAARC region Energy & Power in its anniversary issue can not give any hope, can not see any light at the end of the tunnel. Lack of perspective planning, poor governance, hollow promises, corruption and massive politicization of power and energy sector management have led Bangladesh in a deep hole. Politicians, policy makers, bureaucrats, technocrats, no one can escape blames. A country having substantial natural gas resource at onshore and offshore, huge unexploited high quality bituminous coal resource is not struggling with power supply, gas supply and consequence water supply problems. Trade,

commerce, economics are grinding to a halt. If this situation is not remedied with national consensus and joint national efforts economy will continue to stagnate as foreign trade will lose competitive edge. Investment will drop down to zero causing long term dampening and damaging impacts. As ill luck would have it no autocrat rulers were in state power excepting form a brief period from 2006-2008 when failure of democratic government brought in an unelected caretaker government to arrest slides and declines at all spheres of national life. Failures of democratic governments from 19912010 have now become so pronounced in the energy sector. Massive brain drain of competent energy sector professionals- some involuntary dissociation others for better opportunity have left energy sector planning and management almost barren. It is now an uphill task to come around and very steep challenge to confront and overcome crisis. The so-called homework of the present government miserably failed to anticipate the depth and diversity of the crisis. In almost in a year and half it failed to arrest the slide. Rather the situation has gone from bad to worse. Security of supply at both power grid and gas grid has become vulnerable. There have been so many hollow promises, inconsistent pledges. Nation now has to pay through its nose for the failure and corruption of privileged energy sector nexus -- corrupt politicians opportunist bureaucrats, favored technocrats. Why innocent citizens have to account for higher energy price? Why taxpayers will continue to suffer from crisis created for failures and corruptions of energy sector managers? Bangladesh now requires about 6000MW power to meet its coincident peak demand. After 39 years of independence Bangladesh could achieve an effective generation capacity of 4000MW. Yet in 5 years it dreams to add 9426MW new power. With nothing changed- political philosophy [politics of conflicts], opportunism, misgovernance, favoritism remaining as

before can Bangladesh realize such dream? Where is the money? Who will dare to investment in a country where the cost of doing business is among the highest in the world, where investors planning to investment million dollars have to get frustrated for protracted decision-making? Where are the basic fuel resources? Coal and gas -- we have plenty, but these are buried below surface. It requires champion(s) to bring above surface and put to economic use, requires huge investment, and requires state of the art technology to make efficient use. Has the present government created such environment? 88 percent of our power generation is gas based. Natural gas is also used as raw materials for Urea fertilizer, used for CNG and is used as fuel in industries. We have finite discovered and proven gas reserve. Every one knew that we need to carry out regular intensive exploration of gas resource and further developed discovered resource to keep pace with growing demand. But neither international oil companies (IOC’s) nor state owned BAPEX over the last decade carried out any major exploration activities. No major expansion of gas transmission facilities was implanted over the last 5 years. As such there exists massive crisis in gas sector. Against a daily demand of about 2500MMCFD gas system can only supply about 2000MMCFD. The supply is also affected by low pressure. There exists crisis all over gas value chain from bottom hole to Burner tip. It may take several years to remedy all. Bangladesh desperately required diversifying its fuel mix much earlier. There had been hundreds of seminars, round table discussions, TV talk shows about exploration and exploitation of only other viable fuel option coal. If gas without sulfur is sweet our coal with minimum sulfur and little ash is also sweet. It is lying at mineable shallow depth. Appropriate exploitation of coal resource can generate 10,000MW coal based power for 50 years. Yet policy makers misguided by coal mafia is scratching their head over coal mining method for several years. It does not bother any patriot to let smugglers

bring in polluted dust and smoke emitting dirty coal from across the border but they raise massive hue and cry when international company propose to invest in modern mining method to extract maximum coal and set up mine mouth power plant to contribute for energy security. How many people will be affected by surface mining? We believe it will be hardly 100,000 at different stages - Some permanently and most temporarily. When energy security of 150 million Bangladeshis is at stake, why we cannot properly compensate, relocate and rehabilitate the affected population? Who says that surface mining will cause desertification of the mine command area? Very modern water management prior to and during mining cycle can very effectively addressed concern. There are well proven technologies? Yet despite all these some vested quarter pushed by coal mafia syndicate have influenced policymakers to jump in the dark for setting up imported coal based plants, import LNG. Both these options require time and huge investments. Present Bangladesh reality cannot absorb the impacts of either imported coal or LNG. Moreover leaving substantial coal resource of its own why Bangladesh should even think about coal import? Leaving our entire offshore unexplored and leaving our discovered gas resource underdeveloped why should we think about expensive LNG import options? It can be guaranteed neither import of coal nor import of LNG will become successful in near future, these will not support government plan to add 9426MW new power by 2015 for sure. The crisis and deepening of crisis for present government loss of ideas in the year and a half have allowed opportunists to create business. Favored politicians and aligned businessmen have grabbed liquid fuel based contingency power plant deals at cut throat price. The government will either have to pay huge subsidy or go for major increase of power tariff. Will it be morally correct to increase power tariff at a time when government cannot ensure supply steadily. Admitted that ,

power tariff is one of the lowest in the world in Bangladesh major increase of power tariff now will hurt the government cause. But tariff needs to be adjusted at small instalment in phases to ensure power conservation and increase efficiency. Patriotic section of the society must motivate people. There must not be any politics here. Let us have a look at the gas sector. We are aware that for several years natural gas remains the corner stone of national economy. But for lack of proper care and failure to develop a truly professional dynamic gas sector management there exists crisis everywhere in the gas value chain from bottom hole to Burner tip. Very unprofessional Petrobangla top management does not seem to have any clue.. It failed to plan and implement required gas exploration, development and gas transmission system development over the last 5 years which has brought gas sector to the present situation. There is serious gas draught in Chittagong, panic in the rest of gas franchise. It require continued committed endeavor of a positively motivated unit of gas sector professionals to repair damage and set gas sector in motion. It is impossible for a university professor and a group of inexperienced gas sector managers to steer gas sector out of trouble. Let us discuss Gas Value Chain.

tus of safety shut off valves and well heads. There is a reservoir management cell in Petrobangla but no plan for carrying out regular reservoir survey. There is no definite agreement on abandonment pressure of any gas well or gas field, no plan to install well head compressor to keep producing while delivery pressure go below transmission pressure. In this scenario three Petrobangla production companies — BAPEX, SGFL and BGFCL are operating in an unequal competition with 4 IOC’s in undefined market structure. Two gas fields Bakhrabad and Sangu due to injudicious over production depleted to present state much earlier than anticipated. Bangladesh did not learn lesson. Design philosophy and design restrictions of wells are not obliged. Higher production is attempted ignoring porosity, permeability of structures. Chittagong region basically suffers from high handedness of production operation of Bakhrabad and Sangu gas fields. Chevron from 4 Jalalabad gas fields wells can produce over 240MMCFD and from 12 wells can produce about 700MCFD. The production for any gas well depends on its completion which in turn is dictated by its deliverability — permeability, porosity, skin and thickness of pay sand. If Chevron from Jalalabad and Bibiyana can produce at such higher rates without any observed problems so long then from similar prolific structures at Habiganj and Titas why Petrobangla companies can not

produce more? Can any Petrobangla professional respond to this query? Three Petrobangla Companies from 48 wells produce about 950MMCFD while 4 IOCs from 31 wells of 6 gas fields produce 1050MMCFD. There must be professional assessment whether some producing gas wells of Titas, Habiganj and Kailashtilla gas fields can be worked over and re-completed to produce at higher than the present rates. Two gas fields in North East region Beanibazar and Kailashtilla have higher Propane Butane content. The recovery of NGL is huge compared to other gas fields. It was always plan to extract NGL and produce LPG from Beanibazar and Kailashtilla fields. But in almost one and a half decade of accessing gas resource of Kailashtilla and Beanibazar gas fields only half of the NGL potential has been materialized. Beanibazar is on the verge of depletion Present Energy Advisor pledged to PM Hasina in 1998 to set up proper gas plant at Beanibazar to extract NGL. PM Hasina asked how the gas plant bought for the driest Feni field can serve the purpose of the wettest gas field. If appropriate NGL fractionation facility could be developed in time Kailashtilla and Beanibazar gas field could meet the substantial requirement of LPG in greater parts of Bangladesh. But in absence of it most have been flared or burnt unnecessarily with gas.

Exploration & Production Bangladesh does not have any exploration strategy, no gas depletion policy. One can question the legitimacy of In more than half a century of gas busihanding over of block 12, 13 and 14 ness we still debate over including Petrobangla our gas reserve resource. owned Jalalabad gas There are no meeting of field to a little known minds, no professional company Occidental harmony. We do not after the end of Scimitar have integrated gas saga but Unocal and reservoir management. later Chevron has profesThere is no plan for secsionally developed three ondary or tertiary recovfields and now accounts ery of gas resource. Gas for about 50% of daily wells are not maintained gas production. People properly. Many aged gas can talk about wells are overdue for Magurchhara blow out well structure integrity and related dramas and tests — assess status of Muchai compressor stacasings, tubing, cement tion of GTCL handing Bapex technicians in action to develop a Titas gas field integrity of annuals, staover to Chevron but

there can not be any complain about professional development of field facilities and production operation. Side by side the operation of Beanibazar, Kailashtilla and Rashidpur Gas fields leaves lot to room for improvement. BGFCL owns three major gas fields — Titas (arguably the largest) Habiganj (Prolific Gas Structure) Bakhrabad (Mismanaged Large Gas field). BGFCL inherited sills and professionalism from Shell BV. The dreamer and architect of Bangladesh redoubtable Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could get for Bangladesh 5 major gas fields Titas, Bakhrabad, Habiganj , Rashid poor ,and Feni for a throw away price of US$ 10.00 Million paid in several instalment at the early stage of Bangladesh. Other rulers later handed over discovered Bangladesh gas fields to IOCs in various pretext. Here lies the difference between patriotism and Charisma of an immortal soul and mere mortals. These gas fields are still backbones of Gas Sector in Bangladesh. But those are matters of the past. Titas structure is bleeding now. Even killing of Titas #3 could not arrest the situation. Further development of Titas, Habiganj and Bakhrabad are long over due. It has taken over 6 years for Petrobangla and BGFCL to even go for 3D seismic survey. Professional development of these fields could address all gas supply concerns. One must do soul searching why Petrobangla failed to accomplish these tasks in time. We always talk about strengthening of BAPEX. But it took more than 12 years for BAPEX to procure modern drilling rig and work over rigs. BAPEX activities are stuck in similar traffic congestion that its employees and visitors everyday encounters to reach its head office in the most busy bustling city center. Now the question will arise whether BAPEX is technically equipped to accomplish all its tasks? Do they have required experienced drilling engineers, geologists, Petroleum Engineers, drillers, Riggers? Petrobangla always treated BAPEX as step child. Many BAPEX professionals left job being maltreated in

promotion and training. BAPEX struggled with Sreekail. In exploration and took a long time in developing Shabajpur. The government and Petrobangla must extend all out support to BAPEX to turn it into dynamic exploration company. It must get all fiscal incentives enjoyed by IOCs in exploration and development of gas resource. It must get the same price of gas that IOCs get from onshore fields. Sangu gas field is on the verge of depletion. Many question remains unresolved in Sangu development. Why a 2X260= 520MMCFD capacity gas plant was procured for a gas field which only once for few hours could cross a production above 200MMCFD. The gas field developer Cairn was pleading all along for 3D seismic survey for extensive development but were all along denied by penny wise pound foolish Petrobangla management. Millions of dollars went down the drain in efforts to augment gas supply. The hurriedly build offshore gas pipeline required expensive refurbishment only 6 years after operation. Ignoring advice of Petrobangla reservoir specialist Late Quazi Shahidur Rahman Petrobangla management allowed operator to produce at higher rates. Consequently Sangu has depleted much earlier. It can hardly produce about 35 MMCFD. Depletion of Sangu is the main reason for Chittagong gas draught. Cairn- Santos has finally carried out 3D seismic survey. Development of Sangu and Sangu south may create opportunity to get a supply of 40 -50MMCFD as early as April 2011 for Chittagong market. Santos and Cairn are ready for it. We all know investment in a depleting offshore gas field requires extra care and higher investment. Cairn- Santos submitted a proposal to amend its PSC and GPSA of mid nineties. They want either increase of gas price or allow them to market its share of gas directly to third party inside Bangladesh. Petrobangla is sitting on the proposal. Bangladesh loose nothing if private consumers in Chittagong can negotiate gas supply with Cairn-Santos. This may improve ROR of new investment. The develop-

ers need decision soon or they may not be in a position to mobilize rig and materials by November to complete works in the next dry season. Bangladesh will be deprived of the opportunity to get early gas. Cairn Santos efforts at Magnama and Hatiya are also stuck in similar indecision. It is sheer irony to note that the same Petrobangla which can take out a project component of GTCL to irrationally hand over to one IOC hesitates to act positively on another IOC proposal which will benefit Bangladesh without causing any harm. They are concerned about precedence. Why others must not question how GTCL Muchai pipeline compressor station planned to augment capacity of GTCL owned and operated National Gas Grid was handed over to an IOC? Where was the consciousness of Petrobangla about precedence? Recommended Actions Adopt appropriate depletion strategy. There must be plan for required secondary and tertiary recovery from each gas field, setting up well head compressor stations Carry out regular bottom hole pressure survey and other required reservoir study. Adopt 4D integrated reservoir management. Petrobangla Reservoir management cell may go to BAPEX and be manned with professional petroleum and reservoir specialists. Cairn/ Santos must be given required incentives to further develop depleting Sangu Gas field including Sangu South and explore at Magnama and Hatiya. There must not be any concern if similar facilities need to extend to other IOCs in offshore exploration. BAPEX must get similar fiscal benefits and incentives given to IOCs for exploration. Gas Transmission Constraints Crisis not only prevails in gas exploration and production. Constrains of transmission is also creating bottlenecks in evacuating stranded gas from source of origin to load centers. Chevron is in position now to add 300MMCFD for Bibiyana

Moulavibazar and Jalalabad. But supersaturated National grid without compressor stations at designated locations or additional loop lines can not evacuate any new gas. In fact the transmission grid is already operated above designed capacity. This has caused low-pressure situation over entire gas system. Absence of routine on-stream pigging has filled a section of gas grid further reducing transmission capacity. Petrobangla / GTCL must have conducted on stream pigging of North South and Rashidpur Ashuganj Loop lines before permitting Chevron produce above 500MMCFD. Check from the day they started doing that gas pressure at Ashuganj Metering Station has gone down and low-pressure problem has triggered over entire gas grid. In the present situation even Muchai Compressor will bring no appreciable improvement. Inexperienced persons are pleading for setting up BibiyanaDhanua pipelines. These are confusing policy makers. GTCL is implementing Monohradi- Elenga loop line and proceeding with plan to Construct Bakhrabad-Shiddhirganj pipelines. Recommended Actions Carry out On-Stream pigging of N-S, R-A, A-B and BB pipeline on top priority basis. Construct another Loop line from Habiganj to Ashuganj in two phases. Khatihta-Ashuganj by April 2011 and Khatihata-Habiganj by April 2012. Scrap plan of Muchai Compressor, review and increase capacity of Ashuganj Compressor station. Construct Bakhrabad-Chittagong Loop line and Bakhrabad vSiddhirganj Pipeline by February 2013. Make GTCL SCADA fully operational again before Compressor stations are commissioned. Train GTCL professionals properly to operate and maintain SCADA and Compressor stations. Distribution System Lacks Far sight Major gas distribution companies TGTDCL and BGSL are in crisis for two different reasons. BGSL franchise area is suffering from production glitch at

Sangu and gas transmission constraints of Bakhtrabad-Chittagong pipeline. BGSL distribution network is well planned and can serve the purpose if production and transmission constraints are resolved. BGSL must redo the missing section of Chittagong Ringmain- HDD crossing of Karnaphuli River at Kalurghat. Without complete ring main BGSL will continue to suffer even when additional gas is supplied either from offshore or national gas grid. Creation of Karnaphully Gas System Ltd is a right decision. BGSL must also get Bramanbaria from Titas as soon as possible. Manning of KGSL must be carefully done. Persons of questionable integrity must not be there in decision making positions. Titas system is in all sorts of crisis. Titas must blame its superstar planners for its system nightmare. They never had perspective planning in mind while designing transmission and distribution network. Titas-Narsingdi-Joydevpur transmission pipeline was not correctly designed. In 1984 this pipeline must have been designed for at least 20” OD all the way if not 24”OD. TGTDL at that time BGSL initiative for Bakhrabad — Demra pipeline. Imagine what would have happened if BGSL did not implement Bakhrabad-Demra pipeline at that time. Titas did not co-operate with BGSL at that time. Since then under Dhaka Clean fuel project a lateral has been built from Dhanua to Savar, GTCL constructed Ashuganj-Monohardi pipeline. Titas constructed several distribution pipelines under Dhaka Clean fuel project basically to stabilize gas supply to increasing CNG fleet. But all these failed to address TGTDCL crisis. Is it a planning failure? What are the achievements of Dhaka Clean fuel project? Off course mushroom growth of Dhaka City and gas using medium to large consumers in constraint network areas of Narayanganj, Tongi, Joydevpur and Savar did not help its cause. Titas authority seems to have has lost control over its gas marketing management, over the last few years gas marketing has expanded without bothering for gas supply and transmission limita-

tions. There must be significant numbers of unregistered consumers. Unaccounted for gas is a major problem for Titas. The proposed trifurcation of Titas Distribution system must be materialized as soon as possible. Recommendation Bifurcation of BGSL and trifurcation of TGTDCL must be implemented in full without delay. BGSL ring main must be re-completed. Bi Directional Bakhrabad-Chittagong Gas Transmission loop line must be constructed on priority basis. Intelligent Pigging of BakhrabadChittagong pipeline must be done to carry out metal loss survey. A ring main around Dhaka city along city circular ring road must be planned and metro Dhaka must be isolated from fringe areas. Pipeline supply of gas to all multistoried residential units, major hotels and restaurants must be replaced with LPG. Gas supply to congested city areas where maintenance of dilapidated distribution system may also be done away with. All gas supply must come under metering system. If possible telemetry must be introduced for online monitoring of gas distribution. Prepaid metering must be introduced for all domestic and commercial consumers. Gas sector will continue to dominate our energy scenario for a long time yet. We must try to cure the problems of gas sector from bottom hole to burner tip if we are to retrieve energy sector from deep hole. Gas still will play major role if the government has to implement even 50% of its highly ambitious power sector mega plan. Comprehensive overhauling of gas sector is essential. It will require total national commitment. It requires right professionals at right place not ineffective party loyals who would only give lip service and achieve little.

Engr Khondkar A Saleque Former Director, GTCL


Md. Mosharraf Hossain

Rental power plant has a crucial role in alleviating the present power problem. Notwithstanding the high price, this was considered the only way to bring power to the country within the shortest possible time



ith the intolerable power crisis in the country, there have been never ending news on electricity sector covering different power plants, proposal, negotiation, purchase committee a p p r o v a l . G o v e r n m e n t approval, setting up, opening ceremony of power plants and so on. In the stream of news it is difficult for an ordinary citizen to fix up how many power plants are in operational stage, how many are in the commissioning stage or for that matter in the contractual or tendering stage. The position from the news reporting from the Jatiya Sangsad on the question and answer on power sector on 3rd June 2010 stands as follows: The process of setting up 1,000MW to 1,200MW quick rental power stations is going on to keep power shortage at a tolerable level in 2010 and 2011. "These plants can be set up quickly for generating power for three to five years,” said the State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources in the Jatiya Sangsad on June 3, 2010. He also informed that the government took plans to add 9,426MW power to the national grid by 2015 adding that, besides setting up gas-based plants, power stations would be set up based on coal, diesel and fur-

nace oil and dual fuel and renewable source in view of crisis of gas in the country. Under short, mid and long-term plans, a total of 792MW power would be added to the national grid this year through public and private sectors. It was told that another 920MW would be added in 2011; 2,269MW in 2012; 1,675 MW in 2013; 1,170MW in 2014 and 2,600MW in 2015. Besides setting up new plants, plans have been undertaken to renovate and rehabilitate the

old ones and save electricity through demand side management. The government has undertaken plans to import electricity from the neighboring countries while 100MW power would be added to the national grid through renovating and rehabilitating the old power stations, 50MW from 3rd unit and 50MW from 4th unit of Karnaphuli hydroelectric plant. Besides, measures have been taken to increase power generation by renovating and rehabilitating other public sector plants in phases. Rental power plant has a crucial role in alleviating the present power problem. Notwithstanding the high price, this was considered the only way to bring power to the country within the shortest possible time. The recent awards of rental power contract shown Table: 1. BPDB would purchase rental power @ Tk. 7.76- Tk. 7.78 and sell the same @TK 2.37. The lion’s share of the purchase cost cover fuel expenditure. BPDB opted for the costly rental power projects in the face of persistent power cut with deficit of about 1,500 MW. The attempt through rental power plants is aimed for quick recovery in the present deficit by the next irrigation season. In addition to the above, in April the government approved three

unsolicited deals of rental power plants which would produce about 540 MW of electricity. Of the deals the PDB has already signed contract with British company AGGREKO for generating 200 MW from July —August, next. Most of these projects would take almost three years to complete-except for the two large coal power plants, which will begin operation in early 2015. But nearly a 1,000MW would be added to the national grid within a year; significantly easing the ongoing power crisis. The contracts will require more than a $5 billion investment. It may be mentioned here that the problems of power sector are deep-rooted. The age old power plants operating now not only fail to deliver the name plate capacity power; these have mostly out lived their utility. While the rental power plants may give some breathing time for the country, but unless new base load power stations are seriously taken up replacing the present ones, the country is set for deeper trouble in power supply within next few years. It is a common allegation in the news media that the power people have a poor record of finalizing the contract with the power sector contractors. Frequent changes in the original contract document, inclusion of controversial condition, withdrawing of certain stipulations, time extension, etc often caused frustrations to the concerned companies and lead to poor response from the international bidders of repute in power sector. It has been reported in the news papers that some organizations in the power sector like the Power Cell, Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB) and North West

Power Generation Company (NWPGC) have all failed to complete a single tender in the last one year. It is often alleged that these agencies easily get influenced by lobbies, resulting in slowing down of the awarding of tenders. It is flushed in the press that "If they acted competently, we would have gained 1,000MW power from 2012," statement being attributed to a power ministry official. The EGCB's poor handling of a 300MW power deal with World Bank financing has turned the same a subject matter for a re-tender. The Power Cell is working on Bibyana 450MW power project. Two other tenders totaling 300MW capacity in Sirajganj and Khulna are also under process. It is also reported in the press that Indian National Thermal Power Company is now carrying out a feasibility study to set up two largest projects: 1,350MW coal-fired power plants in

Khulna and Chittagong. The Khulna plant will be publicly financed while the Chittagong would be under private investment. According to PDB, they have started acquiring land in Khulna and Chittagong in this connection, BPDB hope by the end of this year; they will be able to sign agreements for these plants. The government has also floated a tender to set up a 40 km transmission line and a high voltage substation near the southwestern border of the country to import power from India. It is envisaged that 500 MW of electricity will be imported from India Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s efforts to secure a nuclear power deal with Russia are encouraging and the country will have another 2,000MW nuclear power project in the pipeline. It takes about six years to implement a nuclear power project. Similarly, a power deal with India is also a reasonably good sign of co-operation among the countries. But the actual regional cooperation could be manifested in the Trans Asian Gas Pipeline stretching from Turkmenistan or Oman or Iran to Bangladesh via Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Such a project up to India has been under consideration since long. It is hoped that the region will soon turn into a zone of peace and such gas pipeline, the least cost option for primary energy for power generation, will be a reality for the countries in this part of the world. With all these events in the power sector, it can be expected that this vital segment of the development initiatives may cause an about turn from the present pessimistic position to a brighter direction subject to the conditions that the projects do not fall pray to the bureaucratic

tangles and no delay is made in implementations of the ongoing projects. A detail of year wise program as presented by the Chairman BPDB is as Table 2 to 8. According to the PDB chief, at the time of assuming power by the present Government in January 2009 the installed capacity was about 5450 MW. But because of decrease of generation capacity and gas crisis the average actual generation was 3500 MW approximately. Within one and quarter year of the present government with the installation of new power plants nearly 700 MW electricity has been added to the national grid, As a result the installed capacity stood at 6000 MW approximately. Presently power generation capacity is 5376 MW while demand is about 5800 MW. However, dependable generation capacity fluctuates in between 3900 to 4300 MW. The PDB chief agreed that it can not be denied that compared to the demand of electricity the generation capacity is inadequate. From the table presented by the BPDB chief it is observed that natural gas, HFO, diesel coal, solar, wind have been shown as the primary fuel for the power stations. It is not very clear if the age old Power System Master Plan (PSMP) has been followed while preparing the table under reference. If not, then rationales for selecting the fuel mix with reference to the sites of power stations are important considerations. The primary energy need to be considered from the point of view that the county is not tied to any single source rather a basket of fuels are

available to make the power system flexible and with the mix of higher and lower priced fuels; an acceptable power price is available. The international trend in the energy trading, the technological advances, the transportations complexities, etc are matter of detail analysis which could only be performed by the professionals dealing exclusively with such subjects. As such conducting the feasibility study on primary energy as least cost option for power generation is as important as procurement of the power plants. As the fuel is a recurring expenditure for the entire life of the plant, this item would play a vital role in the operation of the power station. Let the spree of setting up new power plants

does not shadow the necessity of examining the option for fuels for these plants. This particular aspect of cross checking the options of fuels seems to be missing in the activities of the agencies working on the subject. With the present position of gas, it is not certain if power stations would able to get adequate gas by the time the gas dedicated power plant is ready for trial operations. No doubt, Petrobangla is tying hard itself, through Bapex and with the IOCs to increase gas production as well as hydrocarbon exploration activities but, the success rate is still not very encouraging. The government is also exploring

prestigious and costly business that till now only a few developed countries have access to this option. Even then the press report suggests that in Bangladesh site has been selected to receive LNG. But then what about LNG sourcing, transportation and the 20-25 years take or pay contact with the LNG supplier let alone the highest price tag. Spot market deal in LNG is still in the nascent stage. And such a huge investment in LNG business could hardly be justified without any techno economic feasibility study. avenues for importing coal and LNG to the country. But no definitive position on these issues has yet been reached. On the coal front the debate on open pit mining against underground mining is still in practice without verification of the feasibility of open pit mining from techno economic side professionally. Phulbari coal mining has caused enough controversy, even in the international forum. There have been many controversial pro and against opinion on open pit mining also against underground mining. If in the professional techno economic and social analysis it emerges that associated costs of mining coal are not acceptable, decision for importing coal may be justified. It must not be overlooked that primary energies for power generation are not so easy to get. So long the availability of low cost indigenous gas has kept the concerned agencies blind about the true picture of primary energy abroad. It is not as easy as to go with a canister and get it filled with oil or buying a sack of coal. These are all long term contract items. One has to explore the market, the source of supply, transportation facilities, unloading and storage problems, delivery system up to the burner tip, before a particular fuel can be chosen. Some articles in different news paper have already suggested that the coal carrying international standard ships cannot, due to draft problem, enter the present sea ports of Bangladesh. Unloading coal at deep sea, transshipment, carrying the same to the power station sites may be costlier compared to the C&F cost of coal itself. But these need to be examined professionally. Same with natural gas, LNG is being talked about. Any body having some experiences with the gas sector is aware that how LNG chain operates. It is so HFO, FO, diesel based power stations are also costlier option. But even then with the depleting gas fields and controversial coal deposits if our fate leads to such situation these fuels will need selection of source of crude oil supply and setting up refineries in the country. But again no feasibility study has been conducted on such options. In the wish list of BPDB chairman as above, wind and solar have been mentioned, again the status of availability of such sources need to be confirmed. Besides other options like underground coal gasification (UCG), Coal Bed Methane (CBM). Bio gas, etc are also referred as possible source of fuel for power generation. But no study has been made to consider these for national energy circuits. It may be too early to lose faith in the prospect of indigenous gas. It would be interesting to know the results of USGS study of 32 TCF (average) gas which created so much uproar in

the gas sector in not too distant past. Has any project been drawn to confirm the said estimate? Again when USGS is seriously working on the second phase of prospect of Gas Hydrate in the Bay of Bengal with Indian agencies, are we even aware of that and get ourselves also associated with the Gas Hydrate study? Experts’ belief that gas hydrate reserves are tremendous in the Bay of Bengal and may even exceed 6 times the present known reserves of gas. Similarly leaving aside the endless debate on method of exploitation of coal, one may start coal mining with underground method in the known deposits, subject to the conditions that necessary feasibility studies have duly been conducted including environmental and social impact studies. If on serious techno economic evaluation with special reference to reclamation of land, after exploitation of coal, for agricultural purposes; it is confirmed that the open

pit mining is feasible, one can always switch over to the said system; but the opposite is not possible. According to Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Bir Bikram, the Adviser to the Prime Minister for Energy, as published in the special supplement on the occasion of Chandpur Power Station opening,” In order to cater demand of electricity, short-mid and long term steps have been taken. Besides, plans have been undertaken to bring cent percent populations within the ambit of power supply and to attain self reliance in the light of the vision 2021. On the way of unabated power generation there exists inadequate energy. To overcome this crisis the government has undertaken different initiatives for gas exploration

including productions and use of renewable energy. Besides various steps have been taken to save power and energy. In all these initiatives, cooperation from all is expected.” It is earnestly hoped that things would move as per such honest desire of the Adviser and power crisis in the country will be over earliest. Government has so far been preoccupied with the power stations; it is time now that primary sources of energy are also given due importance. Other wise it will be an asymmetrical approach to get relief from the present power crisis and the people will continue to be grilled under the severe load shedding in future as well.

Md. Mosharraf Hossain Former Chairman, Petrobangla & Founder (Acting) Chairman, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC)




Farhana Shaon

nergy security” and “Energy crisis” are much talked about phrases of our present time. On the brink of a near stagnation of our industrial development due to shortage of energy, we need to think seriously about the energy security of our country. In the recent past on TV talk shows and in important seminars we heard a few eminent economist-cum-politicians citing the example of America while talking about energy security. The


reason for citing America as an example is being explained that America is keeping its own oil and gas reserve undeveloped for future use and fulfilling its current demand by importing oil and gas. America is doing so to ensure its future energy security. Readers may think whether Americans are as calculative in using energy as they are in developing its own petroleum reserve. If anybody says “yes” it will sound like a joke. America is the world’s largest user of energy in all forms. The city Las Vegas is not ready to compromise with its lustrous elegance even for a single moment. While in the USA the energy consumption per person is 11.4 kW, in Bangladesh it is 0.2 kW per person. It means each American uses 57 times more energy than a Bangladeshi. As the wealthiest and mightiest country of the world USA can afford to buy oil and gas from anywhere in the world to fulfill its energy demand. So the Americans feel energy secured. Now let us try to fit the American model of “Energy security” in Bangladesh. From our existing knowledge base we know that Bangladesh has a net remaining proved plus probable gas reserve of about 12 TCF. If we consider that we will be able to bring our possible gas reserves estimated at about 7 TCF into our proved reserve category by further appraisal then the total amount becomes about 19 TCF. It is estimated that to achieve GDP growth rate of 7%, the country needs an energy growth rate of 10.5%. But like America if we decide not to exploit our indigenous gas rapidly and plan to extract it at the current rate, how long will it last? If we continue to produce gas at the rate of 2000 million cubic feet per day, which is our current production rate and which is unable to meet our current demand, then we will be able to continue up to 26

years only. Our resource assessment indicates that there are possibilities of some new discoveries in future which will contribute to the reserve figure and we will be able to survive a few more years. But by suppressing production we have already dragged down our GDP growth! So, like America we have to import oil and gas to fulfill the country’s demand. So far Bangladesh is importing oil only. But if we want to keep our gas for longer time in the earth, we will have to import gas as well. This is especially important because our industrial infrastructure is gas based. Unlike oil, gas cannot be carried by a tanker or lorry. Gas can only be transported through a pipeline network or by special vessel in the form of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). LNG is an expensive technology, so the preferred option may be importing gas through pipeline from neighboring countries. This is exactly what America does. America imports huge amount of gas via pipeline from Canada and Mexico. Can anybody name a neighboring country of Bangladesh who is ready to sell gas to Bangladesh? India and China being big energy hungry countries of this region are ready to fulfill their present and future gas demand by any means. Bangladesh is already far behind in this competition. The only other option is to import gas as LNG. If we start to think of LNG import today, probably the first gas stream that will enter our network will take about six to seven years in case of long-term facili-

ties. What should we do then? Should we ask our people to keep patience for six years for the sake of “Energy security”? Let us try to see how countries not having their indigenous oil & gas resources maintain their “Energy security”. A good example can be Japan. Japan’s economy is completely dependant on imported oil and gas. At the moment 28 LNG re-gasification terminals are in operation in Japan. Japan is the leading LNG importer of the world. As a developed country Japan can afford to buy expensive LNG to fulfill its gas demand. Japan’s industrial development is not hindered due to lack of its own mineral resources rather economic development through industrialization has made Japan world’s third largest power producer. Japan is one of the leading countries of the world which is actively searching for nonconventional hydrocarbon sources like Gas Hydrates and trying to develop technology to produce it in a commercially viable and environmentally sound manner to ensure the country’s future energy security. Now let us see how a rapidly developing country, India, is planning to ensure its “Energy security”. India has a long history of oil and gas exploration and production. If we do not go too far back and look back in the early nineties, we will notice a remarkable reform in the oil-gas sector of India. The formation of Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, in 1993 can be considered as a landmark decision. DGH has been entrusted with several responsibilities like implementation of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), matters concerning the Production Sharing Contracts, monitoring of E&P activities and development of nonconventional hydrocarbon energy sources

Process plant of Bakhrabad gas field

like Coal Bed Methane (CBM) as also futuristic hydrocarbon energy resources like Gas Hydrates and Oil Shales.

greater US$13/MSCF.


Our present day energy crisis clearly indicates that the energy sector could not keep up the right pace of exploration and To describe India’s development as is destination, the DGH required by today’s officially declares the economy. The energy following: “….The sector is a capital rapidly growing intensive and technolIndian economy ogy dependant sector. requires huge investIn today’s world ment in the energy Mohammad Mesbah Uddin, Secretary, Energy & Mineral Resources visits the plant area of where energy consector. Strong private Habiganj Gas Field in April, 2010 sumption is increasing sector participation is rapidly in every counrequired to suppleeconomic development which at the try, whether small or big, the government public sector and bring in the end of the day ensures “Energy securi- ment alone cannot cope with it in required investment and technologies. ty”. Science and technology is always terms of investment, technology and Policies have increasingly recognized advancing. Impossible is becoming trained manpower. Bangladesh is not the need to promote private investpossible with its advancement. Gas an exception. Private sector participament. Government is making efforts to hydrates and Oil Shales are potential tion, be it foreign or local, is required to diversify the fuel basket by increasing future hydrocarbon sources. India per- supplement public sector to enhance share of Natural Gas, Hydro and haps knows, by the time the conven- exploration and development activities Nuclear energy…” tional energy sources will be depleted, to support the GDP growth and there is To increase upstream investments, the the new energy sources will replenish no alternative to it. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas of them. Today’s economic growth will One of the important aspects of energy India formulated New Exploration make India energy secured in future. security is diversification of energy licensing Policy (NELP) in 1999 providIt is time for us to be practical. Does the sources. Sole dependence on gas in our ing level playing field for all the investors to attract investment and tech- American model fit in Bangladesh? country as the primary energy source nology. Under the policy blocks for Belonging to the poorest countries of has already pushed the industrial infraexploration are awarded through global the world, can Bangladesh enjoy the structure under threat. We are blessed competitive bidding process. It is amaz- luxury that America does? Bangladesh with excellent quality coal. Coal ing to notice that within ten years of needs affordable energy and only by should be mined in an economic and time India has completed seven bidding maximizing the use of indigenous pri- proper manner to supplement gas. We rounds. The Eighth round of bidding has mary energy like gas and coal, we can have to think about LNG import right already been launched and now under avail it. In 2009, our total gas con- today for our future security. Options process. Through seven successful bid- sumption was about 650 BCF which is for nuclear power generation should ding rounds India has awarded a total equivalent to 15.5 million metric also be explored. of 203 blocks. Under NELP, 71 oil and tonnes of oil. This figure is four times Energy and power are the driving forces gas discoveries have already been greater than our annual crude import. of the country’s economy. We have to made in 19 exploration blocks. At the present day crude oil price, the understand their present value in our Hydrocarbon accretion has already value of 15.5 million tonnes of oil economic development. We have to become more than 600 Million Metric equivalent is about US$1.2 billion. Let come out of the amateurish attitude to us try to compare the price of our manage the energy sector. We have to Tonnes of oil & oil equivalent of gas. ingenious gas with its probable substi- manage this sector with practicality India’s energy sector policy indicates tutes. So far the highest wellhead price and professionalism. Only this how it values the role of energy in the of our gas is US$2.92/ MSCF (offshore approach will ensure our economic economic development of the country. Sangu field). If we want to import LNG, development and energy security. Today’s development cannot be sup- we will have to pay about US$ EP pressed by not fulfilling the energy 10/MSCF. In case of imported oil, the demand in the name of energy security. unit price is even higher. Considering Rather today’s development creates the the crude oil price of US$80 per Barrel, Farhana Shaon base for future development. It is the the equivalent gas price becomes Manager (Exploration), Petrobangla


Dr. Thomas von Schwarzenberg

The other aspect is the mine development in terms of mining direction and outside dump location and its size as well as the size and location of the final void lake.

In general both deposits can be considered as one combined deposit with an approximate north-south extension of fourteen kilometers and a west-east extension of up to three kilometers.


A further important aspect is the lifetime of the mine. As the mine development will create a quite substantial relocation impact on the villagers a minimum lifetime of German Hambach 40 Mio. t per year coal mine in the middle of agricultural and densely populated land, presently 5 km long and 400 meter deep. not less than 50 years should be In general both all those who’s private wells may have taken into account. This would also deposits can be considered as one run dry and also for a larger centralized combined deposit with an approximate municipal water provision. Artificial allow providing jobs in the mine and north-south extension of fourteen kilo- irrigation will also be a chance. Water the power plant to many of the villagers meters and a west-east extension of up will be one of the key issues of the proj- over a longer period. As the mine operto three kilometers. ect, which needs to be regulated care- ations require quite large basic expensfully according to the needs of the vil- es for mine maintenance, infrastructure The deposit has a syncline shaped lagers, the environment and the mine development and continuous dewaterstructure with a depth of partly up to operations. Monitoring programs and ing, a minimum coal production level more than 300 meter. Possible mineyearly reports of pumped volumes, to work economically would be about able reserves by open pit technology groundwater tables, groundwater qual- 12 million tonnes of coal per year. are at least 800 Mio tons. ity and discharge records of water must Therefore, a 4000 to 5000 MW scenario with about 2 million tonnnes of The top 150 to 200 meter are covered be set up in detail. coal export would be reasonable. with partly high permeable sand which Coal Quality However, also other options such as a forms the main aquifer of the area. The Barapukuria/Phulbari coal is a high 6000 MW power plant without any Beneath the sand a series of Permian volatile bituminous coal, with a high coal exports could be considered sandstones with an up to 35 meter average heating value of 25,000 kJ/kg, (Table1). thick main seam and several additional an in situ ash level of around 17 % and seams with a few meters thickness are a total moisture content of 6%. Sulphur In general Bangladesh coal resources present. is in the range of 0.6 %. About 20 to 25 should be used for domestic energy Hydrology % of part of the coal with relatively low generation. Even though coal exports The top 150/200 meter aquifer must be ash contents can be used as semi-soft are therefore understandably not very dewatered to guarantee safe mine oper- coking coal in blast furnaces which welcome, it will make sense to at least ations, similar to the practice in the makes a separation of this coal eco- market the high quality portion of PCI coal. This would allow both for the large German open pits, where up to nomically interesting. operator and the Bangladesh 300 meter thick aquifers need dewaterMine Development & Power Government - which could impose ing (Figure1). This would of course lead Plant Scenarios substantially higher royalties on that to a quite large cone of depression. Mine development has several aspects. export coal - to profit from the about 70 Using re-infiltration technique this One is the yearly coal production. The US$/t higher marked prices of this coal. cone of depression can be reduced by other aspect is the mine development Such a scenario would also contribute more than 60 %. in terms of mining direction and outto reducing the trade balance deficit of However, the mine aquifer pumping side dump location and its size as well Bangladesh considerably. will also have the advantage of provid- as the size and location of the final void ing good quality drinking water both to lake. As the required land demand is a In the following two favorable mine

or several years the main interest in the development of coal open pit mining in Bangladesh has been focused on Barapukuria and Phulbari coal deposits. For both deposits feasibility studies exist while more intensive and advanced investigations were made for the Phulbari deposit.

very critical issue in terms of land availability for the farmers, minimum land demand for mine development needs to be focused on.

development scenarios are discussed. They are shown in Figure 2.

encapsulation of machines and noise protection walls are state of the art.

The presently planned scenario Another aspect is the reclamation envisages a mine development of outside and inside dumps from the North of Phulbari (see which to a maximum extent have box cut, Figure 1 Variant I) Table 1: Possible power plant capacities, coal production, to be turned into agricultural area. coal exports and mine life time scenarios of towards the South (1) with a minIn this context the provision of Barapukuria/Phulbari deposits ing void lake in the South of the long-term high fertility soil with mine. This scenario would require a terion that determines the approach. adequate natural or irrigation water is new mine to exploit the coal from the one of the major aspects. Upon mine Environment Barapukuria area. As however nearly Any large industry complex will always closure a lake of around ten square all the necessary studies for Phulbari affect the environment unless certain kilometer surface and more than 200 have been completed, this option mitigating measures are introduced. meter depths will be formed. This lake would allow a quick start up of mine The environment around will be used for fishing activities, recreand power plant operation. However to Barapukuria/Phulbari mine could be ation and as a biotope for wildlife. avoid a complete new mine at affected by groundwater drawdown, To fulfill all these obligations Barapukuria with another outside dust blow, noise emissions and indus- Environmental Impact Assessment studdump and another final void lake, the trial waste. Drawdown of groundwater ies on an internationally accepted basis Phulbari box-cut should be kept open table is not per sea negative impact. are being set up and mitigating measto develop the mine northwards after Counter measures in this case will ures and concepts elaborated. This is a having mined out the Phulbari coal however, be needed when private tube standard procedure before any mining field. In addition it would be necessary wells fall dry or when harvests are min- permit can be approved. Especially the to refill the mining void in the South of imized due to lack of water. Therefore strict European environmental legislaPhulbari with overburden from re-infiltration of water into the ground tion has forced the large German open Barapukuria to avoid additional land and provision of compensatory water pit mine operations to introduce extenrequirements for a new outside dump deliveries as practiced in Germany for sive environmental mitigating measand a second mine lake. This will howmore than fifty years may be necessary. ures which cost the company millions ever be a costly operation as up to two Dust blow and noise are a typical of dollars per year. billion cubic meters of waste will have implication of mining for which worldto be transported over a distance of wide mitigating measures such as artifi- In this context, it has to be proved about 6 km to fill up the mining void in cial greening and sprinkling of water, whether the Bangladesh environmental the South of Phulbari coal field. law and associated regulations fulfill the requirements to protect the Another option would be the start environment from possible negaup of mining (box cut Variant II) tive impacts associated with large in the North of the Barapukuria scale open pit operation. coal field and moving straight through the whole Relocation Barapukuria/Phulbari deposit. Relocation is one of the most critThis option has the advantage of ical issues on site. Most of the vilonly one outside dump and one lagers depend on their agriculturfinal mine void lake without the al livelihood. Land is scarce and necessity to transport huge waste people presently do not undervolumes over long distances. The stand how mining and surviving disadvantage is that more in the area can be reconciled. Up detailed studies would immedito now it was not possible to adeately be required including quately impart the possible coexEnvironmental Impact assessment istence of mine and peoples’ weland relocation of villagers planfare to the villagers. ning. This would delay mine and People who will be relocated power plant operation by considmust exactly know where and on erably more than one year. which economic basis they can Whatever mine plan will be follive in ten, twenty and forty years lowed the land demand may Figure 1: Schematic drawing of possible open pit mine variants from now. To this end broad always be one of the decisive criat Barapukuria/Phulbari based support and information of

the local public is indispensable. So far such communication seems not to have reached all the villagers. An intensified local communication will therefore be one of the major issues of the future mining project. In any case codetermination of the affected villagers will be necessary. Any start of mining operation in the area will be difficult without having solved this problem. Government Control Government control is a serious aspect in mine safety, environmental monitoring and social acceptance. Government mine permits must always be linked to exact fulfillment, reporting and monitoring of certain safety, operational, environmental, social and legal obligations and regulations. Presently the Bangladesh Government does not have any powerful institution to fulfill this necessary obligatory supervision. Such organization must be established completely from the scratch with members of different disciplines, such as mining engineers, environmental experts and lawyers.

Assistance by experienced mining authorities and mine operators from industrialized mining countries will be inevitable during the first years of mine operation. Risks & Chances The implementation of the project will call many critics into action who are afraid about possible impacts. This is a normal reaction and also in Germany the latest open pit mine permits have been discussed extremely controversially both in public and government. Even after mine permission has been granted, there are still strong environmentalist groups opposing the projects. It is understandable that people living in the area fear for their future and the possible changes in their daily life. No such project can avoid impacts to the environment. That is why mitigating measures, even if they are very costly, must be introduced. Only after all the efforts to minimize impacts to local population and the environment have been planned and valued, the real effect of the project can be balanced.

However, already today the positive chances of mining are considerable. Among these are: Long-term job opportunities in modern technology mine and power plant operation. Centralized, high quality water provision. Provision of extreme fertile land in the reclaimed areas. Economic boom in the region with improved infrastructure for schools and medical care. 5000 MW power plant capacity for the next fifty years. Mining of byproducts such as glass sand, kaolin clay and rock gravel which triggers additional jobs in other industries. Taxes and royalty revenues for the government. Improvement of the negative trade balance deficit by limited coal exports. For thousands of years mining has been a source of welfare and development worldwide. Why should it be different in Bangladesh?

Dr. Thomas von Schwarzenberg RWE Power International - Germany



The case with a country where opportunity to reduce energ wastage is quite limited compared to our situation, where waste is ubiquitous.

A holistic energy conservation is a sustainable and green solution which can alleviate part of our on-going energy crisis.

bulbs for illumination purpose. Overall Efficiency Of Conversion The Holistic Yard Stick We need a regulatory and fiscal framework designed to reward those who are energy efficient and punish who are wasteful with it. Further, we need to create an enabling atmosphere where industries, institutions and individuals will be coached, encouraged and financially assisted to implement energy saving measures, here and now. This carrot and stick policy will quickly usher in a new era of energy conservation and to a considerable extent mitigate today’s acute energy crisis. and assume that, efficiency is some how taken care of in the power producer’s profitability calculations. In a recent ICC sponsored energy seminar we heard the Danish delegate say that in Denmark, power generation remained constant over the past few years though there has been an incremental rise in demand in response to the growth in their economy. The reason behind this paradox is: Whatever increase in demand came along the way was met by energy that has been saved through energy conservation measures. Many discrete measures that did the job were actually bits and pieces of a nation-wide program, jointly orchestrated by the private & public sectors, within a prudently designed regulatory and fiscal framework. And this is the case with a country where opportunity to reduce energy wastage is quite limited compared to our situation, where waste is ubiquitous. Where public or organizational oversight is scanty to make it binding on the power companies to generate power at the highest possible efficiency level, where electric heating is not considered to be a sin (though overall energy conversion wise it is the most wasteful way of heating) or where gas boilers/heaters/kilns of even large government and private sector industries are seldom (if ever) checked/tuned to ensure proper combustion of precious natural gas, where wasting nearly 90% of electricity in the form of heat is deemed ‘normal’ while lighting up So, how do we determine, say, among the power producers who are energy efficient and who are not? How we rate them? How we measure efficiency in the first place? In essence, efficiency is the percentage of input to a system that comes out as useful output. So if we are to judge which one, between two power plants A & B, is more efficient, we may sidestep all the engineering detail and just put in, say 10,000 cubic meter (NM3) of natural gas, roughly having 100 MWH of chemical energy in it, into each and measure how many MWH they churn out as electricity; that should give the efficiency figures. If A produces 60 MWH of electricity and B a meagre 30 MWH, then A, in all fairness, should be rated as doubly efficient compared with B, right? Yes, in a world where electricity is the only desirable output. The world we live in, however, is seldom so. The


iven the finite hydrocarbon resources that we have, we need to be efficient in:

1) Generating power, 2) Transmitting the same to the point of usage and 3) Utilization (doing/making more of whatever we are doing/making, with the same amount of energy). A holistic energy conservation is a sustainable and green solution which can alleviate part of our on-going energy crisis. Given the prevailing wasteful scenario in Bangladesh, it could be equivalent to commissioning a new power station of approximately 700MW capacity, ready to supply power to the grid immediately, at a minimal investment cost and virtually no running expenditures. This is a real and tangible source of energy at par with oil, gas, coal & nuclear. So much so that energy management gurus nowadays are calling it the ‘fifth fuel’. Energy conservation is a string of well thought out and wisely designed measures that needs to be administered at different planes simultaneously, and sustained over a long period of time. A team of policy makers and technocrats needs to be driving this program; they should have the ability to zoom in on to details, fix the nuts bolts if need be, and zoom out, take the big picture view and balance various multi-dimensional activities. Not a ‘one-off’ glitzy affair like the commissioning of a shiny new power plant under the glaring lights of the media, though. Please do not get me wrong — we definitely do need lot more additional power in the grid. All I mean to say is: Let us always consider conservation as a part of the total solution and also make overall efficiency of conversion the vital screening parameter when we are selecting a new power plant. Let us ask questions like: How many MW output for how many NM3/hour of gas input? And what happens with the waste heat? We should not sit back


energy that we use on a daily basis, in domestic or industrial arena, has two useful components: Electricity & Heat. Therefore, efficiency of a plant should be judged in this backdrop. Example: A shoe factory needs approximately 100 MWH of energy to produce 40,000 shoes, of which 70 MWH is in the form of heat and 30 MWH as electricity. If this factory opts for power plant B of the above example and retrofits it with appropriate waste heat recovery system the following may happen; B produces additional 40 MWH power, albeit in the form of heat, salvaged from its hot exhaust gas and cooling water which were previously responsible for draining out 70 MWH of its input energy. In this changed scenario, the total useful energy this system now teases out from 10,000 NM3 of gas is 70 MWH (30 MWH electricity + 40 MWH of heat energy) as opposed to 60 MWH that plant A struggles to produce (as electricity alone). So in a holistic consideration, now, it’s obvious that plant B, is more efficient. If retrofitting a plant with co-gen system is the issue it can be done with plant A as well, isn’t it? Well that depends on location of a plant as well. If A is an isolated plant in the middle of nowhere it may not beat B. Let us see how. Location Of A Power Plant has a Bearing on its Overall Conversion Efficiency Imagine A to be an ‘efficient’ combined cycle power plant dedicated for power generation located in a remote place far away from the point of usage, & B is a gas engine driven generator built in the vicinity of the production site (not really much efficient in itself) but retrofitted with co-generation system which enables it to produce both electricity and heat in the form of steam & hot water using the hot exhaust and jacket cooling water. These tailor made heat inputs enable the mill to cut back on its gas bill which it would have otherwise burned to produce these steam, hot water, hot air and warm water. Now just due to its proximity to the factory, where production equipment are guzzling both electricity and heat simultaneously, B enjoys the opportunity to supply the low grade heat energy salvaged from its waste streams directly to the process and utility equipment. In the case of a stand alone power plant, designed to maximize generation of electricity, there is simply no such opportunity. So, in spite of being inherently more efficient a system, A, ends up wasting most of its low grade ener-

gy in the waste streams at a much higher rate -eventually loosing the race to its ‘inferior’ counterpart. Ensuring Conservation at The Point Of Usage We need to draw the base line for specific energy requirement for various products that we are producing as a nation — that is, the total (thermal + electrical) energy requirement to produce one unit of product. Each industry can determine this simply from the past years’ utility bills and production figures. What is the standard energy requirement to dye & coat 1 kg of nylon/polyester fabric? How much we need to produce 1 ton of ceramic tableware? How about apparel? How many KWH we need to produce a moderately complicated jacket? So, if today we need, say, 23 KWH of energy to dye & finish a kilo of fabric. How do we encourage and enable the industry to produce the same 1 kg utilizing 18 KWH or less. A multi tiered tariff may be designed in such a way that, as a factory becomes more and more energy efficient it pays less and less for the cost of energy, and vice versa. The technical part of energy saving is relatively easier to tackle because lot of simple energy saving devices are now available ‘off the shelf’ which can vastly improve the energy efficiency. Even few straight forward ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ enforced by the appropriate authorities can go a long way in terms of energy conservation. Things like : ‘heating by electricity NOT allowed’, ‘for

Corporate houses now using energy efficient lighting system

engine generamix of thermal tors : NO cogenand electrical eration NO energy needs) license’, ‘no conclustered togethdensate return er with their outsystem no factory put well tuned permit’, ‘exhaust sharing a comgas analysis (by a mon facility & 3rd party) is a pre-engineered prerequisite for arrangements to Figure: 2 : Total Gas Burnt When Electric & Thermal Needs Are Not Considered In Totality the boiler license salvage energy renewal’, ‘no from each other’s tional (4.025 NM3) gas in it’s boiler to incandescent light allowed for lighting generate steam for it’s textile part and in waste streams. purpose, etc.’ a different scenario where it produces Such clusters of efficient mills will have it’s own power for both garment and their own plants producing power and Cluster Of Self Sufficient Production fabric production (in plant B) and har- heat in a balanced proportion so that Units In Symbiotic Relationship — nesses (20.89 KWH) heat from the gen- ultimately same production output is An Alternative To Centralized erator hot exhaust to reduce it’s gas achieved with less gas. With distance Power Generation Industries vary with regard to what pro- consumption (to a 1.66 NM3) in steam between generation & point of utilizaportion of its total energy need is ther- boilers. tion virtually eliminated, transmission mal and how much is electrical. While So, for the same output, a vertical oper- loss will also be considerably reduced textile is more heat based (85% thermal ation with in-house power generation too. Possibly, number of isolated + 15% electricity), apparel depends (having co-gen) can save more than power plants optimized for electrical mostly on electricity (98% electricity + 15% gas consumption on a holistic output only will ultimately dwindle 2% thermal). It is interesting to note consideration (pls refer to table 1 & 2 in down just as the numbers of dinosaurs that, when these industries, on the far figures). did. end of the spectrum, are grouped The energy requirements assumed in Recommendations together and led to share common the above examples are as follows. For i) Select power plants based on holistic power & utility, opportunities open up 2 kg of fabric the total energy requireefficiency and make it binding on the and waste streams which hitherto have ment is about 40 Kwh (35 Kwh thermal power producers to produce power at not been considered as suitable candi- + 5 kwh electricity) & for 5.55 pcs of the highest level of efficiency. It is to be dates for recovery, suddenly becomes garment it’s 10 kwh of electricity (the ensured that most of the energy input viable — pushing the overall efficiency small thermal component was neglect(from combustion of hydrocarbon) is of conversion to newer heights. ed). converted to electrical output and the So holistically speaking, how much gas Further, the opportunity of absorbing rest as heat which is to be sold to can we really save, if say, one medium the CO coming out of a generator in neighbouring heat intensive industries 2 enabling them to reduce gas usage at size fabric dyeing mill (6 tons per day the ETP of the textile industry to neutheir end. output) and one large apparel factory tralize the alkaline effluent, holds with a daily production of 7000 pcs of promise for effective carbon sequester- ii) Design a tiered energy tariff system technical jacket are vertically integratto favour energy efficient mills over ing — a remedy for global warming. ed? wasteful ones. In the future, perhaps (hopefully) we iii) Arrest waste of energy by enforcing Example : Let’s calculate the total gas will see more industries (with varied few simple and that is to be burnt straightforward in order to make DOs and balanced output DON’Ts. of 2 kg of fabric and 5.55 pcs of EP jackets — first in a scenario, where the composite Yameen Farook factory gets Editing:Edited by: power from the Dr Nafis Ahmed, grid (produced in CP Eng, a plant like A) International Figure: 3 : Total Gas Burnt When Electric & Thermal Needs Are Considered In Totality and burns addiEditor


Past inaction and wrong planning have attributed to the gas crisis prevailing at present

Muinul Ahsan


e have highlighted earlier regarding gas crisis prevailing in the country and possible solutions were suggested. At present about 1970 MMCFD of gas is produced against a demand of about 2400 MMCFD of gas. Recently all the fertilizer plants were shut down diverting the gas mostly for running the power

plants to avert load-shedding in alternate hours. Even at dead of night and morning load shedding has taken place creating untold suffering for the dwellers and hampering industrial production. The saving of gas available from closure of fertilizer factories could not be made fully available for power plants due to network constraints and other consumers viz domestic, commercial, industrial, and CNG have eaten up most of the saved gas. Partial benefit could be harnessed for production of additional power to the tune of about 500 MW. However, with the end of harvesting season and due to some rainfall the load-shedding has been minimized to some extent, the problem of gas shortage remaining. GOB has undertaken different measures to increase the power production. Short, medium and long term programme have been chalked out with use of alternative fuels, viz furnace oils,

high speed diesel, and coal, etc. Nuclear power plant is being established with top priority and solar energy usage is encouraged. Petrobangla has also undertaken some short, mid and long term augmentation programme to increase production from existing fields. Under the short and mid term program they have planned to augment supply of about 300 MMCFD of gas from work over of abandoned wells

ule their program by following critical path method and taking consideration of available manpower and equipment, fund for the project and long time taken at tender stage, etc. The country is eagerly waiting to see that shortage of gas does not hamper industrial production and economy does not suffer after 2012. Petrobangla/GOB is also contemplating to import LNG to meet the shortfall of gas. The project involves establishment of deep sea LNG terminal, storage tanks, regasification plant on the offshore, and construction of high pressure pipeline from terminal to Chittagong, which will take about 3-4 years time. Feasibility study is yet to be conducted, which is a pre-requisite to funding of the project by the donors. As such further time need to be added. With import of 500 MMCFD of gas through LNG the problem of gas shortage will be eased, especially the Chittagong consumers would be tremendously benefited. The gas consumed at Chittagong at present from national grid will be utilized for other areas. However this is not the least cost option, but there seems to be no other alternative option available once no new gas discovery occurs either in the mainland or offshore. Though Petrobangla/GOB has undertaken the above projects to meet the demands of gas they are unaware of constraints of pipelines. The augmentation program as undertaken will require additional pipeline to transport gas from fields located upstream of Ashuganj. The present 24” dia North South pipeline and 30” dia parallel pipeline

and drilling of new wells at different fields by the year 2012. Under the long term augmentation program another 500 MMCFD of gas from appraisal cum development wells from Titas (100 mmcfd), Haripur, Kailastila, Rashidpur (80 MMCFD), exploration work by Chevron at block-7 (100 MMCFD) and new offshore bidding (300 MMCFD) will be available by 2016. Besides, the above program they are anticipating to augment production under crash program for about 118 to 128 MMCFD. Outcome of the above program is uncertain looking at the present project implementation capacity of Petrobangla. Also by following the PPR/PPA 2008 rules for procurement of materials and services it would be very difficult to implement the project on schedule. Most of the above projects are under approval process of the planning commission at present. Though two more drilling rigs are under procurement and expected to be available by end of this year, non-availability of skilled manpower may deter the progress of implementation, though whatever assurances are given by Petrobangla. Petrobangla should check and resched-

from Rashidpur to Ashuganj are flowing gas above their capacity. A new pipeline from Rashidpur to Ashuganj needs to be constructed on urgent basis to evacuate additional gas from Jalalabad, Bibiayana, Moulvibazar, Rashidpur, Habiganj fields. The compressor as planned to be set up at Muchai would not be able to transport the additional production from those fields except nominal quantity (about 50 MMCFD maximum). It is essential that a 30”dia second parallel pipeline is constructed on urgent basis even by relaxing the procurement rules under PPR/PPA 2008 or otherwise whatever quantity of gas is produced from augmentation program remains stranded for lack of transmission pipeline. Compressor at Muchai is not the solution and may be dropped from programme, if procurement order has not been placed already. If LNG is not imported another transmission pipeline from Bakhrabad transmission pipeline from Bakhrabad point to Chittagong requires to be constructed to meet the shortfall of demand of Chittagong consumers as the present Bakhrabad-Chittagong pipeline can only transport about 185 MMCFD of gas from National Grid against the requirement of 350 to 400 mmcfd of gas in Chittagong area. Past inaction and wrong planning have attributed to the gas crisis prevailing at present. Let us hope that no problem is there after 2012 as assured by Petrobangla in the media recently.

Muinul Ahsan Ex-Director (Mines & Minerals), Petrobangla


Engr. Md. Fazlur Rahman


ind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy source in the world. The total installed capacity of wind power in the world will be more than 200,000 MW by the end of June 2010. It is the cheapest amongst all the renewable energy sources available in the global market, but in the Bangladesh context, it is also the most neglected. While other developing nations of the world are moving vigorously to harness this limitless indigenous clean energy resource, there is no sign of taking this matter seriously from any organ of the government of Bangladesh. There are good winds in Bangladesh, and the peak wind season in Bangladesh coincides with the peak electricity demand season. This is a natural gift to us. We can satisfy a substantial portion of the increased electricity demand during the peak demand season from wind energy and thus we can also diversify our gas-monopolized endangered energy mix. But some ‘so called experts’ are

The global wind industry has set itself a target of saving 1.5 billion tons of CO2 per year by 2020, which would amount to a total of 10 billion tons saved in this period


sitting in the air conditioned rooms in Dhaka and giving their valuable advice to the government that there is no wind in Bangladesh. But we are standing on the embankment of Kutubdia fronting of the Bay of Bengal, and measuring and monitoring the wind continually. Some Excerpts from the Global Wind Energy Outlook (GWEO) 2008 "It’s not an exaggeration to claim that the future of human prosperity depends on how successfully we tackle the two central energy challenges facing us today: securing the supply of reliable and affordable energy; and effecting a rapid transformation to a low-carbon, efficient and environmentally benign system." says the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook, 2008. Climate change is now generally accepted to be the greatest environmental threat facing the world, and keeping our planet’s temperature at sustainable levels has become one of the major concerns of policy makers. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that average temperatures around the world will increase by up to 5.8°C over the coming century. This is predicted to result in a wide range of climate shifts, including melting ice caps, flooding of low-lying land, storms, droughts and violent changes in weather patterns. One of the main messages from the Nobel Prize winning IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report released in 2007 was that in order to avoid the worst ravages of climate change, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak and begin to decline before 2020. While the power sector is far from being the only culprit when it comes to climate change, it is the largest single source of emissions, accounting for about 40% of CO2 emissions, and about 25% of overall emissions. The options for making major emissions reductions in the power

or 12 years or more, and until it is completed, no power is being generated. Wind power deployment is measured in months, and a half completed wind farm is just a smaller power plant, starting to generate power and income as soon as the first turbines are connected to the grid. The global wind industry has set itself a target of saving 1.5 billion tons of CO2 per year by 2020, which would amount to a total of 10 billion tons saved in this period. While developments in 2008 show that the sector is well on track to meeting this target, a strong global signal from governments is needed to show that they are serious about moving away from fossil fuels and protecting the climate. As positive outcome to the climate negotiations throughout this year, resulting in a new global agreement in Copenhagen in December, is of fundamental importance and will send the kind of signal that the industry, investors and the finance sector need for wind power to reach its full potential. Global Wind Energy Outlook (GWEO) 2008: 10 Billion Tones Saving In CO2 Possible With Wind Energy By 2020. sThe ‘Global Wind Energy Outlook 2008’, published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International, looks at the global potential of wind power up to 2050 and found that it could play a key part in achieving a decline in emissions by 2020, which the IPCC indicates is necessary to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. By 2020, wind power could save as much as 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 every year, which would add up to over 10 billion tonnes in this timeframe. The report also explains how wind energy can provide up to 30% of the word’s electricity by the middle of the century. More importantly, wind power could save as much as 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 every year by 2020.

sector between now and 2020 are basically three: energy efficiency and conservation; fuel switching from coal to gas; and renewable energy, primarily wind power. Wind power does not emit any climate change inducing carbon dioxide nor other air pollutants which are polluting the major cities of the world and costing billions in additional health costs and infrastructure damage. Within three to six months of operation, a wind turbine has offset all emissions caused by its construction, to run virtually carbon free for the remainder of its 20 year life. Further, in an increasingly carbonconstrained world, wind power is riskfree insurance against the long term downside of carbon intense investments. Given the crucial timeframe up to 2020 during which global emission must start to decline, the speed of deployment of wind farms is of key importance in combating climate change. Building a conventional power plant can take 10

GWEO 2008 explores three different scenarios for wind power—a Reference scenario based on figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA); a Moderate version which assumes that current targets for renewable energy are successful; and an Advanced Scenario which assumes that all policy options in favour of renewables have been adopted. These are then set against two demand projections for global energy demand. Wind energy has already become a mainstream power generation source in many regions around the world, and it is being deployed in over 70 countries. In addition to environmental benefits, wind energy also provides a sustainable answer to increasing concerns about security of energy supply and volatile fossil fuel prices. Moreover, wind energy is becoming a substantial factor in economic development, providing more than 350,000 ‘green collar’ jobs today both in direct and indirect employment. By 2020, this figure is projected to increase to over 2 million. Prospects & Potentials in Bangladesh The annual average wind speed in the coastal best of Bangladesh at the height of 50 meters is more than 6.5 m/s. This wind speed is technically feasible, economically viable and socially acceptable in for the deployment of wind farms. Bangladesh has 740km long (straight line) coastal belt facing the Bay of Bengal. If we use only 5% of the coastal areas (up to 10 km to the inland), and if we install the 2.5 MW size wind turbines, the total gross potentials of wind power is more than 25000 MW. This is to be mentioned here that the land actually occupied by the wind turbine towers is only 0.30% and the remaining 99.70% land will be

free for agricultural cultivations. Wind energy is getting cheaper and competitive with the fossil fuels day by day. If we assume only 25% Plant Load Factor (PLF) of the wind power plants, then total energy generation potential is 54750 GWh per year. It is calculated by the financial/economic analysts that 1kWh of electricity can add value of Tk30.00 to the GDP. So, the prospects of contribution of wind electricity to our national GDP may go up to Taka 1,64,250 crores per year. On the other hand, with the present “Business As Usual” scenario, average CO2 emissions from the power plants of Bangladesh will be at least 1kg/kWh of electrical energy generated. So, with wind power, total gross prospects of GHG i.e. CO2 Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) will be 54,750,000 metric tons (MT) per year. If we sell these CERs at the rate of US$ 20 per MT, every year we can earn up to US$1.00 billion (Taka 7000 crores). Each MW of wind power can create at least 20 jobs directly and indirectly. So, total created jobs will be at least 500,000. Indirectly, more than 1 million jobs will also be created in the coastal areas of the country. This is significant that these jobs will be created in the most job-hungry remote coastal areas. Conclusion Wind power is the cheapest and the fastest growing renewable energy sec-

tor in the world. By the end of June 2010, the total installed capacity of wind power is likely to be more than 200,000 MW in the world. Our neighboring country India is moving well towards the goal of 25,000 MW wind power capacities by 2020. But our progress is negligible. Our government must be very serious in this regard. It is expected that this industry will create about 20,00,000 jobs by 2020. With the promotion of larger capacities of wind power, we can achieve many targets at a time: (i) Diversification of our currently limitedenergy mix, (ii) participation in the global CO2 trading & CDM funds, (iii) creation of green jobs and training of green manpower for export etc. Bangladesh is expected to be one of the worst victims of the global climate change manifestations. The developed countries, who are mostly responsible for these GHG emissions, have come forward to pay some compensations in the form of CDM, CO2 trading etc. If we neglect these opportunities now, we shall never be able to take advantages of all these emerging possibilities. Global Wind Day 2010 set for 15 June Global Wind Day 2010 will take place on 15 June! European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) aims to organise a big event in Brussels which could see an eye-catching wind turbine being placed in the heart of the EU quarter. This day is observed with great importance in India, China and other countries. Let us start to observe this international day all together.

Engr. Md. Fazlur Rahman Managing Director, Pan Asia Power Services Ltd.; Edited by Nafis Ahmed CPEng International Editor


Considering the present energy crisis of the Northern Bangladesh renewable energy potential to be tapped on priority basis.


t is really sad that Northern Bangladesh is now identified as a poverty stricken Monga prone area. As ill luck would have it, it used to be a granary for Bangladesh only a few decades back. Among other reasons inadequate supply of energy and electricity contributed for the poor of living codition there. It is unfortunate that Bangladesh in about 40 years of independence could not create energy parity among the people of all regions. For North Western parts —Greater Rangpoor and Dinajpoor it is ironic as it also has huge untapped primary resources and other minerals buried under the surface. If explored and exploited this region can change the face of the nation in no time. Being motivated by the election slogan of “Digital Bangladesh” of the grand alliance the people have brought them into power with landslide overwhelming majority in the last general election. Now it is the firm believe and expectation of the general masses of the area that government would provide them

Md. Maqbul-E-Elahi


adequate energy through extending gas supply network. They also are hopeful that government would adopt appropriate strategy and to explore and exploit valuable coal resource of the region to change the poverty landscape of the region. This would usher in a new era for industrial and agricultural development in the region and lead the entire nation to the corridor of digital Bangladesh within shortest possible time. Present proven energy reserve, resource potential, present supply and possible options to provide adequate energy to North West Bangladesh discussed below. From the above table it may be clearly stated that Western Part of the country has been deprived of their share of energy. As a result industry could not be developed in the area. Consequently the area has become poverty Stricken or ‘Monga’ area. To alleviate poverty of the area adequate energy supply to the area has to be ensured. B. Energy Reserve and Resources of North western Bangladesh B.1 Natural Gas and Oil Natural gas is the major primary energy resource of Bangladesh. About 70% of the primary energy of the country comes out of natural gas. But so far not a single gas and oil field has been discovered in this area. Compare to other part of the country potentiality of natural gas and Oil in this part of the country has been not explored. Under the present data base by offering

coal exploration and production friendly policy. It is expected that to ensure the energy security of the country as well as the development of the North West Bangladesh the government should come foreword with updated and comprehensive National Energy Policy which will enable public and private (national & expatriate) sector to explore & produce coal at the earliest. B.4 Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Potential In many countries of the world coal bed methane has become an important source of energy. But till today possibility of coal bed methane has not been explored in Bangladesh due to absence of appropriate policy of the government. Possibility of developing CBM in North Bangladesh must be explored. . It may be noted that the Jamalgonj coal deposit alone has a potential of producing about 500 BCF CBM. Considering the acute energy shortage of the Western and North Bangladesh, feasibility study for producing Coal Bed Methane must be commissioned without delay. B.5. Renewable Energy Considering the present energy crisis of the Northern Bangladesh renewable energy potential to be tapped on priority basis. Mini hydroelectricity potential Teesta and other river may explored. Solar power should be harnessed to use in low power application and remote areas. Wind speed of the Northern districts in during the dry season is relatively better. To run irrigation pumps wind power may utilized.

special incentives IOC’s may attracted to invest for Petroleum Exploration in the area. B.2 Coal Reserve B.2.1 Estimated Coal Resources/Reserve of Bangladesh All the Coal deposits have been discovered in North Bangladesh. Barapukuria is the only developed coal field of Bangladesh and producing about 0.8 million tonnes per year. Additional production of coal would help ensure energy security and reduce dependence on single source of energy i.e. gas. Earliest decision on the pending issues of the coal mining lease and licence is required for further development. B.3 Coal Resource Potential Coal resources potential in and around the discovered coal areas in Bangladesh are bright. If systematic exploration is carried out more coal deposit may be discovered even at a shallower depth. However it needs a

The modern poultry, dickey and urban waste can be good feed for biogas plants. It may be popularised through cooperative approach. Considering the energy scarcity the government may come up with special incentives to install Biogas plant in Northern Western Districts. Though little, contribution of biogas plant would be a great help. B.6 Bangladesh Awami League’s Election Manifesto-2008 Commitment on energy Though the over all GDP growth rate of the country is about 6% for the last one decade but the GDP growth rate of the north western districts is about one third. To reach the present government’s goal in stipulated time special attention and allocation in the Nation

budget would be required. C. Short And Mid Term Plan to Relieve Energy Crisis of Rangpur Division Considering acute energy crisis of the Rangpur Division following action may be taken: C.1 General a) Declare North Western as acute shortage area. b) Special attention and national budget allocation is to be decleared for this area. C.2 Gas Sector a) Gas transmission pipe line has to be extended to i)Khulna ii) Bogra to Rangpur and Dinajpur with GOB finance ( like gas pipe line from Sirajgonj to Bogra) iii)additional produced gas has to transmit to the western part of Bangladesh on priority basis.

C.3 Coal Sector Our own coal can be the best alternate indigenous source of energy for Bangladesh. But very little has been done for development/extraction of Coal of the country. It is time for the Government to take necessary actions for the exploration and development of the Coal of the country for ensuring energy security especially for the North Western part of Bangladesh. Following actions may be considered: I) Of our 5 discovered mines only Barapukuria Coal Mine is producing at this stage. . In 2008 it produced about 0.8 Million Tones. The present mine is designed to produce coal from the deeper part of the deposit. Coal from the shallower part of this deposit cannot be extracted by the underground

mining technology from this field. The shallower Coal of this field can only be extracted by open pit mining technology. This possibility for open cut mining should be examined at the earliest. ii) Phulbaria Coal mine was discovered by BHP, Australia and it is now under license of Asia Energy. Feasibility study of this field has been completed few years back. But so far the feasibility study report has not been examined by any competent organisation. It should be examined by a reputed organization having good mining back ground and credibility as it was done in case of Khalashpir coal deposit. However, the License granting procedure of Phulbari Coal Field has been contested by a group of intellects. Very unfortunate incident also took place on issues related to propose Phulbari mine. This issue may be examined by the Government and appropriate actions must be taken to develop the coal resource at the earliest. With the development of this coal resource, energy crisis of the country as well as North West Bangladesh can be greatly mitigated. iii) Khalashpir coal deposit is now under exploration license to a joint venture private company of Bangladesh and China. The joint venture company has carried out feasibility study of this deposit, submitted to the concerned authority and requested for an underground Mining lease. It was examined by an experienced consulting organisation. They have suggested to carry out some more work to qualify to receive Mining Lease. Concerned authority should advise the joint venture take appropriate measure to complete the feasibility work. Development of this Mine will not only help the country in mitigating energy but also open up a possibility to develop a coal based industry in the area.

within the gas net work area. With the further development of Barapukuria coal production of will increase multi fold which will help more generation of electricity in the region. Development of Khalashpir, Phulbari and Dighipara coal deposits there will be revelation in the energy and industry sector of the area as well of Bangladesh. This will accelerate the rapid economic growth of the area which would lead to reach the cherished goal of ‘Digital Bangladesh’. This will reduce dependence and also relive pressure on Dhaka city to becoming over crowded. F. Constrains in Implementation of Production Augmentation: i) Lack of strong political will. ii) Clear understanding about the National vision, mission and time value, iii) Delay in decision-making process iv) Lack of coordination among the implementing agencies and decision makers. G. Conclusion Government must realize that people of Bangladesh overwhelmingly voted them to state power motivated by the election pledge and commitment for change. They were allured by the slogan of Digital Bangladesh. They are yet to get the reflection in about 17 months. Yet people believe government will lead the country to turn around. People believe with proper planning and strong management Rangpoor — Dinajpoor region can be coal capital of Bangladesh. It can not only serve their own deprived masses it can also brighten the face of Bangladesh generating the major portion of future power.

iv) Dighipara coal deposit is least appraised among the discovered coal of the country. It needs complete appraisal. Government has awarded exploration lease to Petrobangla for appraisal and development. Petrobangla is looking for a strategic partner for the appraisal and development of the deposit. They have sought permission of the Government for selection of strategic partner through completive bidding more than two year back and still awaiting decision from the Government to go ahead. Immediate decision may be made on Petrobangla’s proposal to select strategic partner to appraisal/ feasibility and development of the deposit. v) There is good probability of discovering new Coal Deposits in Rangpur Division. Government should encourage Public and private parties (National/Expatriate) to invest for Coal Exploration in the area by appropriate policy. D. Development of Renewable Energy As Gas net work has not reached extensively in the North Western Bangladesh the Government may offer a special package of incentive for the area to develop Mini hydroelectricity, Biomass pant, Solar Panels and Wind energy. This may bring some relive to the people the area. E. Possible Benefit Out of Above Suggested Program With the extension of gas transmission pipe line to Khulna, Rangpur and Dinajpur etc there can be numbers of Gas driven Power plants by Public and or Private sector. This will solve the electricity crisis of the area and help industry to develop. Moreover gas based industries will grow

Md. Maqbul-E-Elahi Former Director, Petrobangla, (E mail:


We have the potential to reach 75 million of our people with Renewables and become one of the First Solar Nations in the World

Dipal C Barua


or Bangladesh, Sun can be the limit if we can harness its energy. Bangladesh enjoys sunshine most of the time. Out of 365 days we have 340 to 345 days of sunshine; even if it is raining we have sunshine in between the rains. Conventional Wisdom has it that Solar Energy is too expensive for a country like Bangladesh. We must remember that the Solar is the Energy for Tomorrow, while Fossil Fuel is the Energy of Yesterday. No Nation can

ignore Solar or Renewable Energy but at their own peril. Every developed nation including our neighbour India has taken regulatory and fiscal measures to mainstream renewable energy, especially Solar. Why? Let me quote from the National Solar Mission Report by the government of India “From energy security perspective, solar is the most secure of all resources, since it is abundantly available. Theoretically, a small fraction of the total incident

solar energy (if captured effectively) can meet the entire country’s power requirement… While, today, domestic coal based power generation is the cheapest electricity source, future scenarios suggest that this could well change. It is in this situation the solar imperative is both urgent and feasible to enable the country to meet long-term energy needs.” The above is also true for Bangladesh. We spend large amount of foreign currency for importing oil, kerosene and diesel. We give huge subsidies to keep the prices of diesel and kerosene low. The government is giving Tk. 600 cr. as diesel subsidy for irrigation pumps only. The government will have to provide Tk 5,000 crore in subsidy to the power sector in the coming fiscal year to purchase electricity from rental power plants. Recent accident in Barapukaria again reminds us about ongoing debate about coal. We are yet to have a coherent coal policy. The cost of conventional energy will continue to go up as we pay higher prices for explorations, extractions and safety. At the same time, mass production and technological innovation will bring dramatic decrease in cost of solar energy. This is already happening. The cost of solar power has decreased about 60% from 1991 to 2003 and decrease was about 47% from 2006 to 2010. In 2007, more than US$ 100 bn was invested worldwide in renewable energy. In 2008, for the first time, both the United States and European Union added more power capacity from renewables than from traditional sources. We have our own success story in Bangladesh. A silent solar revolution has taken place. Once it was thought that renewable energy was not affordable for the rural people. This myth has been broken. Over 500000 Solar Home Systems have been installed in rural villages and demand is growing. It is the conventional electricity, which has miserably failed the rural people. Therefore, it is not surprising to see

solar energy is popular even in grid connected rural areas. We have successfully created a thriving solar energy sector with all accessories manufactured locally. Thousands of jobs have been created and a large percentage of this is in the rural areas. With Bangladesh reeling from energy crisis, we have no option but to seek all alternatives including coal and nuclear. These alternatives must not deter us from developing our solar energy sector as fast as possible. Unlocking the Potential A Viable & Scalable Model Our Rural people have already accepted solar as a practical solution to their energy problems. We are installing over 20,000 Solar Home Systems per month and this will double and triple within next few years. Bangladesh has one of the fastest growing Solar PV programs in the world. We have developed an internationally renowned model which has demonstrated the potential of renewable energy technology to play a crucial role in the social and economic development of the rural people. It was a proud moment for me and Bangladesh, when I received the First Zayed Future Energy Prize last year for innovation and commitment to alternative energy. We have created a powerful model which has made solar energy a part of rural life, integrating one of most updated technologies with the aspirations, toils and successes of the rural people. This is a great achievement. Through our experience in the last 15 years, we have shown that: People are willing to pay for Solar PV technology if costs can be brought down to monthly energy expenditure. I took the lead in pioneering an installment based payment which reduced the cost of a Solar Home System to monthly kerosene cost. This was one of key factors behind the popularity of Solar PV technology. We need a strong grassroots network to provide after sales service, right at

the doorsteps of the rural people. Product quality is also very important. People are unlikely to invest in a technology which is not durable and no after sales service is available. We are effectively creating a very positive synergy between social and business forces through solar energy. More than 5000 rural women as Solar technicians cum Entrepreneurs have been trained to assemble solar accessories, provide after sales and repair, maintain services, under an innovative village based technology center concept, which I pioneered and implemented. This has the changed the lives of many women who can earn a decent income for themselves and their families. We are replacing kerosene with solar energy, saving our hard earned foreign currency, protecting our people from indoor air pollution, fire hazards and dim lights. Solar energy also reduces carbon emission and thus protects the environment. We are helping to rejuvenate the rural economy through solar energy, creating new business and job opportunities. Business hours are extended in small village shops, production centers ranging from fisheries to saw mills, shoe factories, increasing turnover and employment opportunities. Solar power has improved connectivity , increased the sales of electronics, which in turn has opened up new business opportunities such as mobile phones charging shops , electronics repair, maintenance shops, community television centers etc. We are creating green jobs and linkage businesses especially in the rural areas. Hundreds of local youth are working in the rural areas as solar technicians. Rural women are assembling solar accessories in village based technology centers. Our engineers are increasingly employed in designing Solar Home Systems, working in battery factories, and other accessory related businesses. A Growing Market of 75 million people We have a huge untapped potential market for solar energy. We can easily

add 300 mega watts through solar energy by 2015, if we take the right fiscal and regulatory initiatives. Increased aspiration, failure of grid electricity, growing machination has created huge potential for solar energy in rural areas. Unprecedented power failure resulting in unavailability of basic amenities such as water, lighting has made urban people look for alternatives. Time has come for creating a solar century. I am highlighting the some of the major growth sectors Solar for Agriculture: Our farmers suffer from severe power crisis every year. Government doles out large diesel subsidies, but this can be considered only a temporary and partial solution to problem. There are some 200,000 pumps consuming around 750 MW electricity. Solar powered pumps can be a solution. We can use solar pumps for irrigation during the day and lighting during the night. Extra electricity can be transmitted to the grid. We can also configure power tillers, rice haulers, threshers into hybrid models so that they can be powered by solar technology. Rural Enterprise: We can create Green Enterprise Zones in the rural areas for assembling, repairing solar accessories on a mass scale. This would create employment for rural youth. We also see a growing rural businesses assembling, repairing irrigation pumps, power tillers etc. We can easily green these businesses by assembling, repairing, leasing climate friendly products such as solar pumps, hybrid power tillers etc. We can install Mini Solar hybrid grids to facilitate rural enterprises. Thousands of rural businesses depend on diesel generators to power their businesses. Solar power can replace these generators easily. For example, in rural market places, we can successfully install Solar- Biogas Hybrids, where biogas plants are powered by human and market wastes. Against Climate Threat: Frequent cyclones such as Sidr and Aila have turned our coastal areas into disaster zones. Thousands of people are living on embankments surrounded by salini-

ty. Solar power can be a solution. We can install small solar powered water desalination plants, early warning systems, refrigerators in cyclone shelters, schools and rural clinics. We can use hybrid models such as solar —biogas hybrids or solar —wind hybrid to protect our coastal people from the threats of climate change .These systems in relevant places can help the disaster struck areas to stay connected with the rest of country, apart from providing other benefits. Health, Education: We can facilitate education and health in the rural areas through installing solar in schools and clinics. We can have solar powered computers, televisions in rural schools which help in distance learning and help rural children to get connected with quality education. Lack of power and refrigerators are major problems in rural clinics. Solar power can facilitate this saving many lives. Power House: We can install grid connected Solar Systems on roof top of urban buildings. To study the suitability of such grid connection, a model of 1.1 k W Solar PV system was installed on the roof top of the Renewable Energy Research Center of Dhaka University on August 2008. The model ran successfully. According to this model 1 MW electricity can be generated from forty building roof tops. Urban households can escape from load shading while transmitting the extra electricity to the grid. This would tremendously reduce the over load on our grid system. We can initiate feed in tariff to popularize Solar PV technology in urban buildings. Large Shopping Centers, Restaurants can also install Solar PV technology to meet their lighting needs. We can install Solar panels in Chittagong Hill tracts areas to feed power to grid lines. Eco-villages / Zones in Coastal Areas: We can create eco-villages or zones where each home and business is run using solar and other renewable energy technologies. This special zones would have solar mini —grids, improved cooking stoves, rain water harvesting, organic fertilizers, nurs-

eries and tree plantations etc. The houses would be built sturdily on especially elevated bases. We could promote this type of villages especially in coastal areas suffering from cyclones, tidal surges. Low income households: Small Solar Home Systems of 10 and 20 watts have become popular in rural shops and low income households. We can accelerate this trend through promoting mini Solar Home Systems (3 to 5 watts) as well as solar lanterns. We can promote these technologies through creating women entrepreneurs. Small shops in urban areas can also use these mini systems for lightening instead of illegal grid connection. We can also promote these systems in slums and low income urban households to meet their lightening needs. Solar Energy Hub: We can manufacture world class solar accessories in Bangladesh and export these to the international market. We are already assembling all accessories in Bangladesh and we need only upgrade these and manufacture low cost tailor made quality products on a mass scale. Low cost would make Bangladesh an attractive stop as cost increases in China and India. This would help to create hundreds of jobs as well as earn foreign currency. We can also train human resource and export to other countries A Road Map for Solar Bangladesh We need to build on what we have achieved so that by next decade we can achieve our goal of “power for all “with a solar energy playing a significant role I see a future where Renewable Energy Technology is a major contributor to our energy mix. I envision Bangladesh as a country which has risen to the challenges of Global warming and where renewable energy technology plays a key role. I want to take solar energy to 75 million of Bangladesh so that each of us can have access to clean, efficient power for themselves and their children. Despite the huge potential and

acceptance of solar energy by the masses, our successes have been limited to only Solar Home Systems. Main reason is that we have built up a delivery channel using micro credit or similar organizations. This has resulted in lack of innovation, high field level transaction cost and especially a no ownership culture. We need to move away from this model to an entrepreneur based dynamic model to innovate, cut costs, penetrate new markets. We can facilitate a cutting edge entrepreneurial environment by focusing on the following : Evolving a Cutting edge, Entrepreneur based Structure : Our financial incentives are focused on microfinance institutions. Instead of this, we should help to create business companies — small and big at the district/sub-district level linked with local entrepreneurs to spread solar. This would create ownership, innovations and competition. We can create village based women entrepreneurs to promote solar lanterns, small Solar Home Systems as well as Improved Cooking Stoves. They can be provided with microcredit. We can create village based entrepreneurs to popularize solar pumps, mini —grids etc through SME financing. The entrepreneurs would invest in the technology and earn a return by renting the technology to others. The entrepreneurs can source loans from rural banks. We can have national level organizations who would help district/subdistrict level small and big companies to source finance, technology and build up their market etc . Creating an Efficient, Cost effective Supply Chain We need to set up more battery and other solar accessory manufacturing units to create a competitive environment, reduce costs, increase efficiency. Our government should try to attract foreign investment and R & D in this sector.

Currently solar practitioners are suffering from high battery price. This can be solved through more battery companies. We should concentrate on manufacturing export quality products to achieve economies of scale and tap into the world market. We can consider setting up Green Enterprise Zones especially for solar accessories such as charge controllers , invertors , mobile chargers etc with a focus on the rural areas, to create green jobs. Easy Access to Green Credit & Funds Providing long term soft loans at 56 % interest rate to all solar related businesses.. Present practice is that service providers can access soft loans after installing the systems. This does not take into account high upfront cost of sourcing supplies or developing the organizations. Similarly solar related manufacturing/ supply companies have to access loans at very high cost . Including a component in housing loans for installing solar Creating a special green fund for providing grant for pilot testing new projects Providing matching grants through local government institutions to green our infrastructure such as rural schools , clinics , cyclone shelters Creating a window in agricultural and other rural financial institutions to provide credit for renewables. We can include training and credit for renewable energy technologies in our youth development programs. We should especially focus on SME loans and micro-credit loans for creating small and big entrepreneurs in the rural areas. Circulating Green bonds for raising capital for solar and other renewables. Passing Pro-renewable energy Laws Allowing feed — in tariff for promoting solar both at the individual and commercial level. Removing all VAT/ Tax off solar accessories and raw materials to

reduce cost. Bangladesh has one of the highest tariff structure in the world Providing tax holidays benefits for investing businesses and other in solar

Making it mandatory to have all market places, restaurants, commercial buildings to install solar. At the same time government should provide soft loans for solar installation which would be part of housing loans. Investing in Capacity Development and R &D: Develop a sustainable framework for developing human resources through country wide vocational centers, training institutes etc. Focus should be also on developing export quality human resource. This would also an incentive for private companies to participate with the maturing of the sector. Focus on R & D to adapt and develop innovative technologies. We should have innovation lab in all major universities which should be linked with international institutions and research institutions. Government should create an incentive structure such as competitions, awards to promote R &D . Facilitating new ideas such as installment collection through mobile phones, prepaid cards to scale up and reduce transaction costs. As we stand at the threshold of 21st Century, we cannot turn our back to renewable energy technology, just as we cannot say no to information technology. As a Renewable Energy Practitioner I dream of taking green energy to every Bangladeshi. We have no profit motive; we just want a sustainable model which allows us to reach more and more people to transform Bangladesh into a Solar Nation.

Dipal C Barua Founder & Chairman, Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF), Zayed Future Energy Prize Winner email :,


It needs to be rightly paced with adequate financial & natural resources along with supportive systems of governance & institutional arrangements at all level.

Engr Khondker Rezaur Rahman



he prevailing and persisting energy crisis in Bangladesh, mainly in the gas and electricity sector has shocked the entire nation. 155 million inhabitants of the country have never experienced a hardship of such a magnitude in its 39 years history. It has really gone beyond the point of any embarrassment nationally or internationally. Yet, a lot of talk fest are still being run in different media outlets that are full of hollow promises and unrealistic action plans. All these so called initiatives are proving “too little too late”. Critically examining different articles in the regular publications of “Energy and Power” and other relevant sources on this crisis an attempt is made here to suggest a way forward for solving the crisis. It is proposed through the development and adoption of a “Sustainable Energy Future Framework” that will establish that the nation that the fight for “energy” is not lost yet. The proposed framework is not an “Energy Plan”, it is rather a critical analysis of the issues in an integrated manner, the result of which would assist in setting some realistic goals and objectives with achievable short term and long term action plans. It will extremely useful for the energy sector policy makers and planners to at least give a serious consideration of this framework and make an attempt to pull together the jigsaw puzzles and give the country a hope.

nance and institutional arrangements at all level. After setting the vision, all the relevant issues that are related to or impeding the provision of sustainable energy needs to be explored and listed. For Bangladesh, it is needless to say that the issues will have a very long tail with a number of embarrassing loopholes and thorny realities. It is however, not a case to be overly concerned; it should rather be taken as a tip of the iceberg that will assist in eventual melting of the iceberg and prove that all that hope is not yet lost. To address the issues, it is critical to group them in a way that each group can be linked with specific (or a set of) strategic objectives (or goals). The strategic objectives will need to be supported by a number of long term and short term actions to eventual implementation of the vision. The actions need to be assigned with appropriate responsibilities, time frame and firm financial commitments. This is by far the most critical (and important) juncture of the framework that will deliver the success or yet another failure. We cannot afford another failure; hence the policymakers need to be very careful as to who they assign to deliver the tasks? What realistic time frame they aim for? And where they are going to get the funds from? Once the actions are derived and the objectives are set, an evaluation and monitoring process need to be established. It is absolutely critical to establish a proper monitoring and evaluating regime. Evaluation will ensure whether the journey towards achieving a sustainable energy is on the right track. It will also assist in identification of the problem areas that might be associated with setting the task with a fare degree of optimism in the first place. In such circumstances, the framework will need to be adjusted with modified (and achievable) tasks to rectify the problems. One of the key issues that need to be considered is to adopting a “participatory approach”. This means timely engagement of stakeholders at right levels (including members of public,

academia, NGOs and relevant organizations) in a transparent manner. The work of this framework will need to be made public from day one and it needs to be cleared with the public that this is a dynamic system that will be subject to changes as continuous monitoring and evaluation results come through. In this way, the notion of ‘blame game’ could be significantly avoided. Fig 1.0 below shows a flow-chart of the ‘Framework’ Vision Bangladesh achieves energy sufficiency with uninterrupted, reliable and affordable power supply to all households, businesses and industries in the country by 2025 Issues/ Objectives/ Actions/ Evaluation In order to develop appropriate strategies, the issues need to be categorized in a set of practical ‘Issues Domains (ID)’. Following are those proposed domains with relevant issues identified by the author. The issues are also followed by setting the ‘Strategic Objective/s”, and suggested ‘Actions’ (with time frame) and ‘Evaluation and Monitoring’ indicators. ID 1: Demand, Supply & Generation Only 45% of 155million people have direct access to electricity (with frequent load shedding and power failure) The current demand is about 6,000MW Effective generation capacity is 4,000MW Present gas demand is about 2500MMCFd and the production capacity is about 2000MMCFd (MMCFD — Million cubic feet per day) 85% of the power is generated from mono fuel natural gas The proven natural gas reserve is fast depleting The rest 15% of the energy is generated from one coal fired power plant (2x125 MW), one mini hydropower plant in Kaptai and a number of liquid fuel based plants Over the last decade or so minimum effort went into gas exploration and development in the natural gas sector

The Framework The framework is based on setting upfront a realistic Energy Vision for the country. In setting the vision the political leaders and the policy makers need to exercise caution that they don’t become too ambitious. It is perhaps a little difficult for a third world democracy to come out of its paradigm of being overly ambitious and put forward a simple and “light at the end of the tunnel” type vision. Unrealistic ambition and optimism lead to inevitable failure in most cases. The vision needs to be a living one and one that reaches the hearts and minds of people. It needs to be rightly paced with adequate financial and natural resources along with supportive systems of gover-

Natural gas is also used for urea fertilizer production, CNG production for automobiles, fuel for industries and commercial and domestic use Bangladesh still have significant untapped natural gas reserve in its offshore boundaries It has huge reserve of high quality low sulfur and low ash bituminous coal at a mineable depth Careful exploitation of its natural resources (gas and coal) can deliver national energy security Strategic Objective 1. Maximize the access to power for the ordinary household and commercial and industrial activities through timely staged new generation and supply network 2. Minimize dependency on natural gas and support high quality coal exploration from the known reserves using environmentally sensible clean coal technology to ensure energy security Actions (not limited to) 1. Immediately Review the revise existing demand forecasting up to the sustainable energy plan life of 2025. 2. Immediately set a staged target plan for power supply to cities and rural areas towards achieving 100% coverage by 2025 . 3. Develop a medium term optimized power generation plan utilizing all potential resources with particular emphasis on coal exploration through clean coal technology and progressively reducing dependency on the depleting natural gas resource . 4. Develop a medium term prioritized project development plan taking into consideration private/public partnership, potential overseas investment opportunities and tapping into regional power grid from the neighboring countries . 5. Set a long term target to reduce GHG emission through carbon sequestration and exploring opportunities to tap into funding from international carbon trading schemes. Evaluation & monitoring 1. Approved and published “Power Supply” plan

2. Number of private/public partnership and overseas invested projects 3. % increase in the uninterrupted power coverage 4. Compliance with the GHG emission targets ID 2: Transmission & Distribution In the last 10 years or so, no major gas transmission network has been developed to transport gas from source to the growth centre Significant transmission and distribution loss are experienced to the supply chain Huge system inefficiency, theft and pilferage on the generated energy, so it is not clear as to how much of the generation reaches the end user Strategic Objectives Reduce losses through transmission, distribution and service provision in order to maximize overall energy efficiency. Actions 1. Immediately undertake a comprehensive audit of all system deficiencies and mismanagement in service provision and revenue generation. 2. Based on Action 1, immediately develop a 5 year strategy to minimize the losses to match international standards. 3. Over medium term develop a transparent computer (GIS) based automated monitoring system to track the losses and to develop immediate remedial actions. 4. Develop a detailed medium to long term action plan supported by appropriate funding and human resources to implement the loss reduction plan. This may include a series of system upgrade and system replacements. Evaluation & Monitoring 1. % reduction in losses 2. Establishment of the monitoring system in operation within the timeframe 3. Effectiveness in using the tracking system in identifying the losses ID 3: Economy, Trade & Millennium Development The power shortage and gas deficit have resulted an stalemate situation in the national economy Trade, commerce and businesses are

grinding to a halt which will impact on the GDP It is highly unlikely that Bangladesh will achieve its millennium development goal with such a crisis on its door step Strategic Objective Ensure energy security for businesses, industries and trades as a matter of priority while maximizing the energy coverage for the entire country. Actions 1. Undertake a detailed demand projection for the industry and businesses to the year 2025 (immediate) 2. Develop a medium term priority based staged supply chain with appropriate pricing policy to ensure continued flow of revenue to support the ongoing energy management initiatives 3. Undertake a comprehensive option analysis over medium to long term of renewable and alternative energy sources for the use in the business and industry sectors. 4. Immediately develop an effective energy saving campaign for the businesses and commercial usage and make it mandatory for inclusion in the provision of business permits and the business operations. Monitoring & Evaluation 1. % coverage of uninterrupted power supply to industries, businesses and trades 2. % recoup of revenue 3. Reduction of power demand from the national grid by the businesses adopting alternative energy sources ID 4: Social Impact Lack of sustained power supply for residential or commercial usage Impacting on daily lives of millions of people causing significant frustration, low morale and a resounding sense of desperation Causing significant disruption on the emergency services, health care and normal way of life Encourage people towards energy theft and practicing environmentally unfriendly and system deficient generators and UPS systems No safeguard for public safety in power transmission and distribution

that are undertaken to resolve the current crisis. Government should take a bold decision to Strategic Objective pass through parliament Progressively increase necessary acts to immesustained safe power diate establishment of supply to residents and this regulatory body. emergency services Undertake a speedy with a view to achieve process to set up the energy sufficiency by protocol, procedures 2025. and resource procureFig 1.0 – Sustainable Energy Future Framework for Bangladesh Actions ment to establish this 1. Develop a “National other support infrastructures to accom- body (immediate) Power Supply Framework” for residen- modate LNG or Coal import options Evaluation & Monitoring tial and emergency services in consullack of support, incentives and busitation with relevant stakeholders. This ness strategies to encourage private 1. Approved proposal for most suitable options for energy generation will include (but not limited to) (and overseas) investments 2. 100% removal of impediments in demand projection, development of Bureaucrat dominated energy sector priority areas for new connections, with its politicized administration sup- decision making process 3. Establishment of a fully functional detailed scheme of upgrades of existing ports favored postings and placement “Energy and Power Crisis Management transmission and distribution network Significant mismanagement (delays (e.g transformers, switch gears, high and decision making) and corruption in Commission” ID 6: Strategic Planning, Risk voltage lines, etc) (immediate) project procurement and project delivManagement, Policy Sector 2. Undertake a comprehensive ery & Price Regulation “Education and Awareness Campaign Strategic Objectives Absence of an effective ‘energy poliProgram” for energy saving using good Ensure a seamless decision making cy’ for the country indoor design, smart usage, reduced through transparent and accountable No policy for ensuring safe supply of waste, etc and market the program reporting mechanism in support of power to household and industries through all levels of education, public project development and project proLack of sufficient strategic planning and media outlets. (immediate — medicurement to resolve current energy criwith predominantly ‘reactive’ and ‘adum) sis and provide energy security for the hoc’ approaches to solve the energy 3. Undertake an audit of energy theft country. issue and illegal connections. This is imporRisk assessment and risk managetant to reduce the overall losses (medi- Actions 1. Initiate a comparative study to inves- ment initiatives are not given priority. um) tigate all options of energy generation Energy regulatory commission is not Evaluation & Monitoring and energy supply at an affordable and fully functional 1. Approved plan and its implementatimely manner without delay. This Energy price is too low to encourage tion goals should include (but not limited to) LNG energy conservation and efficiency 2. % increment in awareness and eduoption, coal and gas exploration, enhancement initiatives cation improvement in gas transmission, enerLack of business continuity, disaster 3. % reduction in theft and illegal congy import from neighboring countries, mitigation and disaster management nections etc (immediate) plan ID 5: Current Management, 2. Investigate decisions made in the Strategic Objectives Supporting Investment & Project energy sector over the last 18 months of Adopt risk management principles to Development & Project Procurement the current term of the government and ensure short-term and long-term strateSignificant confusion and indecision identify areas for improvement in future gic plans are undertaken in order to amongst the bureaucrats and the cur- decision making. Remove impediments ensure uninterrupted power supply to rent government office bearers have as quick as possible (immediate) all end users at an affordable but susresulted a slower than ever progress in 3. Given the urgency and dyer necessitainable cost. exploration and initiating new projects ty in resolving energy crisis, establish Leaving substantial resources of its an independent “Energy and Power Actions own untapped, Bangladesh is unneces- Crisis Management Commission” with 1. Using the “Fig Tree Risk sarily pursuing expensive coal and full authority and regulatory power to Management Template” undertake a LNG import options. Bangladesh does expedite the decision making and criti- detailed risk assessment and risk mannot have required port facilities and cally analyze all decisions and actions agement framework in ensuring a

network, causing frequent accidents and significant loss of lives

sustained power supply (immediate) 2. Develop a business continuity plan for major businesses and production related activities to minimize potential impacts resulting from unreliable and insufficient power supply (medium) 3. Review the current energy pricing policy and set up an staged implementation of “sustainable” pricing for the energy usage in all sectors (medium) 4. Develop an “energy policy” for the country — Immediately initiate an scoping study for the development of the energy policy (immediate) 5. Following completion of the scoping, undertake an immediate development of the policy followed by speedy implementation (immediate-medium). Evaluation & Monitoring 1. % elimination of risks through the risk management strategy 2. Maximizing business continuity through business continuity plan 3. Approval and implementation of the energy policy ID 7: Regional Cooperation & Maritime Resource Boundaries Mistrust and lack of faith with neighbors does not favor setting up of regional grid network for energy trading opportunities Maritime boundary disputes have created challenges to accessing huge untapped resources in the Bay of Bengal Strategic Objective Ensure progressive improvement of transparent and honest dialogue with the two neighboring countries in order to resolve disputes with exploration and maritime boundaries Actions 1. Initiate immediate dialogue through submission of internationally reviewed and recognized scientific information and technical analysis in support of Bangladesh’s claim (immediate) 2. Propose to set up an independent task force consisting members form all neighbors and credible resources from UN backed maritime boundary resolution body (medium) 3. Propose to set up a reporting mechanism of all exploration near the disputed boundaries (medium-long)

Evaluation & Monitoring 1. Staged resolution of disputes within a 5 year time frame 2. Maximizing opportunities for offshore exploration in the disputed boundaries 3. Positive feedback and improved relationship from the partners in the neighboring countries ID 8: Demand Management & Renewable & Alternative Energy Sources Lack of credible education and awareness program to reduce energy waste Lack of initiatives to explore opportunities for alternative and renewable energies Lack of incentives and subsidies for solar and other renewable energy options Government support for energy efficient bulbs Bangladesh has very weak environment management regulatory organization Strategic Objective Actively promote and support demand management techniques using renewable and alternative energy options and effective awareness campaign. Actions 1. Immediately undertake a feasibility study at a national level to ascertain the possibilities and financial viability of implementing renewable and alternative energy options for Bangladesh. This should take into account all possible government support and financial incentives to initiate viable options in the ground. 2. Establish as soon as possible a research and development arm under the “Energy and Power Crisis Management Commission” to undertake a 5 year intensive program to explore all viable options related to renewable and alternative energy technology for Bangladesh. “Nothing should be off the table” until proven otherwise. 3. Immediately “kick off” alternative energy opportunities, undertake 5 “pilot studies” over a period of 2 years, involving research institutions, univer-

sities and private entities, e.g. “Grameen Bank”, BRAC, NGOs, etc. 4. Under the leadership of the government at the top level (Energy Ministry) support comprehensive education and awareness campaign that are mentioned above as soon as possible. Evaluation & Monitoring 1. Level of government support and incentives in the renewable and alternative energy sector 2. Establishment of the research and development arm and adoption of the 5 year program ID 9: Asset Management & Technological Advancement 30% of the plants are fuel inefficient and already gone past their effective economic design life Lack of effective asset management framework that manages the assets using the ‘whole of life cycle’ analysis Planning and investment on the regular maintenance and replacement schemes are unclear and often money spent on non-priority projects Lack of centralized information tracking system in the power and gas sector Lack of any tangible initiatives to upgrade existing generation and distribution system to improve efficiency Strategic Objective 1. Ensure optimal utilization of the energy assets to their maximum potential without compromising their effective life cycle in order to provide safe and reliable power to the end users 2. Ensure an appropriately funded maintenance and replacement regime in place in order to minimize power disruption and maintain an improved efficiency. Actions 1. Develop a comprehensive short and medium term “Asset Management System” through establishing a detailed GIS based “Asset Information Network”. This should include a national database of all generation, transmission and distribution network. 2. Undertake a short term (5 year) and long-term (10 year) program for asset maintenance and asset replacement program using the life cycle analysis

and a priority based management principle. Submit the plan to government through “Energy and Power Crisis Management Commission” for budget allocation and approval for implementation (medium-long term) 3. Investigate opportunities for “technological improvements” and develop feasible options for progressive implementation Evaluation & Monitoring 1. Implementation of the proposed Asset Management System to readily track inefficiencies and system maintenance and replacement needs 2. % increase in the asset life cycle using the Asset Management System ID 10: Capacity Building, Institutional & Governance Framework Lack of required capacity and experience of state owned energy authorities has been an impediment to initiate energy projects Significant corruption and mismanagement in power supply, billing and system management Lack of clearly defined responsibilities with appropriate process mapping for power supply Lack of effective professional development and incentive program with frequent victimization are causing departure of trained professionals from the key roles Strategic Objective Establish an effective and productive institutional and governance framework that promotes clear communication, defined and accountable responsibilities and most importantly willingness to taking ownership through necessary capacity building and professional development programs. Actions 1. Develop a skill matrix outlining the current skills and experiences of individuals employed at different positions and identify gaps to develop a comprehensive “Capacity Building Program”. This program needs to be supported by the higher authorities with injection of necessary funds. (immediate-medium) 2. Undertake a comprehensive “process mapping” exercise related to undertaking various tasks and decisions (including project development and project

procurement) and identify gaps in communication, responsibility sharing, unnecessary delays, and system inefficiencies. This task needs to be undertaken by an independent consultant in consultation with all stakeholders. The result if this task will propose an improved process for efficiecnt delivery of power to the end-user 3. Develop a performance assessment system for all individuals based on a set of “Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)” and ensure that a transparent system of assessment is in place to hold individuals accountable to the KPIs. Achievements of KPIs should also be linked with lucrative incentives and opportunities for participating in professional development programs. Evaluation & Monitoring 1. % completion of the “Skill Matrix” coverage with necessary gaps identified for the entire energy sector 2. Number of process maps developed and used 3. % of KPIs developed and adhered in performance evaluation ID 11: Funding Lack of funding policy for new project development and project partnership with potential investors Funding for new project and management of existing network are not seemed to be linked with the revenue through appropriate energy pricing policy Insufficient funding commitment through annual budget cycle Strategic Objective Consider energy sector as the highest priority for the country by allocation of sufficient funds for ongoing operation and supporting new initiatives with a clear objective to achieve the energy vision Actions 1. Undertake a comprehensive “Financial Impact Assessment (FIA)’s” (by considering cost and benefit) of all the actions mentioned above and develop a short, medium and long term funding program 2. Explore all options for public-private partnerships (PPP) and actively campaign for overseas investments with transparent incentives 3. Develop a monitoring and tracking

system to ensure effective and timely utilization of funds free of corruption and mismanagement. “Energy and Power Crisis Management Commission” should have a mandated role in overseeing the expenses that are tied to specific delivery of project milestones Evaluation & Monitoring 1. % completion of the FIAs 2. Number of active PPP projects and overseas investments 3. Effective utilization of funds through transparent reporting mechanism The Way Forward The above framework can be viewed as an overly simplified way forward for what is known to be one of the most critical and complex problems faced by the nation at present. But, complex problems need simple solutions otherwise complexities will continue to grow deeper and deeper. Despite its simple appearances some of the actions can be far reaching and may involve intense and exhaustive dialogue between the stakeholders before they can see the daylight. A large number of actions above are multidisciplinary and crossing across a number of departmental jurisdictions. This is why an independent commission (as proposed) is needed to oversee the implementation of the framework. Financial commitment and financial availability are also critical to the success of achieving sustainable energy for the country. Bangladesh is a poorer entity in the domain of developing countries. It doesn’t have a magic wand to inject all the funds it needs to solve the crisis through above actions. What it seriously needs are the willingness and the support mechanism to encourage PPPs and investment from the offshore companies. A number of offshore companies already showed a great deal of interest in investment, however, failed to reach a seamless agreement. It is an irony for the nation that when people are suffering at all levels, the policy makers seem to be trying their best to ignoring expert advices from experienced and reliable sources and reaching out to unsustainable options. This will need to change significantly in order to use the above framework.

Most of the issues and actions presented above are based on interpretation of regular items published in the EP magazine and other media outlets and by interviewing some energy experts. The real picture on the ground could be very different and also the actions listed above may not go anywhere near solving the issues of concern. However, it is believed that the framework would provide an order of hope in addressing the crisis. Also, in terms of maturity, the framework, as proposed, is in its early stage and should be treated as a work in progress. It is intended to give more a structured methodology towards arriving a solution rather than the solution itself.
With feedback from sources within the relevant authorities and expert communities, it would be possible to pick a number of action items listed above and expand them with necessary technical information and appropriate methodologies. It is rather difficult at this stage to contemplate what the details of those actions could look like. With sufficient elaboration, the decision makers may see

the benefit of using the proposed framework. It would however, be ideal and very effective, if the “Framework” could be considered as a starting point for a comprehensive brainstorming involving relevant authorities and policymakers. This way, it could be refined and further expanded at the right level for serious consideration by the government.

Finally, just in terms of comparison, Qatar is a developing nation (off course with vast resources of natural gas and oil) of 1.6M people which has a current energy demand of around 4,000MW compared to Bangladesh, having a population of 155million people with an existing reported demand of 6,000MW. It is also reported that Bangladesh has current power coverage of 45% of its pollution. It really begs the question in one’s mind as to what is the quality of this coverage. Surely, we don’t want to treat our people as the children of the lesser god, they deserve better. Recommendations 1. Arrange a high level workshop as

soon as possible to discuss the framework and refine it to expand or cut down to the appropriate level of action plans 2. Seek not only endorsement but a fully committed approval by the current government to implement the framework by establishing a “Energy and Power Crisis Management Commission” as an overseeing entity to drive and monitor the action plans 3. After finalizing the framework, initiate as a matter of urgency, the detail cost estimate of all the adopted action items. This will be critical for the government for a staged budgetary allocation. 4. Engage relevant expertise and whatever sources available to expand on the action items with full details and methodologies

Engr Khondker Rezaur Rahman Senior Environmental Planning Advisor, Ministry of Municipality & Planning Government of Qatar



Professor Dr. Shahidul Islam Khan, Asif Iqbal, Mehbuba Tanzid, Nandinee Fariah Haq


lectricity is undeniably the fundamental infrastructure of modern development. But in recent years, Bangladesh is facing immense power shortage. This acute electricity shortage along with conventional fuel crisis is affecting every sector of the country and our economy is being crippled. The whole country is looking for sustainable energy sources. an agricultural country,

Bangladesh has opportunities to use the agricultural residues in power generation. These agricultural residues are used to generate electricity in small scale or in heating purposes for houses, small industries etc. But their usage as energy source is often inefficient. Among the agricultural residues, the potentiality of rice husk as an energy source is well established. Bangladesh is the fourth largest rice producing country in the world. During the year 2008

Bangladesh has produced 46,505,000 tonnes of rice which is 7.02% of the world’s total rice production (661,811,000 tons) [Source: USDA, PSD Online. June 10-2009 access]. According to the Rice Mill Owners’ Association of Bangladesh over 100,000 rice mills are scattered all over the country. But the mills are geographically concentrated and 90% of them are small in capacity (510 MT/day). Rice straw, rice husk and rice bran are three main biomass

byproduct comes from rice where rice straw and rice bran are used as feed for cattle, poultry, fish etc. and rice husk, that accounts for about 20% by weight of the rice, is usually dumped as waste. The major portion of rice husk is used as fuel for the inefficient rice parboiling process. 60% of parboiling is done in over 50,000 small and medium size mills, where the existing parboiling systems have efficiency between 15% and 25%. Rice husk is one of the finest fuels and it can be efficiently used as a sustainable energy resource. Use of rice husk in this power generation has been studied and practiced widely. Rice husk based power plant has already proven to be economically viable in Thailand, India and in Vietnam. The huge production of rice in Bangladesh made it potentially more feasible place for using rice husk as energy source in biomass based power generation and cogeneration. Measured data for rice husk show its higher heating value (HHV) as 15,324 kJ/kg and lower heating value (LHV) as 13,800 kJ/kg. But if it is possible to enhance the calorific value of the rice husk then its use will be much more efficient as an energy source. Recently, some associated researches on this possible enhancement of calorific value of rice husk are being carried out by Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) with the collaboration of German Development Cooperation (GTZ). This research focuses on the theoretical prediction that the calorific value of the rice husk can be enhanced if it is used as an adsorbent for organic materials. With this perspective, the rice husk can be

marily carbonaceous and cellulosic and when they get adsorbed into rice husk, they typically enhance its calorific value. This modified rice husk has greater potential of being used as a fuel in small power plant and household cooking purpose. Theoretical prediction establishes ability of rice husk to absorb different organic materials which ensues in the enhancement of its calorific value. Our cited research aims at precisely determining the improvement in calorific value of this modified rice husk. Considering the environmental issues and costing at this stage, the research is initially oriented on the rice husk used as adsorbent for poultry litters. This modified rice husk is converted to briquette for further efficiency purpose. As the research goes on, we are hopeful to achieve our target and ultimate enhancement which will definitely contribute the existing energy generation crisis in Bangladesh. On the other hand, this research will promote power generation from sustainable resources which are precisely agricultural residue and organic wastes. Considering agriculture dependent economy and environmental issues of Bangladesh, promotion of a sustainable energy approach will be sound for the future. Finally, this research will also encourage further studies to justify the same enhancement by the industrial organic wastes.

A view of a biomass power plant in Thailand

used to adsorb different wastes including domestic wastes, poultry litters or industrial organic wastes and liquid dyes. Rice husk has the ability to absorb different dyes and metals and therefore has been used to remove these elements from the effluents. Moreover, according to Weber (1978) adsorption method has advantages over several other conventional treatment methods for wastewater treatment. Basically the most widely used adsorbent for the removal of many organic contaminants is activated carbon (AC) and silica. Since rice husk contains both of them, so it can be used as an adsorbent. Experimental results reveal that at 500 °C temperature, rice husk treated by H3PO4, is comparable in adsorption capacity to the commercial activated carbon (AC) (I.A. Rahman, B. Saad, S. Shaidan and E.S. Sya Rizal, 2005). Other examples included absorption of Zn(II) from aqueous solution (A.K. Bhattacharya, S.N. Mandal and S.K. Das, 2006), Safranine and Methylene Blue (G. Mckay, J. F. Porter and G. R. Prasad et al., 1998), Rhodamine B (Yupeng Guo, Jingzhe Zhao, Hui Zhang, Shaofeng Yang, Jurui Qi, Zichen Wang, 2004) etc in rice husk. Different poultry farms use rice husk as an adsorbent for the poultry litters. In fact, all organic waste materials are pri-

Professor Dr. Shahidul Islam Khan, Asif Iqbal, Mehbuba Tanzid, Nandinee Fariah Haq, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka


Dr. Zebun Nasreen Ahmed

uildings are great consumers of energy. Which is why in energy starved Bangladesh, it is imperative that buildings are made energy efficient through passive architectural approaches. This paper addresses the various ways available to Architects to design low energy or green architecture — buildings that not only consume less, but also have low embodied energy and do not create adverse environmental or social impacts, thus maintaining sustainability. Green architecture encompasses concepts that take into account environmental, economic and equity concerns — triple concerns that are significant indicators of sustainability of any development. Buildings shape the environment — a result of decisions taken by the design professionals involved, the authorities that put into place and enforce construction rules, and by the user group, including members of the community.


Green architecture requires that the above issues and players are addressed at all stages of design and construction — taking a life-cycle approach — beginning with decisions regarding building materials and construction techniques during the design phase, considering operational energy and environmental issues and ending with considerations of disposal and dismantling of the building at the end of its life. Embodied Energy The materials that go into the construction of a building account for its embodied (or embedded) energy content. This takes into consideration the manufacturing energy as well as transportation energy to convey materials to the construction site. All energy consumption ultimately has to come from the nation’s energy resources — thus accounting is needed for every step. The manufacturing energy needed for various common building materials given in Table 1 reveals that brick is a relatively low energy building material. If transportation energy can be kept low, and firing can be managed with reforestation programs, it is a relatively low impact option. Light weight concrete hollow blocks however, are more environmentally friendly, containing only 31-38% of the embodied energy of bricks, when considering volume of construction including the mortar needed for the masonry work. But one of the most common building materials is mud, which is in use in vernacular buildings all over northern Bangladesh. Though in its present form this material is not geared for permanence and is hardly considered as appropriate for urban areas in rain-dominant Bangladesh, there is much new interest in mud as a sustainable material with very low environmental impacts. Proper research into this material is needed for its sustained use. Aesthetically there is much that can be accomplished by proper application of this material (Figure 1). One may argue that natural materials have low embodied energy content, but there are problems in this approach also. For instance, timber a natural material, does not need any manufacturing energy. It is however, a non-renewable building material, one that has taken years to grow and cannot be replaced in a short time without a concerted reforestation plan. Its embodied energy content is high if one considers the solar energy that has been expended to make it grow to the size whereby it can serve as a strong enough building material. Without a concerted plantation plan, excessive use of timber can cause deforestation — which can influence environmental degradation, climate change and

loss of biodiversity. So even if low on active embodied energy, the use of timber should be considered carefully and with a long term backup plan. The transportation energy embodied in a building material is in direct proportion to the distance that it must travel to reach the construction site. The shorter the distance the lower this content — pointing to the need to localize construction activities. Operational Energy Consumption Energy is needed by a building to function for the activity that it was designed for. It needs electricity for lighting, fans, air-conditioning, other mechanical devices like TVs, refrigerators, etc, lifts for transportations, and so on. Proper decisions at the design stage can help create low energy or passive architecture — where architectural decisions allow the building to use the natural forces of wind, light and heat as much as possible. This reduces demand and dependence on active energy options like electricity, gas, etc. Discussed below are some of the passive options available to Architects. Basic form of a Building in its Location If a building is sprawling, it allows natural ventilation it is comfortable for the occupants, reduces fan and air conditioning needs. If it is compact, it reduces solar radiation impacts, thus keeping the interior cooler. However, in humid climes, the lack of wind due to compactness can create stuffy conditions. For daylighting needs, the building has to increase peripheral areas, or have

Figure 1: Rammed earth Walls. a. Ar. Terry Wright,Australia. Source:Minke.G. 2006, P189; b. Meherpur, Bangladesh. Source. Z.N. Ahmed. 2006



lighting courts at its deeper parts. A balance needs to be struck between all the needs and compromises made so that energy consumption to create comfort is minimized. Building Layout & Orientation of Spaces The orientation of the building should be such that it encourages the positive aspects of the environment to penetrate the fabric and shields it from negative aspects. Habitable/activity zones should be planned so that space use is coordinated with relatively cooler times of the day (Table 2). Where a space has to be used in hot periods, non-living space buffers, like verandahs, toilets, utility rooms, stores, etc, can be located to protect these activity zones A careful study of daylight penetration within different spaces can reduce energy needs and functional zones can be planned to make up for any deficits from requirements by window location and/or window size. Construction/Material to be Employed Other than considerations of embodied energy content of building materials, heat and wind penetration is also dependent on building material. The fabric of a building determines its insulation value and type. Insulation can be of two types, resistance insulation and capacity insulation. Lightweight materials are good insulators, resisting easy penetration of heat and are called resistance insulators. Heavyweight materials and thick walls on the other hand prevent heat penetration by containing the heat within its thermal mass and are called capacity insulators. Capacity insulation not only reduces heat penetration, it also delays the impact so that spaces can be planned so that the highest heat impact does not coincide with its main activity period.

lation through the building construction rules compels new development to use renewable energy. Solar energy use through building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) can substantially increase the surfaces available for installing photo-voltaic cells in the urban situation (Figure 2b). Moreover, direct solar energy can be used for solar water heating in buildings, saving on gas expended for heating water for cooking and other domestic activities (Figure 2a). . Water management is another area using which energy consumption can be reduced to a significant extent. Rainwater harvesting should be made mandatory. This will save energy needed to pump out water from the ground and if the storage can be placed at high levels, it can reduce the amount of pumping needed to raise water to overhead water tanks. This will also significantly reduce pumping needs and thus have a positive impact on the ecology of an area, preserving the ground water table. The use of efficient flushing in toilets also needs to be incorporated for proper water management so that unnecessary water consumption is reduced. If grey water can be reused for non-potable and acceptable functions then water pumping can be further reduced, while water contamination can also be addressed. Social Issues for Sustainability One of the dimensions of sustainability deals with the issue of the locality — about promoting equity in the area. No development should cause discrimination between the inhabitants of a region — showing preference towards one group over another. This is extremely significant in terms of energy usage. For instance if the design of a development is such that it cannot operate without airconditioning, this can result in raised external temperatures — the air inside is

When any side of a building is exposed to direct solar radiation, it is a good idea to design to prevent heat penetration by either of these two systems of insulation. If not addressed properly interior temperatures may rise to levels that compel inmates to use air conditioning. Active Energy Needs Despite all care towards minimising the operational energy needs of a building, it will nevertheless require some active energy for functioning. It is important to try to use low energy options that are available in the market for these needs. Energy saving lamps have been available for considerable time in the market, yet their initial installation costs are considerably higher than that of the less energy efficient options. The government policy needs to be revamped so that designers and builders are encouraged to make use of energy efficient options. Motion sensing equipment, including doors for protecting air infiltration, escalators to prevent them from running when not in use, lamps and fans to be shut off when a space is empty, water taps to be shut off after a short span to prevent wastage of water, etc, should be the norm for electrical appliances in any new building. Even the most rudimentary calculations show that such measures can save energy and money after the initial pay-back period. While all the operational energy of a building cannot be dependent on renewable sources, there should be a policy to bring a definite percentage of the building’s total energy consumption under its jurisdiction. This should also be taken up at the policy level so that legis-

Figure 2: a. Solar water heater in Antalya. Figure 2: b. BIPV


cooled and dehumidified, while the hot and humid air is dumped in the exterior. This in itself can cause a rise in average temperature of the area, causing unnecessary suffering for the locality and its inhabitants. The use of reflecting glass can also pollute the locality by presenting unwanted reflections of solar radiation. Similarly over paving and deforestation can lower the water-table of an area — a problem that can only be rectified by pumping from deeper and deeper levels, requiring energy. These are social issues that need to be addressed by designers of the environment so that those affected do not need extra energy to keep themselves comfortable. Sustainable solutions thus encompass local issues. Lifetime Implications Clearly, architecture is not frozen in time. It needs to work over a vast time span. Decisions taken today can have significant effects in the future — and the effects too are not confined to the immediate vicinity of a project, but can spill over to the surrounding region. Thus, when designers and owners of a project concentrate only on short term costing and benefits, there is the danger of pollution, energy inefficiency and unsustainability. Sustainable solutions have to take into account life time costing. It is often seen that the initial costs for putting into place ‘green’ solutions for a building are high. In such cases if clients are pre-

sented data on pay-back periods for the extra costs of installation and the environmental implications of certain energy inefficient installations they can easily be persuaded to put forth the additional finances for passive architecture. When Architects and designers take this responsibility — that of informing themselves and their clients about design decisions that can save on energy consumption — development is bound to become more responsive to the environment, and thus sustainable. Conclusions The objective of this paper was to create awareness among the general public about energy implications of various aspects of the architecture of buildings. The issue is complex and requires understanding at the different levels of decision making, and needs to be a concerted effort by different professionals. The Architect needs to be informed about the energy implications of design decisions, while the different disciplines that make the implementation or construction of the design possible, i.e. structural, electrical, mechanical engineering, planning, etc, also require to work hand in hand within the architectural scheme so that mistakes and repetitions can be avoided. Analysis of any project should take into account its lifetime implications and efforts should be made to design for low impact energy efficient solutions. It is clear that the situation as it exists at the moment is putting tremendous strain on the energy resources of the

country and steps need to be taken to alleviate the situation. But it is also clear that it is not possible to rectify existing conditions through action by professionals alone. Awareness is required by all levels, including the public, so that energy implications of every action become clear to the relevant quarter. Policy level changes need to be taken immediately. Unless the government offers sufficient financial incentives (or other benefits like tax holidays or construction concessions) encouraging the public to adopt sustainable or green options like renewable energy and low energy applications, it is unrealistic to expect that the public will voluntarily adopt these energy efficient measures. Moreover, the government also needs to adopt legislation to ensure that energy efficiency is aimed at in future development projects of the country. Environmental impact assessment needs to be made mandatory in the process of seeking approval for any new project in the country in order to be socially sustainable. Clearly if we continue in the way we have been doing so far, our cities are doomed to become unlivable, voraciously energy consuming and ecologically imbalanced megapolizes in the very near future. EP
Dr. Zebun Nasreen Ahmed Professor, Department of Architecture, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, Dhaka


Dr. M A K Azad, PEng.


outh Asia is a region of 23 percent of the total world population and has been growing at an impressive annual average growth rate of around 5 percent. Average growth rate of GDP is in the range of 6-9% in last few years. Recognizing the relationship between rising economic growth and increasing energy demand, this increased economic growth in the region is boosting energy demand. Moreover, to sustain this robust economic growth it is necessary that the energy demand of the region be sufficiently met by a continuous supply of energy in varied form. Therefore, it indeed becomes important to explore all possible options to ensure regular supply of energy.

Overview of the Energy Sector South Asia is endowed with wide variation of energy potential. India and Pakistan account for the major share of

energy reserves - coal and natural gas. However, these countries are also large in terms of area and population and thus, the higher reserves are not sufficient to meet respective country’s energy need. The region is rich in hydro potential with Bhutan and Nepal having a disproportionately large share of it in relation to their size and future requirement. Along with variation in resource endowments, there exists a disparity in energy consumption pattern across

South Asian countries. Except India and Pakistan, most countries have a predominant dependence on a single commercial energy form: oil for Afghanistan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, hydropower for Bhutan and natural gas for Bangladesh. Such a large dependence on a single energy form not only limits the versatility of meeting diverse energy demands but also increases energy security concerns. Another characteristic of the region is the variation in

the energy demand - supply balance. Except Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, all the SAARC countries are facing huge power shortages.
This creates an opportunity for trade among the deficit and the surplus member states given the unique characteristic of electricity — once produced has to be consumed immediately. The SAARC region is also well endowed with renewable energy source such as biomass and solar, however the full potential of these resources has not been harnessed due to lack of requisite technological capacities and technologies. Looking at the sector wise energy demand in the region, it is observed that two sectors —domestic and industry are the key consumers of energy. The domestic sector is also the major consumer of the traditional fuels. The industry sector is the economic growth driver and growth of GDP is very much interrelated with the growth of energy sector. In case of domestic sector, with increasing incomes it is expected that the domestic sector would shift away from traditional sources of energy to commercial sources of energy. This would lead to increased pressure on the countries to source more of the commercial energy resources. According to different studies, in the medium to long term future i.e. from 2010-2020 energy demand in the region is expected to grow a rapid pace. Total regional energy demand is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of 5% with natural gas expected to register the fastest growth rate of 6.34% followed by crude oil and then coal. Electricity demand in the region is also expected to increase at a fast pace. In fact, among all commercial sources energy, electricity is expected to register fastest growth in demand of around 8%.

Shiddhirganj power plant

Regional/Sub-regional Power Market To meet the growing energy challenges of the region, regional energy trade and cooperation is the shared opportunity that currently exists. In this case, establishment of regional or sub-regional power market would be the best choice to start the journey. A common issue cutting across all the SAARC Member States is the growing demand for electricity to meet energy needs. Given the opportunity cost of electricity shortages is very high any effort within the region to reduce such energy shortages would have significant economic benefits. An option the region can pursue is to develop a regional electricity market that would allow trade in any surpluses that a country may have either over time of day or over seasons. Such trade would exploit the unique characteristic of electricity — which once generated has to be consumed immediately. India can play a pivotal role for building regional electricity market because of its location highlighting the need for adopting a planned approach to build adequate capacities for developing electricity markets. Establishment of a regional power market for the SAARC countries can create multi-dimensional technical and economic benefits including optimal exploitation of energy resources, reduction in generation reserve requirements, reduction in overall cost of supply from competition in generation, improved system reliability, enhanced energy security, better energy access,

lesser environmental impacts of power generation, added incentives to resource rich countries to accelerate power development with resultant benefits to the county’s economic growth, etc. At the same time, it would create environment to reduce trust deficit among the participating countries, Photo: BPDB which would promote other areas of cooperation in future. For establishing the regional and sub regional power market the region would need to adopt a phased approach. Interconnections would need to be established between various member states, which could then be graduated to a regional/ sub regional market. The cost of these interconnections depends upon a number of variables such as — power transfer capacity, length of the line, energy flow, hours of supply etc. These costs could be levied as wheeling charges on the base tariff charged for power. Alternatively, as a method for financing these interconnections the central governments of the member states could consider building these interconnections as a public good so as to reap larger benefits in the long term as a result of increased regional electricity trade. SAARC has celebrated its twenty-five year of establishment this year and in its 16th Summit declared thirty-seven points towards strengthening regional cooperation. To make the SAARC more meaningful, it is now the time to move towards some visible action oriented programs not just only statement or declaration.

Dr. M A K Azad, Peng Former Member Generation, PDB & Secretary General, FEISCA


Morten Siem Lynge

“Not a lot of capitals can provide clean enough water in the middle of the city for swimming, but thanks to a tight regulatory framework & the implementation of high tech cleaning solutions it is possible in Denmark”

More than 25% of all electricity is produced by renewable energy sources in Denmark and Denmark is the world leader in this area.


n April 2010 the newly appointed Danish Development Minister, Mr. Søren Pind, visited Bangladesh. With him followed a group of 10 Danish companies working within the areas of wind power, solar, biogas, conventional energy and clean-tech water solutions. Denmark will now step up their engagement in especially the renewable energy sector More than 25% of all electricity is produced by renewable energy sources in Denmark and Denmark is the world leader in this area. Denmark is also one of the market leaders when it comes to other kinds of clean technologies — e.g. within water. When you visit the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, you will actually see designated areas for swimming in the canals in the middle of the city and these places are crowed with people on the sunny days. “Not a lot of capitals can provide clean enough water in the middle of the city for swimming, but thanks to a tight regulatory framework and the implementation of high tech cleaning solutions it is possible in Denmark”, says the Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mr. Einar H. Jensen and moves on to talk about the need to transfer some of the Danish knowledge on how to promote clean energy and other clean tech solutions

Windmill park outside Copenhagen

an enormous success. “Of the 10 companies, I’m sure we will see at least 8 being active in Bangladesh within the coming months. We have already seen the first MoUs being signed and some of the Danish and Bangladeshi companies are still discussing, their next step. We will see projects within large scale biogas, solar and wind power, but also within water cleaning coming up. And the Danish companies are finding very good local companies to work with”, says Morten Siem Lynge, B2B-coordinator and the Danish Embassy.

success”, says Morten Siem Lynge. “I hope that we will be able to convince more Danish companies to come to Bangladesh to explore opportunities in the country. Visiting Bangladesh is essential for the foreign companies in order to understand the opportunities that exist here. Most of the companies in the April 2010 delegation came to Bangladesh a bit skeptical, but left with a lot of enthusiasm and eagerness to return.”, says Morten Siem Lynge. Denmark Also Ready to Do Equity Investment & by Cdm-Credits from Energy Projects Today more than 80% of all CDM projects are implemented in China or India. This generates millions of USD income in these countries. Bangladesh has only two registered CDM projects. One of the projects has come to a standstill — the other project is up and running, but the first credits are still to be sold to a foreign buyer. “Things are moving slowly in Bangladesh in terms of CDM projects. Around six projects are in the pipeline, but there is a long way before seeing Bangladesh having 1,207 CDM projects in the pipeline like India had at the end of 2009. This is a shame because a lot of potential exists to generate foreign currency on CDM projects while at the same time reducing carbon emission and reducing air- and waste

According to the Danish Embassy the Energy and Clean Tech delegation was an enormous success.
to energy starved and pollution affected Bangladesh. And the Danish Embassy has also started to do something about it. In April 2010 the Danish Embassy organized a delegation of 10 Danish companies wanting to visit Bangladesh. The Energy Delegation was a Success According to the Danish Embassy the Energy and Clean Tech delegation was In light of the success of the first delegation and the energy challenges in Bangladesh, the Danish Embassy has decided to continue its focus on this area and give financial support to setting up partnerships between Bangladeshi and Danish companies through the Embassy’s B2B-programme to new projects coming up. “We will of course follow-up on this

Share of wind, solar, biomass & geothermal energy in electricity generation 2007

GDP, Energy consumption & emissions in Denmark 1990-2008

pollution”, says Morten Siem Lynge, B2B-Coordinator at the Danish Embassy in Dhaka. The Embassy has financed the development of two project proposals to be submitted to the UN for project registration and now one of the largest buyers of emission reductions in Denmark (a company called Nordjysk Elhandel (NE)) has decided to focus on Bangladesh. NE has experience from setting up CDM projects in countries like India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and the Ivory Cost. Just their project in Ivory Coast is expected to generate 500,000 carbon credits a year. The project registered in Bangladesh and which is about to sell the first credits, is expected to generate 15,000 credits a year. Major challenges identified by NE for initiating new projects in countries like Bangladesh are among others the lack of know-how and finance. But both challenges can be mitigated, explains Climate Business Developer, Rene T. Andersen from NE who just recently visited Bangladesh for one week. “NE is, together with a number of Danish investors, setting up an equity fund to invest in

CDM and/or energy efficiency projects in selected Asian countries. Including Bangladesh, where we can see a will to start exploring this area among many of the important decision makers. To promote CDM projects and energy efficiency in general, we will not only buy carbon credits, we will also actively invest in relevant projects as shareholders — and perhaps as providers of soft loans. This could potentially develop into a relevant project in Bangladesh”, says Rene T. Andersen from NE. The Embassy of Denmark in Dhaka is assisting NE in their efforts and helps the new fund identify energy efficiency and/or CDM project opportunities in Bangladesh. “We are very pleased to assist in trying to get privately based CDM projects established in Bangladesh. Implementing this kind of projects will be of mutual benefit to

all.” says the Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mr. Einar H. Jensen. Economic Growth With Less Energy Consumption And Less CO2 Emissions Before ending the interview the Danish Ambassadors also raises another important issue regarding energy problems and energy consumptions in Bangladesh. “In Bangladesh everyone is talking about the need for more and more energy and power. Undoubtedly there is a need to increase production, but one thing that is often missing in the debate is efficiency improvement” says the Ambassador. “If you look at Denmark over the last 20 years you will see a steady increase in GDPgrowth, but surprisingly you will not see any increase in energy consumption and you will actually see a drop in CO2 Emissions”. Political focus on initiatives to promote energy efficiency in everything from housing, construction, production etc. is the main vehicle for this surprisingly development together with an increased understanding among every single Dane that each and one of them have a responsible for the environment.

Swimming in the Copenhagen cannels

Morten Siem Lynge B2B-coordinator, the Danish Embassy






Patricia Stevens

Electric power for all is a big challenge starting from the current rate of only18.7% of rural households having access to electricity

Fully developing the infrastructure for renewables in Bangladesh requires more than just putting solar systems on the market.


he social and economic issues associated with progress out of poverty (targets of the Millennium Development goals) - such as education, health care, clean water, and child and maternal mortality - are interconnected. While there are multiple approaches to accomplish the goal of poverty alleviation, a fundamental component impacting all affected areas is access to modern, clean electricity. In fact, the World Bank has shown a direct correlation between energy consumption and quality of life, as measured by the Human Development Index, which takes into account educational achievement, life expectancy and income. This is because practically every feature of development requires energy consumption and is improved with access to modern energy. Bangladesh, with a total population of 130.1 million, has ‘game changing’ long-term energy policy decisions to make. Natural gas is the only significant source of commercial energy and accounts for almost 75% of commercial energy consumption. The largest gas consumers are the power and fertilizer industries, which account for around 70% of daily production. Current supply capacity of 1,450 MMcf/d, however, is insufficient to meet the projected growth in demand; gas consumption, currently at 1,400 MMcf/d, is expected to grow at a rate of 10% per annum. With natural gas virtually the only national, and finite, fossil fuel resource available for energy, Bangladesh must plan now for the infrastructure of the future. It may not be advisable to build a country’s energy infrastructure on resources with a remaining commercial lifespan of only a few decades. An alternative is to import costly resources from neigh-

bors or distant countries at great expense. Because of the limited supply and rising demand for fossil fuels in the developed and developing world alike, the respective prices for fossil fuels, already in the range of around 60€ per barrel, the foreign currency reserves needed to finance Bangladesh’s electric energy supply become itself a limiting factor for economic development. What makes this a winnable challenge if Bangladesh plans correctly, is that Bangladesh sits in a tropical sunbelt, with extensive coasts and abundant rainfall — a scenario calling out for the clean energy solutions of solar, offshore wind, biomass and hydro to generate electricity. At this moment, Bangladesh is desperate to fulfill its power needs. The key is to do so without intensifying the effects of climate change, which is a priority for the people of Bangladesh who know all too well what rising seas and more frequent storms can do to their coastal nation. According to the Government of Bangladesh, “Energy is one of the most important ingredients required to alleviate poverty, realise socio-economic and human development.” To this end, the Government of Bangladesh (GOB), which has established a goal of providing electrical power to all its citizens, not just the commercial sector, has lifted import duty and value-added tax from solar Photovoltaic (PV) and wind turbines

since 1998. Solar PV programs driven by different government organizations are basically subsidized and at present, under the Biogas Pilot Plant Project, the GOB gives 7,500 Taka ($1U.S. = 69 Taka) for the family size biogas plant (Islam, 2005). Different financial mechanisms are presently available only for a solar home system (SHS). There are mainly three types: 1) fee for service option, implemented by Rural Electrification Board (REB) only, 2) option for credit, implemented by all NGOs, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and 3) cash sell by Grameen Shakti (an NGO). Electric power for all is a big challenge starting from the current rate of only18.7% of rural households having access to electricity. The task is even more challenging by the fact that 7585% of the population live in rural areas. Renewable energy is a key component of the Government’s initiative, and Bangladesh has already made impressive gains in reaching those rural populations. Demonstrating the government's commitment to encourage the use of renewable energy, a 21.6 kilowatts peak capacity PV system was installed at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in November 2009. It is the country's single largest solar system so far. The challenge with using renewable resources is always the question of how far from the grid. In many rural areas, people live too far from the main electrical grids to make that connection reliable or affordable. Without access, these families are forced to rely on more expensive–and nonrenewable–energy options such as kerosene or batteries. Even with 400,000 new households gaining access to electrici t y e v e r y y e a r, a n

i m p r e s s i v e achievement, it could take another 40 years for all the people of Bangladesh to have power at this rate.

sumers and village cooperatives interested in purchasing such systems. By shifting a portion of their monthly energy budget away from kerosene and batteries, families The Renewable could afford modEnergy & Rural est investments in Electrification more reliable Project 20—40 watt solar To help speed that home systems. process in recent That’s enough to years, several interprovide lighting at national organizanight, help pump tions, in conjuncclean water, or Bangladeshi women installing a solar power system for rural farmers tion with local refrigerate critical NGO and commum e d i c i n e s . Committee, the country’s largest nonnity-based organizations, have assisted governmental organization (NGO). Payback periods on the loans varied Bangladesh to meet their goals. In Highlighting a key of successful devel- from one to three years, and past expe2005, the Government of Bangladesh opment projects, both of these indige- rience has shown that even the poorest undertook an ambitious effort with the nous organizations were active part- households make very reliable partGlobal Environment Facility (GEF), the ners in a program managed by IDCOL ners. To date, the vast majority of World Bank and Bangladesh’s that installed more than 25,000 solar IDCOL’s partner organizations are Infrastructure Development Company home systems in two years. They reporting a better than 98% payment Limited (IDCOL), the state-owned non- played a key role in the crucial financ- rate on loan installments. This then can banking financial institution, to ing component. serve as a ‘best practices’ model for increase the spread of off-grid, renewaccelerating the process of rural electriable energy technologies, such as solar The way the project worked was by fication. home systems. This decentralize combining a GEF grant with a line of Building Institutional Capacity approach is fast and less expensive rel- credit to microfinance institutions and ative to extending the grid. The NGOs to purchase solar home systems. Fully developing the infrastructure for Renewable Energy and Rural Expanding the number of NGOs renewables in Bangladesh requires Electrification project sought to reduce engaged in providing energy services more than just putting solar systems on barriers to the use of these climate- facilitated a more extensive outreach. the market. It’s worth underscoring that friendly energy systems and grow the Another such partner is Upakulio it was the partnership between the market for renewables. It helped build Biddutayan O Mohila Unnayan Samity international organizations and the essential capacity through access to (UBOMUS), a women’s cooperative national and local organizations such financing, business skills, training and based in a very remote area of the that the later two benefited from traintechnical skills, institutional capacity Barisal District. UBOMUS is one of five ing in business and technical skills that and consumer awareness. The goal of partner organizations that joined in this marks the lasting success of the proconnecting 50,000 households with effort. These organizations, in turn, pro- gram. The critical component of solar home systems was accomplished vided small loans to individual con- removing the barriers to widespread use of renewable systems was three years ahead of schedule. through building the skills of partner Installed Capacity organizations as mentioned above. Improving Access to Financing & Solar 7.5 MW/150,000 SHS As demonstrated in servicing the Building Business Skills (Approximate estimation) financing, support for Bangladeshi The success of the Renewable Energy Biogas 25283 Nos. institutions to overcome major marand Rural Electrification project was 2.8 MW ket barriers has been essential to sucdue in no small part to the fact that it Wind turbine cess in rural electrification. cooperated with and built on the Micro-hydro 10 kW Institutions included in the project in tremendous efforts of such national addition to community-based organiorganizations as Grameen Shakti, a (Source: IDCOL, 2007; REIN, 2007) subsidiary of the Grameen Bank, and Table 1: Summary of Renewable Energy Technology zations and NGOs, were rural electricity cooperatives patterned after the Installation in Bangladesh the Bangladesh Rural Advancement

US rural cooperatives (developed in conjunction with USAID), microfinance institutions and private-sector groups.

SELCO: SELF founded India's Photovoltaic Electrification, Pvt., Ltd. (SELCO). With initial funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, In these countrySELCO was estabwide development lished in 1995 to efforts of The market, install, and Renewable Energy service Solar and Rural Home Systems Electrification proj(SHS) in south ect, a key instituIndia under the tion has been the direction of R u r a l Managing Director Electrification H. Harish Hande. Solar PV system in remote rural household of Bangladesh Board, which funcSELCO has tions as a quasiachieved internacent bulbs. The Government's longregulator and financial manager of the term objective is to replace all incan- tional recognition as the first company rural electricity program. descents with 30 million CFLs. to concentrate on marketing and servOne role of GEF was to provide techni- "Replacing these lamps, which will be icing SHS in the rural Indian market. cal assistance for financial restructur- free of charge for residential con- ing, monitoring and evaluation, and sumers, is expected to reduce the peak The National Rural Electric environmental safeguards for the REB. demand by about 360 MW," said Cooperative Association (NRECA): Raihan Elahi, Senior Energy Specialist NRECA International Programs has proRecent Signs of Development Support and Task Leader for the project. While vided people in developing countries According to Mark Butkus writing in not a rural electrification component, with access to safe, reliable, and, August 12, 2009, relief in overall energy demand helps able electricity. www.nrecainternation“Bangladesh to receive an additional conserve resources to the benefit of the s $130 million for rural energy project,” entire county. Barefoot College out of India: The the World Bank has approved $130 Barefoot College has been pioneering Benefiting from the million in financing to support rural solar electrification in rural, remote, Experience of Others access to energy in Bangladesh. This new funding builds on the Rural Experience in rural electrification in non-electrified villages, since 1989. Electrification and Renewable Energy other countries may be relevant to The College has demystified solar techDevelopment Credit and is targeted Bangladesh. In addition to support from nology and is decentralizing its appliinternational agencies and the already cation by making it available to poor toward three programs: neglected communities. mentioned highly successful indige- and solar home systems in rural areas, nous Grameen Shakti, other organiza- compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) and tions that represent the decentralized, The relation between energy access in additional energy distribution netbottom-up approach are rural areas and indicators for rural works. The Solar Electric Light Fund - SELF development is well established. The plan in Bangladesh is to provide mission is to provide solar power and Utilizing Bangladesh’s abundant electricity to 300,000 households wireless communications to a quarter renewable resources can lead directly through solar home applications. of the world’s population living in ener- to improvements in job creation, "Many of these households in poor gy poverty. income levels, poverty reduction, areas are too remote to connect to the access to agricultural production, electricity grid and would never “Solar-powered drip irrigation systems social services, health, climate change receive electricity through convention- significantly enhance household and environmental quality. al electrification methods," states Rob incomes and nutritional intake of vilFloyd, Acting World Bank Country lagers in arid sub-Saharan Africa, EP Director for Bangladesh. according to a new Stanford University In areas of the country with the highest study to be published in the electricity demand, 10 million CFLs Proceedings of the National Academy Patricia Stevens Director, Village Project Website will be distributed to replace incandes- of Sciences (PNAS).”


Engr. A. K. M. Shamsuddin

Coal mining countries in the world have their own Coal Mine Act, Coal Mine Regulations & Rules for the development & operation of coal mines



arapukuria Coal Mine and Maddhapara Granite Mine are in operations without Bangladesh Coal Mine Act and Regulations and Bangladesh Metaliferrous Mine Act and Regulations. Coal mining countries in the world have their own Coal Mine Act, Coal Mine Regulations and Rules for the development and operation of coal mines. Indian Mine Act 1923 and Indian Coal Mine Regulations 1926 were formulated and adopted for the development and operation of undivided Indian Coal Mines. After division of undivided India in 1947, Indian Mine Act 1923 and Indian Coal Mine Regulations 1926 were revised and amended in 1955 suiting the needs of present India and since then adopted for the development and operation of Indian Coal Mines. Immediately after independence of Pakistan in 1947, Pakistan adopted Indian Mine Act 1923 and Indian Coal Mine Regulations 1926 for the development and operation of Pakistan Coal Mines. However, those Act and Regulations were revised and amended several times in Pakistan and latest revision and amendment were known to be made in 1981 suiting the needs of the country. Mine Regulations provisions of Mine Act and set out the requirements to be complied with, from a health and safety viewpoint, to ensure the effective management and administration of a mine. Methods of meeting the requirements set out in the regulations are provided in the Rules, which are under the Regulations. The Rules Codes provide guid-

The Barapukuria Coal Mine, the first ever underground coal mine in Bangladesh, started mine development works in late 1994 and initial and parThe Inspectorate of Mines, which is tial production commenced from 1999. headed by the Chief Inspector of Due to nonexistence of Bangladesh Mines, will regularly monitor and Mine Act and Bangladesh Coal Mine observe and make examination and Regulations and since the mine develinquiry whether the provisions of Mine oper was a Chinese Mining Act, Mine regulations, Mine Rules and Consortium, the mine was developed bye-laws are observed in the Mine. under Chinese Mining Regulations of International Standard as per provision In general The Coal Mine Act and Coal of coal mine contract. International Mine Regulations provide the following Mining Consultant Limited, a British provisions for: Mining Consulting Firm and Consultant (1)Effective management and control of of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company the mine including operation and Limited, drafted Bangladesh Mine maintenance of Roadways, Coal Faces, Regulations and Rules in 1999. The etc. (2) Shaft sinking operation, (3) Fire draft Mining Regulations and Rules was and evaluated by prevention and control, (4) Precautions examined in vertical bunkers, (5) Protection PETROBANGLA in the light of Indian against accidents, (6) Strata control, (7) and Pakistan Mine Act and Regulations Protection against outburst, (8) and formulated a final draft in 2004 for Protection against explosion, (9) the consideration of the Govt. of are made under the Respirable coal dust control, (10) Bangladesh. But unfortunately the said Bangladesh M i n e Regulations and Rules have not yet been finalized and adopted though Barapukuria Coal Mine has started commercial production in 2005. As a r e s u l t Barapukuria Coal Mine is now operating under Chinese M i n i n g Regulations. And Fig. 1: A view of a permanent underground roadway in a coal mine equipped with railway track, conalso due to veyor belt, electric cables, compressor pipes, telephone cables, water pipes, etc. The operation & nonexistence of maintenance of these roadways needs to follow Bangladesh Mine Act, Bangladesh Mine Regulations “Inspectorate of and Rules – which are absent in Bangladesh.

ance on the management and administration of health and safety in mines and deals with the more important factors influencing safety in this respect. Failure to observe any provision of the Rules will be deemed as an offence and may be taken by a court, in criminal proceedings, as proof that a person has contravened the Regulations. The Regulations and Rules are intended to operate within the framework of duties and obligations provided by the Mine Act.

Protection against inrushes of water, (11) Protection against spontaneous combustion, (12) Control of temperature, (13) Control and prevention of poisonous gases, noises, (14) Safety in shafts and windings, (15) Safety lamps, (16) Safety of ventilation systems, (17) Electrical Regulations and Applications.

Mines” the monitoring and observation/examination of Mine Regulations are overlooked. These should not be continued. We must have our own Coal Mine Regulations and Rules. These should be regularly monitored by the Inspectorate of Mines, a regulatory body of Mines.

operating under North Korean Mine Regulations of International Standard under existing mine contract due to nonexistence of Bangladesh Metalliferrous Mine Regulations. The concerned and appropriate authority may take up the issue of form u l a t i n g Bangladesh draft It is very encourag- Fig.2: A view of an underground coal face from where coal is extracted by Shearer, a coal cutting M e t a l l i f e r r o u s machine. Extraction of coal from coalface and its operation and maintenance needs to follow ing to note that Mine Regulations Bangladesh Mine Regulations & Rules – which are not there in Bangladesh. present Govt. has for the considerataken effective measures for the final- implementation and monitoring of tion of the Govt. which will be regularization of Bangladesh Coal Policy. At Bangladesh Mining Regulations and ly monitored by the Inspectorate of the same time it would be most appro- Rules in Barapukuria Coal Mine as well Mines. priate if effective and concrete meas- as future coal mine projects. EP ures are taken for the finalization and adoption of Bangladesh Mining Maddhapara Granite Mine which has Regulations and Rules and establish- been developed by NAMNAM, a North Engr. A.K.M. Shamsuddin ment of Inspectorate of Mines for the Korean Mining Corporation, is now Petroleum & mining consultant




he total energy consumption in Bangladesh including gas oil and biomass is presently about 35 mtoe (million tonnes oil equivalent) of which 45% gas 15% oil and the rest is biomass. Energy consumption is increasing at a rate of 5% over the last five years. The most alarming factor is that the reserve of gas, which is 45% of the total energy demand is depleting with no news of discovery of new gas field. So increasing the efficiency of energy use (Energy Efficiency [EE]) with a view to deriving more service value from each primary unit consumed has large economic and environmental benefit. And should be viewed as of paramount importance particularly in view of the present energy crisis in the country. EE is defined as economic investments in energy generation, delivery and end-use equipment, facilities, buildings and infrastructure that deliver higher useful energy outputs or services. This definition covers diverse and distinct market segments both on the supply and use side. The supply side includes efficiency in generation, transmission and distribution. The end-use side covers industrial

Abdul Wadud


energy efficiency including changes in production technology building end use efficiency in commercial, governmental and residential sectors; municipality structure (street lighting, water, waste and sewage; transport efficiency, irrigation (e.g., efficient pumps, foot valves and piping) and equipment/appliance standards. Energy conversion being always inefficient is an important area of attention of supply side in EE program. A steam turbine in a power plant rejects 60% of the heat in the fuel. A hydro power plant spills water without generating electricity if the grid demand is low and internal combustion engines waste heat in friction and exhaust gases. Such low efficiencies leave considerable room for the industry to pursue research to develope more efficient energy technology. Considerable efficiency improvement in coal-based power generation is now possible by producing high parameter steam in ultra super critical boilers.(over 45% plant efficiency ) Another example of a simple project is greater use of the combined cycle gas turbine which are more efficient because of the recovery of waste heat. Supply-side EE will involve adoption of proven, state-of-the-art technologies for poor generation and machines that have higher operating efficiencies. Very often utilities seek to implement new projects that use older technologies because of the higher comfort level in dealing with the equipment. This attitude needs to be changed. Technology transfer should be mainstreamed in all energy applications and necessary training support should be included in project design to address risks of operating error. Following energy conversion in a power plant losses are also incurred in the delivery of electricity. As less than 40% of the primary energy input in the power plant is available at the output, further transmissions distribution (T&D) losses

seem excessive. A T&D system is designed for a particular consumer demand in the supply area. It has some surplus capacity to meet the demand growth for future say 5 years. Under these conditions T&D losses should not exceed 8%. But in reality it is over20%. T&D is a significant EE market segment requiring the adoption of commercially available advanced technologies. Investments made to reduce R&D losses will easily be recovered through increased revenue. Energy use-side efficiencies are required across all sectors: commercial, industrial, governmental, and residential and transport. The technical and economic potential exists to save 20%40% of energy use in a broad range of applications, such as in motors, air conditioners, controls, water supply, lighting and efficient combustion systems. In the case of large energy-intensive industries such as paper, cement, fertiliser, steel etc, new production technology with energy efficient technogy is evolving progressively. EE programs should be undertaken based on cost benefit analysis in these industries to save energy. Some examples are waste heat recovery in paper, cement, power generation and biomass cogeneration in sugar industries. The energy efficiency awareness is historically absent in Bangladesh. If we start from generation side we would find that little attention is attached to the efficiency aspect. Power plants are of different sizes and based on different

systems of generation. We know that small power plants are less efficient than larger ones. Nowadays we must not go for a power plant below 500MW. But we are still going for power plans of capacity less than 10MW.The rental power plants recently set up or going to set up are some examples of our attitudes of indifference to the energy efficiency aspect. It is well understood that the decisions to set up rental power plants were made under compelling situation of supplying power on an emergency basis. But it is also equally true that such emergency is man made. If we come to the system of generation we would see several systems of generation are adopted in Bangladesh. A steam turbine mode of generation is always more efficient than a gas turbine mode of generation. Our engineers are fully aware of it. But still they opted for that. May be the power plants were built on some grant or tied loan and the authority had no other option than swallowing that inefficient mode of generation. A combined cycle power plants are said to be most efficient mode of generation. But it is bigger size power plants and need larger capital investment, which is always an impeding factor in our country to provide. So we compromise and go for a cheaper one at the cost of efficiency. All these have significant contribution towards casting dark shadow on the energy resource in the country. Setting up efficient power plants are not enough to maintain efficiency in the system. Efficiency has to be monitored and maintained on a regular and continuous basis. If we look at the consumption side a similar dismal picture will be available. The large industries, which are energy hungry are all in the domain of public sector. The fertilizer industries consume about 15% of gas supplied in the national grid. But most of them are inefficient as far as

An energy-efficient cement factory in India

the energy consumption is concerned. The first fertilizer factory was built in 1961 at Fenchuganj in Sylhet district. It is presently consuming about 75000 cft of gas to produce 1 metric tonne of fertilizer whereas in KAFCO an MNC owned company the consumption of gas is only 25000 cft to produce the same quantity of fertilizer. It may be argued that Fenchuganj fertilizer factory was built 20 years before KAFCO and naturally technogy was not that efficient at that time like that of KAFCO. But what about Polash fertilizer factory? A plant of inefficient technology was purchased in mid eighties even when the KAFCO was a glaring case in the realm of our knowledge. However, the authority had no option to choose as the plant was built on some grant. The Jamuna fertilizer factory built in late eighties was the latest fertilizer factory built in the public sector. It was built on cash foreign exchange under open bid. The authority got enough freedom to choose an efficient technology. However the irony is that though at the beginning 2600 CFT of gas was required to produce 1 MT of fertilizer now the same has gone to 3200 CFT per MT of product. It is a sheer example of our indifference to efficiency aspect of operation. So building efficient plants is not enough to inhibit efficiency but to keep and sustain efficient is also another challenge. Similarly Chhatak Cement Factory which was built in 1946 as AssamBengal Cement Factory is another energy hungry plant in the country though it is a small plant and its overall energy demand is less compared to the total demand in the Jalalbad gas grid in Sylhet. It was built on wet process, which is still continuing. Now the modern cement plants are all based on dry process consuming about half of the energy required than that of wet process to produce same quantity of

A view of a urea fertilizer factory

cement. Two BMR programs were executed in the plant since its inception. But the process could not be changed to dry because of the smaller size of the plant. The size of the plant could not be expanded because of the limitation of supply of supply limestone which is imported from Komorrah an adjoining boarder area in India though the area has huge source of limestone to support even a 1 million tonne cement plant. The irony of fact is that Lafarge Cement Factory which is a one million tonne dry process cement plant located in the same area is being fed from almost the same source. Paper mills are other energy hungry entities. It is more so when it is an integrated paper mill. It needs huge amount of energy to cook the fibrous raw material like bamboo or wood to make into pulp. The other area of energy consumption is in drying paper in the paper machine. In a modern paper mill the steam consumption to dry 1 MT of paper is 2 MT whereas in many paper mills in Bangladesh about 4 MT of steam is required to dry 1 MT of paper. The situation is worse in the private sector paper mills most of which were built on old machineries imported from abroad after they were abandoned by the original owners and disposed of at a nominal price. If we analyze other process industries like sugar, steel we will notice similar situation of our indifference and negligence to the efficiency aspect of energy consumption. The sugar mill in our

country consumes more than 4 MT of steam to produce 1 MT of sugar whereas even in our neighboring country the consumption of steam is 2 MT to produce 1 MT of sugar. However, the sugar industries are not bothering our national gas grid as their source of energy to generate steam is bagasse which is a waste of sugar mill. They have got more freedom to use bagasse in any way they like as North Bengal Paper Mill at Paksey which is their competitor to use bagasse for paper making is closed for long. The steel mills particularly the rolling mills are areas where gas utilization efficiency is very low. The energy efficiency aspect is very neglected in our country. The negligence is not only in the national level but it is more so at the micro level also. Vigilance about energy consumption in process industry where energy consumption is high is very important. But regular monitoring and analysis on a regular basis is almost absent. In early eighties the govt took some initiative to monitor energy consumption pattern in selected process industries in public sector. An organization named Energy Monitoring Unit under Energy Ministry was set up to monitor these activities. They were active in the initial stge. They set annual target targets of energy consumption in some selected process industries in the public sector. They monitored the performance against these targets. However it failed to provide any tangible result because of lack of patronization at the policy level and absence of definite laws and regulations in this respect though EE has large technical and economical potential. The economy does not need energy per se, but rather energy services i.e. transport drive power cooling, refrigeration, pumpig, lighting etc. EE means delivery the services with less primary energy. In developed county EE is viewed as a s o u r c e o f e n e r g y. A c c o r d i n g t o

International Energy Association (IEA) it is estimated that without the energy savings in the 25-year period from 1973 to 1998, the energy consumption in OECD countries would have been almost 50% higher which makes the contribution of EE greater than that of oil and coal. One of the main reasons that EE initiative or energy conservation drive did not meet success in our country is that there was no EE monitoring agency in our country. Energy Monitoring Unit under Energy Ministry was a name only organization without any mandate under the umbrella of law. Recently the last caretaker govt drafted an ordinance as regards energy conservation. It has to be made into law without any further delay. A department of energy conservation under Power Division is believed to be proposed. It should be a body with technical skills, dedicated to implementing national EE policies. EE agencies have the mission and capabilities to (1) design, implement and evaluate programs and measure;(2) con-

tract a range of stakeholders, such as companies, local authorities or nongovernmental agencies and (3) ensure coordination with higher or lower levels of authorities (international, national, regional and local). In some countries, such as India and Thailand energy conservation laws have been promulgated to ensure continuity of public efforts and better coordination of the various actions and measures. EE agency should have to adopt strong policy instruments to make the EE initiative a success. Experience has shown that labeling programs and performance standards are effective policy instruments which enable authorities to benefit from low cost energy savings, consumers to spend less on electricity and manufacturers to improve their products and become more competitive. Energy labels for household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners are mandatory in some countries including PRC, Philppines and Thailand. Fiscal and economic measures such as tax

reduction, accelerated depreciating investment subsidies or soft loans through EE funds may be offered to industries, households and the service sector in order to encourage the implementation of EE programs. Publicities and advertisement should be made in the print and electronic media to awareness of the benefits of EE. Annual energy audit should be mandatory in industries and service departments. It should be borne in mind that EE policies and measures are not free rather they involve a cost for the taxpayer. As a general rule, EE policies and measures are economically sound if the macroeconomic benefits of the increased EE due to these policies and measures outweigh the overall cost for the taxpayers. The policies and measures will become more attractive and effective when the difference between the benefits and the costs increases.

Abdul Wadud Former Managing Director, RPGCL



Dr. Habib Siddiqui


t has been more than a month since the April 20 explosion at the deepwater horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people. At the time of this writeup, British Petroleum made little headway with its muchtouted ‘top kill’ method to ‘kill’ or plug the leaking well from gushing oil. The method began on May 26 (only to be suspended for nearly a 16-hour period after the first ten hour of operation) with remote control submersibles pumping ‘drilling mud’ — a mixture of synthetic petroleum

and clays — into the renegade well. BP engineers temporarily shutdown the ‘top kill’ operation when they saw that too much of the drilling fluid was escaping along with the oil. To overcome the high pressure of the gushing oil and gas from the well, the mud will have to be pumped countercurrent not only at a higher pressure but also at a higher flow rate. Under 30,000 horsepower of hydraulic pressure, the mud is expected to push into the leaking drill


hole, stopping it up. Once the leaking stops with the mud, BP can follow up with cement to plug the broken pipe permanently. BP restarted the ‘top kill’ maneuver on May 27 saying that some of the drilling mud had successfully forced down the well bore where most of the oil was gushing. However, undersea pictures confirm that a lot of oil continued to leak through leaking pipes connected to the well. BP engineers are trying to plug the hole using different weights of mud and sizes of debris like golf balls and tires, and then watching and waiting hoping for miracles. The efficacy of such measures is unknown to this author. BP plans to continue with the process into Sunday, May 30, before giving up and considering other options, including another containment dome to try to capture the oil. The Gulf oil spill accident was originally claimed by BP to have been sending 210,000 gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico each day. No one believes those numbers any more. Recently, the US Geological Survey said that between 504,000 to 798,000 gallons a day had been billowing out of the broken pipe. That means 20 million to 32 million gallons have spilled in the first 40 days of the disaster. This disaster is America’s worst man-made disaster dwarfing the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, which resulted in 11-million-gallon spill in Prince William Sound blackening 1,500 miles of Alaska's coastline. According to SkyTruth, an environment advocacy group, the oil-slick has grown to about 29,000 square miles, roughly half the size of Bangladesh. More than 70 miles of Louisiana coastline are affected by the spill and nearly

54,000 square miles of sea area are closed to fishing by the Federal government, thereby disrupting the fishing industry there, let alone denying hundreds of thousands of beach-goers from spending their summer days on the Louisiana shoreline. BP’s failure to promptly stop the leakage some 5,000 feet underwater shows that it has been avoiding to consider prudent methods and technologies that other industries have been using in recent years to eliminate such accidents from happening, e.g., six sigma tools like the FMEA (failure mode and effects analysis). Over the years, with tens of billions of dollars of quarterly earnings and the “cozy and sometimes corrupt” relationship it enjoyed with the regulators at the Minerals Management Service, the oil industry has become so insular and arrogant that it started believing that it is untouchable by any agency and need not adapt itself with modern technological advances in science and engineering. It has failed to invest adequately on R&D and hire smart engineers to help it get out of the pre-1989 engineering doldrums. More unforgiving is BP’s outmoded clean-up efforts for oil spills; its technology has remained largely the same since the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989. Shortly after the leak was discovered, BP tried using remote-controlled submarine devices to stop it. That didn't work. Then it tried two other techniques. The first was a huge containment dome weighing 98 tons that would have captured the oil so it could be siphoned off to a waiting tanker. But

ice crystals formed when escaping gas mixed with water, thwarting that effort. BP was also pumping 120-degree water and methanol into the long pipe to prevent the formation of crystals of gas hydrates. (Those hydrates -- combinations of natural gas and sea water at high pressures and low temperatures -form slush-like crystals that can block pipelines or even lift heavy objects off the seafloor.) Then, BP announced it was employing a similar, but smaller device called a "Top Hat." The crews tried to position a 5-foot structure weighing nearly 2 tonnes over the leak. It didn’t work. BP said it had yet another plan -- sending a "junk shot" -- loads of shredded rubber tires and golf balls, to clog the leak at the source. The junk shot technique was used successfully in the Kuwaiti oilfields in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. But those wells were on land and, even in harsh desert conditions, could be repaired by people, not by robots working in extremely cold water 5,000 feet under sea at a pressure of 2,300 pounds per square inch (psi). All these failed attempts show that it had no clue as to how to adapt fundamentals of fluid mechanics, reservoir engineering and instability phenomena like the countercurrent flow limitations to design fail-proof systems in such accidents with the drill pipe and had virtually left it to nature to dictate such disaster scenarios. After all those initial fiascos, BP engineers inserted a four-inch-wide pipe into the broken section known as the riser, from which the majority of the oil has been leaking, and began siphoning some of the oil to a drilling rig at the

1. Insertion tube is guided into the riser. 2. Rubber diaphragm conform around drill pipe to plug the riser. 3. Hydrocarbons are lifted to the drill ship by inducing nitrogen in the drill pipe. Rubber diaphragm minimizes the amount of seawater entering the pipe. (Source: BP)


surface (see Figure). The deep-sea plumbing did not do anything to close the well, and a substantial amount of oil continued to leak at the bottom of the gulf. From the latest testimonies of the rig operators it seems that there were problems with the blowout preventer before the accident. One of the control pods wasn't functioning as it should have weeks earlier. BP said in congressional testimony that it found one of the pods had a dead battery. The crew was also supposed to pump enough seawater into the well to move the fluid away from smaller pipes on the seafloor. However, records showed that they pumped only half as much as was required, leaving the more viscous fluid where it could block pipes and distort pressures. That could explain why some of the pressure readings showed that the cement had capped the well, thus providing erroneous information to the crew on the rig. Transocean, which owns the rig, said that BP did not plan to conduct a pressure test before sealing the well closed. Unnatural or man-made disasters in the energy sector are not uncommon or unexpected. On May 27, Turkish rescue teams found 28 dead in a coal mine in the northern Black Sea province of Zonguldak, three days after an underground explosion caused the mine to collapse. Some 40 miners were reported to have been working in two separate areas of the pit at a depth of about 540 meters when the explosion occurred on May 24. Turkey has lost 60 miners in recent months. An explosion at a mine in Anshun in southwest China's Guizhou province killed 21 workers on May 13. When the Wangjialing mine flooded this past March, 153 workers were trapped underground in a much-publicized event. One hundred fifteen of the workers were eventually rescued. But accidents will happen in a country that gets about 70 percent of its enormous energy supply from coal mining. China's vast coal mining industry is notoriously accident-prone, with about 2,600 people killed last year due mainly to lax regulation, corruption and inefficiency.

In April Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia killed 29 miners. This was the highest death toll in an American mine since a 1970 explosion killed 38 at Finley Coal Company in Hyden, Kentucky. Most accidents in the offshore rigs happen because of the poor design of the drilling pipes and equipment and shortchanging safety requirements. Most accidents in coalmines happen because of the presence of methane, often in explosive concentrations. The only question is how diligently miners and mining companies will work to avoid explosions by proper ventilation to remove methane. Two other major problems with the regulatory agencies are that often times their laws don’t go far enough and that they are not enforced strongly. Only a small fine is levied on repeat offenders. These disasters have shown that most powerful energy companies do not have the best interests of the people in mind when they are closing in on the

kinds of profits that ancient kingdoms could only dream about. Even if the Deepwater leak is stopped in a week or so, America will need a long-term recovery and restoration effort costing billions of dollars. The Gulf of Mexico and West Virginia tragedies have also highlighted the need for much stronger oversight and accountability of energy companies working either offshore or onshore. The idea of relying on the assurances of these corporate predators that they are looking out for the safety of their workers and the health of surrounding communities and the environment is oxymoron. They need to be tamed, closely monitored and regulated, and constrained in ways that no longer allow them to trample the best interests of our people.

Dr. Habib Siddiqui Directs BASF’s lean six-sigma initiative in the USA

Cheap Domestic Power Not Viable


ith the increase in domestic power consumption, Druk Green Power Corporation’s (DGPC) revenue from power export is falling. While DGPC gets Nu 2 a unit from power export from Chhukha and Nu 1.8 from Tala and Kurichu hydropower plants, it gets only Nu 1.2 a unit from Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC). In 2009, 5,462.07 million units of electricity were exported to India and 1,414.43 million units sold to BPC (25 percent more from 2008), which generated Nu 9,933.35 million and Nu 714.85 million respectively. However, the domestic demand this year has shot up by 223.97 million units taking the total consumption to 1,638.4 million units creating an opportunity loss of about Nu 115 million to DGPC.

DGPC has projected the total energy generation for 2010 at 6,938.38 million units generating Nu 9,719.16 million from export to India and Nu 1,040.84 from BPC. The domestic power consumption is expected to increase even further in the coming years with more industries coming up and FDIs encouraged. DGPC had a huge profit last year, but this year, it will be lower than their set target, said an official from Druk Holding and Investments. With more hydropower projects coming up, the potential for export will increase, said the chief finance officer of DGPC, Ugyen Namgyal, but opportunity loss will be there unless the domestic and export rates are the same.



The PDB will have to buy 1,157MW of costly rental electricity for which either the government will have to provide Tk 5,000-70000
Manzur Ahmed

crore in yearly subsidy or the consumers will have to bear the brunt of much higher electricity bills



ith large populations and high household demands and industrial development needs, Bangladesh is now in the midst of a serious power crisis. Power generation has failed to keep pace with demand, and, in the last two years, increasing shortages of natural gas, the primary fuel used in 84% power generation, have added to the sector’s problems.

Problems of Power Bangladesh is under the spell of suppressed growth syndromes since decades (compared to the population growth and widening income disparity, 5-6% GDP growth is in effect lesser economic down turn and the per capita income growth is indicative of disproportionate affluence of the very few powerful and privileged) due mainly to policy constraints and governance deficiencies along with weak power and infrastructure facilities. The power supply problems started to surface from early eighties and became acute during the nineties and continued to aggravate until it reached the current crisis point when lack of power, the life line of existence, has become the biggest threat not only for sustainable economic development but also to maintain minimum public necessities. According to the government's statistics, our power demand is around 6000 MW and shortage is about 2000 MW and according to other stake holders, the current power demand is 8000 MW and shortage is 4000 MW including suppressed demand. Studies show that poor quality power supply costs the country as much as 2 percent in GDP growth each year. Manufacturers, surveyed in the World Bank’s most recent Investment Climate Assessment, estimate that power shortages cost them around 12 percent in lost sales on an annual basis. According to a DCCI Study (April 2010) at least 65% Industries are victims of acute load shedding. These are understatements. Cost of electricity not available (CENA) Assuming that the daily demand-supply gap is around 2000 MW, then there is 2000 (1000)*1000*24 = 48 million kWh of electricity not being served every day. The Power Sector Master Plan for

Bangladesh, prepared four years ago by Nexant (formerly Bechtel), has estimated the cost of electricity not available (an estimation of the effect to the economy i.e. factories not operating, unemployment created, lower sales etc. due to electricity shortage) to be $0.43 per kWh or Tk 30 per kWh. The result of these two figures is that the country is daily losing about $20 million or Tk140 crores per day or $ 7.2 billion per year. The cost of electricity generation may be between Taka 2 to 3 per kWh, but the cost of electricity not being served is much higher, at Tk 120 per kWh. Factors that have hampered the power sector’s ability to meet growing demand for electricity, among others, are; 1. Absence of earnest endeavour and policy support in pursuing energy and power sector development programmes to meet the ever growing demands, 2. Lack of appropriate power sector industry structure, 3. Sole dependence on gas based electricity ignoring 30-50% sealing prescribed in the 1994 Power policy, 4. Inefficiency of plants and its machinery and lack appropriate technology in power generation transmission and distribution, 5. Severely constrained access to capital, 6. High system losses in the sector, large amount of accounts receivable and existing tariff rates & structure are affecting the financial viability of the utilities and discouraging investment in the sector. 7. Un-economic power price turning the power sector unsustainable and commercially unviable. Quick or Quack remedy ‘Quick Rental Plants’ (QRPs) In May 2010, the government took initiative to install 13 rental power plants — four diesel-fired plants within 120 days and nine furnace oil fired quick rental plants’ within 270days -- without tender to meet the emergency needs. But the QRPs are not so quick after all, as always the first two rental power plants initiated by the government on February 4, 2010 as a fast track move have failed to start generation of any electricity

within the stipulated deadline of June 3. In addition the government took plans to add 9,426MW power to the national grid by 2015. Besides setting up gasbased plants, power stations would be set up based on coal, diesel and furnace oil and dual fuel in view of crisis of gas in the country. The government has also undertaken plans to import electricity from India. Out of these plans, the RPPs are the only beneficiary of the accumulated power crisis, opening up vistas of opportunity for some very fortunate few and the functionaries associated with the process at great cost and misery to the nation. The PDB will have to buy 1,157MW of costly rental electricity for which either the government will have to provide Tk 5,000-70000 crore in yearly subsidy or the consumers will have to bear the brunt of much higher electricity bills. The nation must take up a comprehensive power sector development plan with immediate, short term and longterm programmes as follows: Immediate Measure: Facilitation of Generation of distributed energy. Terminate RPPs and QRPs into nongas Captive Power Plants or IPPs. Establish Power Sector PPPs Power sector structural reform Immediate Measure: Facilitation of Generation of distributed energy Distributed energy resources describe a variety of smaller electricity-generating options well suited for placement in homes, offices, and factories, or near these facilities. Distributed energy systems have the distinct advantage of being brought on line faster than new central power plants. Better integrating electricity supply systems and customers can produce a variety of benefits for tight energy markets, including reducing peak demand loads, bypassing congested areas of transmission by placing new generating capacity closer to the consumer, and thus achieving greater overall system efficiencies. According to an official estimate there are more than two thousand small private captive power plants around the country ranging from 2 MW to 7 MW.

Among others, these include 159 Cinema halls and different industrial enterprises. There are also BERC registered captive power plants producing 1200MW Electricity paying a license fee of taka five lac per year. To reduce the pressure on the national grid the distributed energy projects would be able to generate immediately around at least 2000 MW of electricity at no cost to PDB within months compared to mostly failing 4-9 months time frame granted to high cost RPPs All the 64 district administrations, district level hospitals, cantonments DR camps, Police lines, city corporations, Dhaka WASA, Chittagong WASA and other bulk consumers in the state owned agencies and organizations should be asked to generate their own consumed electricity based on furnace oil, LNG or diesel in view of crisis of gas in the country. The probable large capacity base of captive and co-generation offers a sizeable potential capacity which could be harnessed for meeting immediate power requirements, particularly for peak load periods. Captive and Co-generators can supply their surplus power to the grid and to rural areas locally as distributed generation. Clustered Industrial and SME zones, Market Complexes, Housing Estates and other bulk consumers of power should be encouraged to set up captive power plants by ensuring :Low interest (<5%) funding with 5% margin and three years interest freeze Sustained supply of duty free coal, diesel, furnace oil, naphtha, or LNG, and LPG to captive power generating units to be registered with BERC paying taka 5000 fees/annum. Duty and tax free procurement of all inputs including fuel for next 5 years. Technical and HRD Assistance for operation and maintenance. Exemption of BERC license fee for captive power generation replacing with anuual registration fees which shall be limited in amount to the approximate cost of the services rendered and must not be a revenue earning measure as per provisions of Article VIII of GATT 1994 obligatory for all WTO members including Bangladesh. Power Sector Structural Reform The industry structure of the power generation transmission and distribution system should be clearly defined to ensure commercially viable and sustainable operation and development of the Power sector. Power Sector PPPs BPDB the “statutory public authority” with 100% Government ownership should function and operate as the single power purchaser, transmitter and sole supplier of power to the distribution companies ensuring there by, in public interest, overall security and safety of power transmission and at the same time maintaining complete control over the vital electricity generation and transmission network.

BPDB as the “statutory public authority” with 100% Government ownership may privatize its power generation utilities through amendment of Article 21 of the P O 59 of 1972) to provide for joint ventures with Bangladesh private sector, non resident Bangladeshis and foreign investors including existing IPPs All existing public power generating units should then be transformed in to public limited companies under the Companies Act 1994 with 55 % share for BPDB, 30% for Bangladesh private sector and foreign investors, non resident Bangladeshis 10% and 5% for the employees of the respective utilities. BPDB may take up, with the fund obtained by selling 45% of its existing shares and GoB allocations, short and long term power generation program through joint ventures with Bangladesh private sector and foreign investor participation with at least 55% shares remaining with BPDB. India, China Korea Myanmar (gas and hydro-power) are could be potential joint venture partners. IPPS and RPPS may also be encouraged to be corporatized as PPP joint ventures. ADB should be approached to fund such power projects as it is funding public—private power projects in Vietnam. Coal based Power Station: At least 60% Electricity should be generated from the coal based power plants. Public and Private sector, local and foreign joint venture undertakings having commercial presence as a registered publicly listed limited company in Bangladesh, should only be eligible to invest in coal mine based Power Stations in collaboration with the Public sector as per terms and conditions to be set out in rules to be made in this behalf. Investors from India , China, Korea

should be encouraged to invest in these projects Power distribution: Each of the existing distribution assets and marketing units of BPDB, DESA, and DESCO etc. should be converted into public limited companies under the Companies Act 1994 with 55 % share remaining with the BPDB, 30% for Bangladesh private sector, non resident Bangladeshis 10% and 5% for the employees of the respective utilities Plant Efficiency Currently the country has five power plants aged over 40 years, 11 units 3140 years, 23 units between 21-30 years, 19 units between 11-20 years and 69 units between 1-10 year(s) of age. A power plant has a maximum lifespan of around 20 years. These plants must be converted into most efficient combined cycle plants equipped with latest technology or furnace oil, LNG or diesel fuel based power plants according to the following guide lines: No new gas-fired [maximum 3040%-] power plants including RPPs and IPPs to be installed in the country. De-commission the old outdated gas based power units, as their efficiency has declined drastically, and change the fuel feed, from natural gas to diesel, furnace oil or LNG within prescribed time frame. Gas based IPPS and RPPs must switch to diesel, furnace oil or LNG within prescribed time frame. Existing gas-fired conventional steam power plants should be replaced by combined cycle plants, thereby saving one-third gas. Gas fired boilers and furnaces must set up co-generation plants within prescribed time frame. Monitoring & Scheduling of Generation Expansion Plan: Monitoring of the implementation of the ongoing projects and generation expansion plan to be reviewed by BERC from time to time and five year power expansion schedules with terms and conditions should be enumerated in consultations with the stake holders and government agencies and notified. Non-Discrimination: State owned enterprises (SOEs) including public sector

power utilities and the private sector enterprises operating on commercial basis should be treated without discrimination and are required to be outside the jurisdiction of Public Procurement Law, 2006 and Public Procurement Rules, 2008 and allowed to function as competitive commercial undertakings, consistent with the general principles of non-discriminatory treatment regarding imports or exports by private traders, as prescribed in WTO GATT Article XVII: “State Trading Enterprises : 1.* (a) Each contracting party undertakes that if it establishes or maintains a State enterprise, wherever located, or grants to any enterprise, formally or in effect, exclusive or special privileges,* such enterprise shall, in its purchases or sales involving either imports or exports, act in a manner consistent with the general principles of non-discriminatory treatment prescribed in this Agreement for governmental measures affecting imports or exports by private traders.” Supply of Fuel to Power Stations: Regular and predictable supply of coal, gas or other fuels to power stations in Bangladesh is feasible and possible only through long-term sovereign contract with the supplying countries or Internationally Credible suppliers otherwise no power project will be able to procure required funding. A National Authority comprising Ministry of Power and Energy, Bangladesh Bank, a consortium of Banks including International funding agencies should be established to for the purpose. The National Authority shall procure and build up a buffer stock and supply line to ensure regular and predictable supply of coal, gas or other fuels to power stations in Bangladesh through long-term sovereign contract with the supplying countries or ‘Internationally Credible’ suppliers. Power Transmission: PGCB should be merged with BPDB the “statutory public authority” with 100% Government ownership. BPDB as a autonomous body corporate could then function and operate as the single power purchaser, transmitter and sole supplier of power to the distribution companies ensuring there by, in public interest, overall security and safety of power transmission and at

the same time maintaining complete control over the vital electricity generation and transmission network. Single Power Purchaser: Each generating company, RPPs, IPPs including Captive and Co-generators shall sale electricity to the single purchaser and transmitting authority BPDB, based on respective fuel base, under the power purchase agreement which shall be finalized by the BERC as shall be prescribed in regulations. Power Tariff: With purchasing electricity from IPPs RPPs and QRPs at high rates, the average power production cost will go up to more than Tk 4 and subsidy of Tk 1.6 will be required for each unit of power to sell to the public. At present, the average selling rate is Tk 2.45 per unit while the production cost is Tk 2.80 - the average subsidy being Tk 0.35 per unit. As a result, the PDB will incur a loss of up to Tk 5,000 crore in its annual projected sale of 3,000 crore units in the coming fiscal year. This amount must come from the government exchequer to offset the loss. In order to be self propelling and to ensure sustainability of uninterrupted supply of power, investment in the power sector must be commercially viable and for that BERC should finalize the price of electricity, weighted average purchase price of all electricity from different fuel based generating units+ transmission cost+ distribution cost+ distributers commission, to be sold by BPDB to the distribution companies who in turn sell to the consumers at price thus fixed by BERC. Distribution: Nothing less than complete transformation of the existing generation and distribution utilities into public limited companies under the provisions of Companies Act 1994 with GOB and private sector participation can ensure appropriate technical and commercial management to eradicate the legacy of mismanagement, inefficiency, corruption and the resultant system loss. The Nation has waited too long at the cost of its people and economic development. Each of the existing distribution assets and marketing units of BPDB, DPDC, and DESCO etc. should be converted

into public limited companies under the Companies Act 1994 with 55 % share remaining with the BPDB, 30% for Bangladesh private sector, non resident Bangladeshis 10% and 5% for the employees of the respective utilities. Renewable Energy: Renewable energy has very little significance in generating bulk electricity for the main grid. Only a small amount of MW capacity can be added to the grid from renewable energy that too at the prohibitive cost. Government must not fund directly in solar and wind projects as these are excessive capital intensive and highly uneconomic. Recommendation The Government needs to focus on conventional energy developments for the next five years to reduce load shedding. However to promote generation of electricity based on renewable sources of energy, in the remote regions where there are no national grid, the sector must be exempted from all duties and should also be supported with subsidized by donour funding. . Waste: Municipal, house hold, animal and organic wastes should be converted into asset by composting and generating electricity. Nuclear Power: Bangladesh has signed a framework agreement with Russia on May 21 for cooperation in the area of nuclear energy, particularly in installation of a nuclear power plant to supply 1,000 MW of electricity by 2017. A 1,000 MW plant will cost nearly $1.5 billion or Tk 10,400 crore. Nuclear Scientists, Academics and some other national and international interest groups are the principal proponents of the move to install nuclear power plant, as it appears, for promoting career professional and lucrative financial interests in the name of meeting the country's growing electricity demand. Planning to produce 1,000 MW of electricity by in ten years by 2017 costing nearly $1.5 billion or Tk 10,400 crore is any thing but an honest endevour. In fact nuclear power plans are only the first step towards clandestine nuclear weapons production scheme. List of Countries with Nuclear Power: Canada, US, Argentina, Brazil, Cezeck,

Belgium, Bulgaria Finland, Yogoslavia, France Germay, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USSR, South Africa, India, Japan, both South Korea, North Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan, producing around 2595 Billion KWH in 2007. Nuclear power plant is not safe for a densely populated country like Bangladesh. Solid wastes of a nuclear plant would be toxic or radioactive with deadly potential to harm the environment for generations to come. Any accident in a nuclear plant will have disastrous effects on a densely populated country. Nuclear waste management would be one of the most serious challenges beyond our technical, infrastructural, operational management capabilities. We are unable, because of our questionable level of sense of responsibility and integrity, even to manage municipal, industrial, clinical wastes and hazaroudus chemicals let alone mange and dispose nuclear wastes. Investment: A consortium of Banks including International funding agencies should be set up to expedite special banking facilities to finance the projects in the power & energy sector at the marginal simple rate of interest. Government of Bangladesh (Bangladesh Bank) and International and Regional Funding Agencies must jointly underwrite power projects in Bangladesh. Foreign currency component of any project loan should be converted into Tk. at the time of disbursement of loan to protect the projects from the problems of foreign currency fluctuation (otherwise no project can be feasible). Terms of re-lending should be soft and interest rate should not exceed more than 3% of the rate at which the government procured the funds as loan (or grant) No duty (including VAT) should be levied on machinery, equipment, spares and other consumable for energy related projects. Locally manufactures manufactured machinery, products and services used in the energy sector should also be free of all duties including VAT. All bills & dues payable to the Power Sector Companies including

Distribution Companies should be recoverable under the Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913and section 54A of the Electricity Act, 1910 Power Sector Companies including Distribution Companies should be entitled to the services and co-operations of the law enforcing Agencies & local Government Authorities as prescribed in section 54B of the electricity Act, 1910 for carrying out generation, transmission, distribution and maintenance of supply of electricity through out Bangladesh and to prevent unlawful & unauthorized use and pilferage of electricity. Labor Union Activities: Labor union activities should be confined to labor welfare and productivity only strictly under the provisions of the labour law's prevailing in the country. Labour Union activities should remain strictly out side political activity and interference. Power sector should be declared as an essential service sector. Maintenance: No Investment Company can undertake the risk of investments in the energy and power sector unless facilities for repair and maintenance of equipment's and sufficient and skilled human resources and its development facilities are available. Bangladesh although has sufficient infrastructural facilities unfortunately is dependent on external assistance, external consultancy, external technical help even for the repair of a fuel pump. The combined cycle plants, which are mainly very high speed gas turbines essentially need periodical maintenance of its huge rotors, compressors etc. While the large steam plants need occasional change of boiler tubes, alignment of rotor-blades, may even need to repair the exciters high voltage generators or transformers or other ancillary drives and control equipment's. Unless the repair facilities are "home" grown, the energy sector business can never be economical. Bangladesh has all the potential within its reach, to develop and provide such facilities and services. The following should therefore be included in the policy package. B M T F, G E M P l a n t a n d o t h e r s u c h

establishments should be developed as subsidiaries of the power companies described in the preceding sections. Services, expertise and leadership of Bangladeshi professionals, institutions and specialized organizations related to energy and power sector should be properly evaluated, organized programed and fully utilized for the development of such electro mechanical services and human resources development. Energy Conservation: The Energy Regulatory Commissions should ensure adherence to the following energy efficiency standards by utilities and the consumers: Energy conservation measures should be adopted in all government, commercial and apartment buildings and markets. In high consumption sectors energy efficient technologies with emphasis on labeling of appliances should be used and energy audits carried out to indicate scope for energy conservation measures. Appliance, including refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners, fans, fluorescent lamp ballasts, incandescent reflector lamps, clothes dryers, clothes washers, dishwashers, kitchen ranges, oven, pool heaters, and water heaters, manufacturers must produce products that meet the minimum level of energy efficiency. These standards will stimulate energy savings that benefit the consumer, and reduce fossil fuel consumption, thus reducing air emissions. In the agriculture sector, the pump sets of high quality and the water delivery system engineered for high efficiency should be promoted. Energy efficient lighting technologies should also be adopted in industries, commercial and domestic establishments. Municipal, house hold and organic wastes should be converted to asset by composting and generating electricity. Bio-gas plants, should be given highest level of patronage. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) The BERC should specify expected standards of performance. Parameters

should include, amongst others, frequency and duration of interruption, voltage parameters, transformer failure rates, waiting time for restoration of supply, percentage defective meters and waiting list of new connections. Reliability Index (RI) of supply of power to consumers should be indicated by the distribution licensee. A road map for declaration of RI for all cities and towns up to also for rural areas should be drawn by up BERC. The data of RI should be compiled and published. Harnessing Regional Energy The 16th SAARC summit declaration on energy should be the launching pad for initiating the most prospective energy drive in the sub-Himalayan region to meet the ever growing needs of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan. “On energy sector, the leaders recognized the need to enhance cooperation in the energy sector to facilitate energy trade, development of efficient conventional and renewable energy sources including hydro-power. They emphasized the need to undertake studies to develop regional energy projects and promote regional power trade.” “A proposal from India for preparing a roadmap aimed at developing a SAARC Market for Electricity on a regional basis was noted, as SAARC is considering electricity trading, supported by enabling markets in the member states.” Serious talks have to take place between Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan on Regional Energy Trade including hydro-electricity to meet the growing energy demands of Bangladesh and the region in general. The government should take on an urgent basis and effective steps to conclude a Regional Energy Trade Agreement with India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar to foster and facilitate Regional Energy Trade including setting up of joint venture projects, regional connectivity and energy trade within the region and beyond. Studies have estimated that Nepal (80,000+ MW), Bhutan (30,000MW) and Indian state Arunachal Pradesh (80,000MW) have the potential to gen-

erate over 200,000 MW of electricity using steep rivers in the hilly region. Bhutan has already agreed with India to build a hydro power project by 2020 with the capacity to produce 10,000 MW. Investment for the hydro power project has been done mainly by India. India, the lone importer of hydro-electricity, has grid connections with Bhutan and Nepal. India has an Agreement (2008) with Bhutan to commission ten hydro-electric project to generate about 10,000MW of Electricity by 2020. Nepal Exports 50 MW of hydro-electricity to India Bangladesh will have to construct distribution lines from Bhutan through 34 kilometers of territories Indian state Arunachal Pradesh to Bangladesh and back to India again shal have to be constructed to bring power to Bangladesh Dhaka and New Delhi have already started connecting distribution lines to allow distribution of electricity between the two countries. US AID has already expressed its intention to cooperate in establishing the regional grid line. However, a SAARC Regional grid line will be the best option for facilitating regional energy trade. Tipaimukh Hydro-Electric Project: India’s government-owned NHPC Limited is going ahead with its controversial 1500 MW Tipaimukh HydroElectric Project in the country’s northeastern state of Manipur. NHPC had recently floated a joint-venture company with the state government of Manipur and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited for implementation of the Tipaimukh project. The NHPC Ltd will hold 69 percent share in the joint venture, while the Manipur government and SJVN Ltd will have 5 percent and 26 percent stakes respectively. NHPC, SJVN and the Manipur government signed a memorandum of understanding to launch the joint venture on April 28. BPDB should enter into the joint venture with at least 30% share out of the 69% held by NHPC. EP

Manzur Ahmed Chairman, Fair Trade Advocacy Centre,,


Matthew Doman



he Australian energy company Santos first came to Bangladesh in 2007. The company bought a stake in Block 16, which includes the Sangu Development Area, in the waters offshore Chittagong as well as Blocks 5 and 10. Santos brought with it a reputation as a safe and reliable operator, with a strong track record that reaches back half a century in its native Australia. Santos is now extending its operations throughout Asia and in the emerging liquefied natural gas sector. An Australian energy pioneer since 1954, Santos is one of that country’s leading gas producers, supplying natural gas, oil and associated liquids to Australian and Asian customers. Last year, Santos commemorated the 40th anniversary of natural gas production from its Moomba processing plant in the far north of the state of South Australia that supplies gas to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. The company today is the largest producer of natural gas to the Australian domestic market. Santos’ total production for 2009 was 54.4 million barrels of oil equivalent. The company has major oil and liquids businesses in Australia and operates in all mainland Australian states and the Northern Territory. Its Australian exploration portfolio covers and area of 133,800 square kilometres — the largest by area of any company and almost as big as Bangladesh. Its employees number more than 2,200. With a strong local base business established over many years, Santos is in the process of transforming itself through an ambitious liquefied natural gas (LNG) strategy and through a focused investment strategy in Asia. The company has an LNG portfolio unique for a company of its size. The cornerstone is the GLNG (Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas) project in the north-eastern state of Queensland — a leading project in converting coal seam gas into LNG. This project is being developed with PETRONAS, Malaysia’s national oil and gas company and the world’s second-largest LNG producer. Santos entered the LNG sector some

Santos community works in East Java

Photo: Santos

years ago when it partnered with ConocoPhillips in the Darwin LNG project in Australia’s Northern Territory. That project has been producing strongly since 2006. In Papua New Guinea, the PNG LNG project was formally approved in December 2009 by Santos and its partners ExxonMobil and Oil Search. The latest addition to its LNG suite is Bonaparte LNG, a joint venture with France’s GDF SUEZ, which proposes to use cutting-edge floating LNG technology in the Timor Sea. In addition to its LNG ambitions, Santos is pursuing a focused growth strategy in Asia. The company has built a strong and reliable production business in Indonesia, which today accounts for 10% of the company’s total annual production. Existing and development projects plus exploration investment in Bangladesh, Vietnam, India and the Kyrgyz Republic are furthering Santos’ reach into Asia. Operating Sustainably The challenges that face any company that begins working in a new country are not new to Santos. The Australian energy firm has been operating beyond its native shores for many years and today its footprint extends well into Asia. As a relative newcomer to Bangladesh, Santos has made a priority of getting a handle on the geographic, political and social factors of this country by work-

ing closely with its partners Cairn and Halliburton. The Block 16 Joint Venture considers the forging of strong and open relationships with the communities near to its operations as an essential part of the business. This includes operating safely, taking care of the environment, and working to bring benefit to local communities. The company is continuously working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of clean water it uses, land disturbance and the level of waste sent to landfill. Impressively, Santos has reduced its annual greenhouse gas emissions from 5 million tonnes in 2005 to 3.5 million tonnes in 2009 — a 15 per cent reduction. A shining example of Santos’ pursuit of sustainable practice is its establishment of a two-million-tree plantation in Queensland using water produced during the extraction of natural gas from deep coal seams. Management of coal seam gas water is an ongoing challenge for the global industry, and this solution is a leading example of beneficial use. The water is also used to nurture feed crops for local cattle. A Strong Safety Record Santos places considerable focus on operating safely, for its own staff and for the people who live near its operations. In its own words, the company’s number one priority is that its employees and contractors all “go home from work without injury or illness”.

Santos’ safety record is continually improving, and in 2009 the company achieved the lowest injury rate in its history. This result was built on strong safety systems and a series of initiatives that were implemented to improve employees’ focus on safety. While taking positive steps forward in this regard, Santos is conscious of the need to remain vigilant and manage the risks inherent in its day-to-day work, a message it is constantly reinforcing to its employees. Supporting the Community Santos has a strong sense of what it means to be a good corporate citizen. With an extensive support program, the company aims to make meaningful contributions to the communities in which it operates. This means doing more than taking a scatter-gun approach to sponsorship; Santos talks to local communities to uncover their real needs, and tailors its support program to suit. In particular, Santos focuses its support on programs in the areas of health, education, the environment, youth, art and culture, and economic development. A few of Santos’ many Australian community partnerships include Common Ground, an initiative to help get homeless people into affordable housing and employment, the OzAsia festival, bridging the cultural gap between Australia and Asia the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, the Adelaide S y m p h o n y Orchestra, the A s t h m a Foundation of South Australia and many schools, hospitals and groups around the country. Santos’ most widely known corporate sponsorship is with the Santos Tour Down Under

cycling event, held annually in Adelaide. The Tour has steadily grown over the past decade into Australia’s premier cycling event, and in 2010 achieved UCI ProTour status — the first race outside of Europe to gain that distinction. The 2010 Tour attracted worldwide attention and was watched by 750,000 spectators over its six days. Outside Australia, Santos supports communities in Indonesia with environmental, health, education and commercial initiatives. This includes planting 43,000 mangrove seedlings along the Camplong coast in East Java, helping to mend roads, install water supply infrastructure, and build health clinics, schools and mosques. In Vietnam, Santos is supporting the EcoBoat, an environmental education initiative in the World Heritage listed Ha Long Bay. As Santos’ footprint in Asia grows, so will its support of communities there. Santos in Bangladesh In Bangladesh, Santos sees a technical opportunity where it can use its expertise in gas exploration, development and production to make a significant contribution by providing energy to a growing economy. Like many countries in the region, Bangladesh’s energy requirements are increasing fast and beyond the capacity of local capital to support. Santos is working with its partners and

Petrobangla through the Production Sharing Contract of Block 16 to provide gas from the Sangu Field to Chittagong, and hopes to expand production through further delineation and exploration drilling. It is fair to say that to date the offshore sector of Bangladesh has not met initial expectations from an exploration and production point of view. Only one commercial gas field has been discovered — Sangu — and this turned out to be about half the size of initial estimates. When Santos entered the Block 16 Joint Venture in 2007, it was well aware of the difficulties experienced at Sangu, but had a belief that there would be more gas in the region — although the structural geological picture in coastal Bangladesh may be simple, the distribution and extent of reservoirs is far more complex than previously imagined. This would suggest that there may well be a lot more gas to be found — but the traps will be small and complex. For this reason, Santos and its joint venture partners acquired two 3D seismic surveys in early 2010 over the Magnama prospect and the Sangu/South Sangu area. These are presently being interpreted and it is hoped that a drilling program can begin in late 2010 to test new features in the region. Santos is prepared to invest for the long term in Bangladesh, provided there is a win-win outcome for both the company and the country. Santos’ vision is to be a leading energy company in Asia providing efficient domestic gas and oil businesses to d e v e l o p i n g economies, and to be a leading supplier of LNG.

Engineers Cangie Wu & Jamie Crowe at Moomba in far north south Australia


Pioneering Renewable for Greener Life
Tahasina Rafa


ook at this satellite image of our world at night. Streaks of light brighten up the world’s wealthiest regions, creating vibrant grids of economic activity. This two-tone satellite image tells a very important story about access — access to healthcare, access to capital, access to information, and particularly, access to power. The brightness of the lights correlates with prosperity founded on energyintensive economic growth. The world’s three largest economic blocks, Western Europe, the United States, and Japan, outshine their neighbors in consistency and intensity, while the bulk of Africa and central Asia remain shrouded in darkness. S i m u l t a n e o u s l y, there has been a severe environmental cost of industrialization, mainly the costs of carbon. Production of carbon-based electricity also causes environmental damage, such as the pollution of ground water and soil, population displacement, and the health damage caused by concentrated ambient air particles in industrial

centers. Billions of voices demand greater access to energy, while many others wisely insist that we respect our one and only natural environment. Both goals are legitimate; a balanced solution needs to be sought out. The developmental challenges are no different in Bangladesh, where Rahimafrooz started working with renewable energy nearly 25 years ago. The company believes that solar and other renewable energies can transform the lives of 75 million Bangladeshis who have no access to electricity, by offering sustainable, market-based energy solutions. Simultaneously, pro-

viding sustainable, cost-effective energy solutions for industries and corporate will promote utilization of clean energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This also creates a scope of developing emission reduction projects that will not only result in a greener environment but also award the project owners with continuous revenue stream by trading carbon credits in the global carbon market. What started as a small unit of Rahimafrooz Batteries Ltd. grew to be the pioneer of renewable energy in Bangladesh, now powering the lives of over 0.5 million people across the country. Backed by its own solar battery producer with an annual capacity of over 80million Ah, Rahimafrooz Renewable has recorded an annual sales turnover in the financial year 200910 exceeding USD 15 million. In the current context of Bangladesh, energy constraints would continue to stifle the country’s recovery from the fallouts of global recession, as stated by the World Bank, projecting a lower

A global view of the Earth at night, compiled from over 400 satellites. Photo Source: NASA

economic growth of 5.5% during the current fiscal year. In its latest economic update, the World Bank pointed out that energy supply issues are more challenging than those of demand. The estimated demand-supply gap is currently one-third of demand (2,000 MW) in peak hours while gas shortages account for nearly half of this gap. Another leading Chamber of Commerce has stated that uncertainty in the energy sector development will adversely affect prospective investment. Currently, over 65% of the country is not connected to the national grid. The government is taking necessary steps in utilizing all avenues to address the power crisis, which includes encouraging faster expansion of green energy. Since the conventional energy sources are rapidly depleting, solar energy presents a sustainable solution. Solar power has a unique opportunity in undeveloped and developing regions, particularly those with overburdened and limited electricity grids, like Bangladesh. The price of establishing power grid to remote villages, communication towers, medical clinics, schools, or water pumps, far exceeds the price of installing solar power systems. Often it costs more to fire-up a diesel generator than to install a clean and quiet solar power system with a similar power output.

access to nature’s cleanest and most abundant energy resource, Rahimafrooz Renewable is providing clean economic and development opportunities. Any Bangladeshi can relate with the concept of load-shedding. Independent solar power systems are like vaccines against these blackouts that have become a part of our daily lives. It can prevent those moments when you need to call a doctor but can’t charge your cell phone; or when your child is studying for an exam and the lights go out because your generator is out of gas; or when your manufacturing line is shut down because the grid can’t meet electricity demands. Solar power systems provide decades of clean and reliable power, and are designed to perform without problems in the most extreme weather and environmental conditions. They don’t require refueling or maintenance, and will perform as sure as the sun rising up every day. To better serve small, off-grid markets, Rahimafrooz is marketing Solar Home Systems — comprising of a solar module (from 20Wp-85Wp output), a power storage and control device, as well as energy-efficient light bulbs appropriate for the system’s specific power output. The Solar Home System can be easily transported, installed, and operated through a simple interface. This is a solution that promotes rural electrification and drive long-term sustainable development. For an agrarian economy such as Bangladesh’s, the introduction of solar irrigation has secured yield and increased resource utilization for the beneficiary farmer community. Solar solutions were introduced for Telecom BTS towers in remote, off-grid areas, ensuring connectivity and expanding network. If you look at the irradiance map of the Earth, it tells a hopeful story. The Sun shines on the rich and poor alike — it does not need a passport or visa, and it is not subject to ethnic conflict, broken infrastructure or political disputes. The vast majority of inhabited land mass is heavily endowed with solar energy. You may not be able to dig an oil well or coal mine in your backyard — or you may not want to — but you can harness the energy produced by the Sun. As our energy demand grows, we celebrate each and every morning knowing that the sun shines on us all. Rahimafrooz Renewable has already delivered over 5.0 MWp of solar capacity to Bangladesh. From largescale projects in the highest office of the country — the Prime Minister’s Office — and the Central Bank, to commercial installations for corporate and industries, and off-grid installations across the country, Rahimafrooz Renewable is powering a future where everyone has reliable access to Nature’s cleanest and most abundant energy resource. This makes us extremely proud because we believe in the power of access.

In emerging markets like Bangladesh, business opportunities are emerging to facilitate adoption of solar power. One of the great added benefits of solar power is that 60-70% of solar jobs are generated in the end-use market. Such jobs are related to on-site solar power system design, the manufacturing and/or assembly of system components, project management, and system installation. By creating reliable Irradiance map of the Earth showing average temperatures in April, 2003



Country Needs to Set up Green Industries Having Energy Generation Facilities: Barua


ndustries Minister Dilip Barua emphasized setting up of green industry in the country on priority basis to remain competitive, even enlarge its share in global market through pollution-free industrial development. “Availability of cheap workforce isn’t enough to be competitive in the global market… we’ve to set up environmentfriendly industry having own energy generation facility,” he said. The Industries Minister made the remarks while addressing a seminar on 'Application of Green Technologies in SMEs for Sustainable Industrial development in Bangladesh'. Director of Environment Management Branch of UNIDO Dr Heinz Leuenberger presented a keynote paper on `Greening of Industries’ while another paper on 'Application of Green

Technologies' was presented by chief executive officer of a US-based Xenergeia Inc Dr Sabir Majumder. Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Dr Kandeh K Yumkella also addressed the seminar, chaired by Industries Secretary Dewan Zakir Hossain. Barua said adoption of green and clean technology, and going for renewable energy and bio-fuel industries are major alternatives to ensure industrial development. `Green Technology’, he said, could be an “important approach to overcome the negative impact of climate change and protect environment.” Barua urged the local entrepreneurs to cooperate with the government initiatives on climate friendly technologies and energy efficiency and be competent to use the renewable energy for

power generation, which is central to industrial development of the country. “In the present perspective, we have no alternative but to go for environmentfriendly industrialization to save world humanity,” he said. Speaking at the seminar, UNIDO DG Dr Kandeh K Yumkella said they would provide technological support to Bangladesh in setting up green industries under UNIDO’s green industry initiative.

India Expands Renewable Energy Capacity by 2.3GW

Pathway to a 100% Renewable EU by 2050 Unveiled



aragon Agro Ltd has signed up for establishing two biogas plants to generate a total of 430 kilowatts of electricity by the year-end. The company says it will also make organic fertilizer using the slurry produced as by-product from the biogas digesters. The plants will be set up in Mymensingh and Gazipur with a total investment of Tk 15 crore. Gazipur plant will generate 260 KW. The proposed project will produce 25 tonnes of organic fertilizer a day and reduce carbon emissions by 12,000 tonnes a year, the company says. “It will give us the scope to better manage poultry waste and become environment friendly,” said Moshiur Rahman, managing director of Paragon

Agro Ltd, a concern of Paragon Group having tea-feed-poultry business. “We will meet our power demand for poultry farms in the adjacent areas through these plants without depending on the national grid.” Paragon is one of the few large poultry farms that have started venturing into clean energy at a time when unplanned disposal of poultry waste from tens of thousands of farms is causing soil and water pollution. The stakeholders said poultry industry now produces around 7,500 tonnes of waste a day, which can be used to generate up to 50 MW of electricity. Paragon expects that it will retail fertilizer at Tk 15 per one-kilogram packet. The price of bulk fertilizer will be lower. EP

he total installed renewable energy capacity in India for the financial year 2009-10 reached 16.8GW, according to figures by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. This represents a YoY increase of 2.3GW. Since 31 March 2004, grid-connected renewable power has risen dramatically from 4.7Mt during the past six years. Of the 2.3GW added, wind power accounts for 1.6GW and small hydropower schemes 305MW. Biomass and solar power take up 153MW and 8MW, respectively. In addition, India has brought 80MW into operation in off-grid/captive power generation from different renewable energy sources. In total, the country now derives renewable power from 11.8GW wind capacity, 2.7GW small hydro schemes, 866MW biomass and 10MW solar capacity. By 2031-32, India plans to generate 5-6 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, according to Dr Farooq Abdullah, minister for new and renewable energy.


Save Lives from Dhaka Death Trap
EP Report


haka, the capital of Bangladesh having unplanned growth into a megacity and without having required utility infrastructures, is turning fast into a death trap for lack of required environmental and safety measures. Over the last couple of weeks, few high-rise buildings of the city have tilted, one collapsed leaving several inmates killed and another fire incident in a building at the old part of the city claimed 120 lives. People of all walks of life spontaneously stood behind the victims while Prime Minister took mothers care for two orphan girls — Ratna and Runa. She could mother them into marriage but she could not bring back their parents as well as their near and dear ones. We as a nation come out smart and remain smart only for few days of any major catastrophe. Media create hue and cry. Smart people appear in the TV talk shows. Customary inquiry committees are formed. But, the reasons behind such incidents never surfaced. Investigations were either carried out improperly or the recommendations were shelved only to gather dust. Soon we forget, business become as usual. We hope that this time Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will make her troops work out comprehensive safety net for Dhakaites.Tax payers really do not want any such miseries any more where human errors, callousness and sometimes corruption is responsible. Let there be light at the end of the tunnel. Enough is enough for us.

There are allegations that most of highrise buildings constructed in the recent times did not oblige to building codes while ignoring Rajuk approval process. Many such structures were built on filled in soils of canals and waterways and do not have required foundations. Uncontrolled drainage of subsurface water has also made all these structures vulnerable to earthquake. Many fear any medium tremor of 6.5- 7.00 on the Rictar Scale may cause 75% of Dhaka grounded. Why not Rajuk identify all buildings and structures those have been constructed without approval and those violated building codes. Let a taskforce be formed comprising of renowned structural engineers and experts. Let all the structures, which are identified, be grounded within a given time. It does not matter

whether it is 5 star hotel or multistorey mega mall of billionaires. All must come under rule of law. The condition in old Dhaka is more vulnerable. Factories, low flash point chemical stores housed in cramped residential buildings have created menace. These buildings are constructed in narrow lanes and by lanes where fire brigades and other rescue teams can not reach during emergency; these also do not have adequate fire safety facilities of their own, do not have fire escape routes even. Following the Neemtoli fire incident, media quoting an official of the Fire Service and Civil Defence reported that more than 60 per cent of nearly two lakh small factories operating without permission have caused 219 fire incidents in the old Town of Dhaka in the last couple of years, leaving 220 people killed. In the densely populated old part of the city, thousands of families live in cramped conditions in buildings -- a large number of which also house factories operating in violation of laws. Such small factories are issued trade licence on condition that these would be set up at least 200 metres from residential quarters. In most cases, they violated the law. Hundreds of factories, including plastic and shoe manufacturing units and other workshops, spread all over the Old Town and they use different chemicals, including inflammable substances, for production, said the department. Highly inflammable ethanol, methanol, hydrogen

A melted ceillig fan demonstrates the severity of the tragic Nimtoly fire that left around 120 people burnt alive

peroxide, lubricant oil, spirit, caustic powder, adhesives and plastic granules are stored in such small factories. Investigators believe chemicals stored in a factory housed in the building might have caused the fire. The Nimtoli incident is not an isolated one. Similar, though not so severe, incidents were taking place for a while. But, the incidents failed to alert authorities dealing with the concerns seriously. At least 10 people were killed in a fire originating from a chemical shop on the ground floor at a house in Aga Sadek Road on August 3, 2008. At least 30 houses were gutted in a fire that spread from a shoe factory in east Islambagh on the fringe of Dhaka on December 4, 2008. Natural gas and power distribution system in old Dhaka is also in a dilapidated condition. There must be hundreds of unauthorised connections. In 1998, there was a major gas explosion in the area that left 9 people burnt alive. It was from an unauthorised gas connection. The wire mesh like power cables also hastened fire havoc in Neemtoli incident. Conditions of overloaded transformers are also source of accident. According to the Metropolitan Authority Rules, one needs to obtain trade licence for doing a business in the metropolitan area. But most of the traders in the Old Town do not have licence and run their business by bribing dishonest officials. There is mineral safety Rules. There is Directorate of Explosives under Energy & Mineral Resource Department of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. Chief Inspector of Explosives is responsible authority to issue permits for importing, storage and handling of explosive and hazardous chemicals. His office is also supposed to police unauthorised use. Few yeas back Office of the Chief Inspector of Explosive in Segunbagicha was burnt in a fire incident. This directorate is under a ministry, which for the last three terms of democratic government is under direct supervision of the

Prime Minister. Time has really come to do some soul searching. If the authorised directorate fail to perform their job professionally what are the remedies? Why innocent people have to be victimised for failures and corruptions of government officials? Recommendations Set up task force headed by renowned structural engineers to identify all buildings having risks of collapse, and constructed without approval of the competent authority. Once identified, these must be grounded or unauthorised sections of structures demolished. Strengthen the Department of Explosives with professionals to properly monitor and regulate import, storage and handle chemicals. No storage of chemicals should be allowed in the residential areas. All chemical godowns from Old Dhaka and other residential areas must be relocated

immediately. All factories [RMG, leather, textiles. Chocolate makers, Shoe factories] must immediately be relocated from residential areas. Massive drive by Titas Gas, DESA and DESCO must be carried out in city areas to identify unauthorised use of gas and power. These are also causing frequent accidents. Special care must be taken about gas pipelines in Old Dhaka. Many old lines must have been corroded extensively. There may be major gas accidents in areas like Mitford, Postagola, Gendaria congested areas any time. It will be safer to gradually phase out use of pipeline gas to domestic and commercial use in Old Dhaka areas and replace them with LPG.

Bangladesh to Spend $110 mln to Develop Six Gas Wells


angladesh's two state-run energy firms will develop six gas wells at Titas and Rashidpur fields to boost production by up to 135 million cubic feet (MMCF) per day within the next three years, a senior official said. "Bangladesh Gas Fields Company and Sylhet Gas Fields Company will invest more than $110 million for raising production and ascertaining actual reserves in the aging fields," said Hussain Monsur, chairman of the state-run Petrobangla. Both firms are subsidiaries of Petrobangla and the Bangladesh government will finance the program from its own funds. "The firms will start well development work by the end of this year and are expected to produce up to 135 MMCF of additional gas from June 2013," Monsur said. Gas supply from the two major fields

would alleviate the country's severe energy crisis, he said, due to inadequate production against growing demands. Petrobangla said the country's 17 gas fields now in operation supply nearly 2,000 mmcf of gas per day against the demand for over 2300 MMCF. Bangladesh's economic growth of 6.0 percent since 2002 has been creating more gas demand as hundreds of gasbased industries are being set up every year. According to Petrobangla, Titas is the largest field in the country with total recoverable reserves of 5.13 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas while Rashidpur has reserves of 1.4 TCF. Seven foreign firms are involved in gas exploration and production in Bangladesh.



Tk 61B Budget to Revamp Power, Energy
Shamsul Hoque Bipu


he new national budget has earmarked an allocation of Tk 61.15 billion for the fiscal 2010-11 aimed at developing the country’s energy sector and facing the nagging power and gas crisis. The allocation is 61.5 percent higher than the allocation for the outgoing fiscal year, when spending for the sector has been very poor. While placing the budget in parliament on June 10, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the money would be spent for new power generation, grid expansion, and gas discoveries and development during the period. "The ongoing energy crisis has aggravated people's sufferings, slowed down industrial production and hampered trade," he told the House as the budget gave top priority in an effort to mitigate the crisis that is also impeding “investment environment”. The budget was supplemented by an energy sector road map for generation of 9,426 MW of electricity in next fiveyear period with a mix of fuels including diesel and furnace oil. The allocation for the next fiscal year would be coming as part of the total expenditure needed for implementation of the road map titled “ T o w a r d s Revamping Power and Energy Sector: A Road Map.” The Finance Minister said the m i x e d - f u e l approach would increase the cost of power generation and hinted that the additional fund requirement would come from government subsidy and price adjustment of

the energy. In next 2-3 years, the production cost of electricity would increase by 20-30 per cent to put extra pressure on the state-run power companies. "The Energy Regulatory Commission may increase power tariff step by step.” He, however, said that the price of electricity should come down again during the years 2014-15 as large and cheaper coal-based power plant were expected to be commissioned by then. The budgetary allocation for the next fiscal year would be spent on expediting the coal policy and import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), floating onshore oil and gas block bidding, encouraging renewable energy generation, and fixing maritime boundary with India and Myanmar (to ensure trouble-free off-shore oil and gas exploration) as envisaged in the road map. The budget proposal stressed the need for raising CNG price, considering that the extensive use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in automobiles is aggravating the energy crisis. Muhith said the power crisis has aggra-

vated due to time consuming bidding process and inadequate response from the bidders, adding that the government has declared the power sector as an emergency sector and adopted direct method for procurement of power on rental or purchase or production basis to tackle the problem. In his budget speech, Muhith assured to mitigate the ongoing load shedding in the next two years through implementation of dozens of power generation and transmission projects. The road map estimated enough coal reserves in the country to meet the power generation requirement, but recognized that the tension over the extraction methods has held back developing the coal mine. “If the coal extraction by open method from a coal mine is economically viable, a plan has to be prepared about the rehabilitation of the people of that area and ensure their livelihood, preserve the environment and infrastructure as well,” it said. The road map aims at mitigating ongoing gas crisis through importing LNG in next two years and building two LNG terminals to handle import of 500 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) capacity. The country's on-going gas crisis is around 300 to 500 MMCFD. The steps to be taken under the energy sector road map are: -Providing policystrategic and financial support to wind-mill power generation; Encouraging setting up of Bio-

Finance Minister AM A Muhith presents the national budget 2010-11 in parliament, giving highest priority to energy sector development


digester Plant; Encouraging the establishment of

solar panel producing industry; Providing adequate investment in

CNG Price Hike may Cause Sufferings to People
Roksana Yasmin

power sector enterprises; Fixing maritime boundary with India and Myanmar; Reducing the tendency of quick withdrawal of invested money of international oil companies under Production Sharing Contract (PSC); and -Determining rational price to ensure sustainable development of energy sector. Muhith stressed the need for increasing gas production by investing in BAPEX, use of coal resources, import of LNG, saving power through demand management and power generation from renewable sources. “It is to be noted that in future power supply under private sector initiative will significantly increase,” Muhith said, expecting more private investment in the country’s energy sector. He said steps have been undertaken to mitigate the gas crisis by 2013 when national companies would increase production by 265 MMCFD, US company Chevron by 300 MMCFD and government would add another 500 MMCFD from imported LNG. By December this year, the national companies would increase gas production by 158 MMCFD. He identified gas crisis and slow tender process as two major roadblocks in making progress of the power sector. He added that the government has adopted a direct method of procuring rental power. Under the initiative, the government has concluded contracts for installing 1,107 MW power. To improve the power situation, the minister said the government had taken measures for load-demand management. By changing closing hours of shopping malls, about 350 MW of demand was reduced. By changing the area wise weekly holiday of commercial organizations, about 150 MW demand was reduced. “By this June, 200 MW power could be saved through the use of energy saving bulbs,” said the minister.


n increase in the price of CNG is likely to cause immense sufferings to the people as CNG station owners and transport sector leaders hinted they would have to increase the transport fare if the government implements its plan. They said transportation cost of cargoes would increase, as a result, making commodities dearer while transport fares of public transports would cut extra money from the pockets of the commuters. Leaders of Bus Truck Owners’ Association and CNG Owners’ Association expressed the concern while talking to EP. The government has planned to increase the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) after a gap of two years. The price was last doubled to Tk 16.75 per unit (cubic meter) in March 2008 and there is a proposal now being considered by the government to make it Tk 25 per unit. If the proposal is approved by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), the price hike would contribute around Tk 600 crore per year to the national exchequer. The CNG price in Bangladesh is the cheapest among the Asian countries The demand for increasing the price emerged from different quarters including the Bus Truck Owners’ Association and CNG Owners’ Association. (I doubt the name). The proposed price hike aims at holding back the fast growing demand for

CNG-run vehicles, causing severe traffic congestion in the capital. The existing rate of CNG is about 81 percent lower than the price of petrol and octane in terms of heat-value. Compared to the price of diesel, CNG is about 65 percent less expensive. “The decision is unlikely to make anyone happy,” said Zakir Hossain Nayan, secretary general of Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners’ Association. He pointed out that the government has failed to ensure proper supply of gas as well as the gas pressure. The gas pressure is now 7-8 psi against the requirement of 15psiat the CNG stations. He said the CNG price hike would result in increasing the cost for lorries and public transports. It would also reduce sales of CNG, ultimately making the CNG station owners’ bank loan defaulters. “It’ll cause immense sufferings to the people while commodity price will be increased.” The CNG station owners argue that CNG contributed a lot to reduce emission of smoke in the capital Dhaka, which was once considered as the most polluted city in the world. “The government should take into account the sufferings of the people while considering the issue of CNG price hike,” said Faruk Talukder Sohel, Chairman of Sohag group.



Asian LNG Spot Buying to Remain Demand-Driven in 2010


pot LNG purchases by Asian importers will continue to be driven by demand for the rest of 2010, despite a supply overhang keeping a lid on prices, analysts and market sources surveyed by Platts said. The region's importers Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and India between them have the capacity to import 200 spot LNG cargoes a month. The key factors impacting spot LNG markets this year will remain oversupply, buyers exercising downward quantity tolerance or DQT clauses in their long-term contracts, and the severity of the winter, sources said. DQTs allow LNG buyers to reduce or increase term deliveries by 5-10% of contracted volumes for a specific year. "The price differential between spot and term cargoes remains very wide so I would expect all buyers to apply DQTs and leave room for some spot cargoes," said Tony Regan, principal consultant at Singapore-based energy consultancy Tri-Zen. "South Korea has always contracted less than it needs, to leave room for a significant spot tranche and Japan seemed to be trying to do the same last year," Regan noted. Meanwhile, since Taiwan started up a second LNG import and regasification terminal at Taichung with a capacity of 3 million mt/year in April 2009, it can take in more LNG, Regan said. "But I don't expect any of these to be significant spot buyers over the next few months," Regan added, referring to all the Asian importers. The global LNG market would have seen oversupply and depressed prices this year even if buyers had not exercised DQT clauses, said Chris Holmes, vice-president at consultancy Purvin &

Gertz. "Obviously, if DQT is exercised, then these volumes will probably appear as spot supply, with the result that even more volume is available for spot trade," said Holmes. "This will lead to higher spot demand as a lower proportion of demand will be covered by term supply." So far this year, Asian spot LNG buying has been muted, Tri-Zen's Regan pointed out. "Asia is not taking more [spot LNG] and the region's first quarter imports this year were the same as Q1

2009," he said. "We might see a few spot cargoes traded in Asia in Q2, a few more in Q3, and perhaps around 20 in Q4. But if it's a mild winter, then we may not hit that level," Regan added. India could be an active spot LNG buyer if it continues to suffer bouts of disruption in domestic gas supply, Holmes said. The country often turns to the spot market in the event of major disruptions in domestic production. EP Desk

$100m ADB Loan for Building CrossBorder Power Grid


he Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$100 million loan for building a cross-border power grid between Bangladesh and India to facilitate electricity trading, officials said. The 400 kilovite (kv) grid interconnection project, which will connect Bheramara with Baharampur on the Indian side, is designed to bring in electricity from the neighbouring India as Bangladesh is experiencing severe electricity outages. "ADB's support is crucial to accelerate our effort to import power. It will also help strengthen Indo-Bangla relations," a senior official at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) said. The demand of electricity has been growing at 7.0 per cent since 1990, but supply has not matched with that. The ERD official said the government side is expected to open talks with the

bank sometime in July, while the ADB's board approval is scheduled for August. The Manila lender's firm commitment came last week when its technical team wrapped up a two-week mission in the city. Officials said the proposed lending will include financing of the transmission and substation components of the project to be implemented by Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd. (PGCB) and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL). Ruhul Amin, managing director at the PGCB, said tender evaluation for the transmission and substation packages was going on and the work would be awarded by July. If established, officials are hopeful that the two-nation grid would have the capacity to transmit 500 megawatts of electricity from India to Bangladesh in the first phase.



Smart Electricity

Efficient Power for a Sustainable World
Brice Koch, Bazmi Husain


sobering fact today is that coal fuels more than 40 percent of the world’s electric supply, making electricity generation the single largest and fastest rising contributor to CO2 emissions. This fact combined with the growing need for electricity is driving a fundamental and exciting change in the electrical industry. To successfully address the challenges new solutions are needed along the electrical value chain — generation must increase but at the same time contribute less to greenhouse gas emissions. Transmission, distribution and consumption of electrical energy must become more efficient. Today, the way electrical energy is generated, transported and used is not efficient enough. Inefficiencies along the whole value chain lead to around 80 percent of losses from the primary ener-

gy sources to the useful consumption of electricity. Although the growth rate of renewable energy generation is high, the contribution of renewable energy in the overall energy mix is still quite small. Renewable energy, especially that originating from intermittent and variable sources (eg, wind and solar) pose additional challenges. Not least of these is availability, which highlights the need for energy storage as well as systems to coordinate available sources of power generation with sinks of consumption. To integrate the growing amount of renewable energy generation and, at the same time, significantly improve efficiency along the value chain, requires massive changes in the whole electrical system and the way it should be structured and operated. This future evolving system has been coined by the term “smart grid”. Smart Grids The future electrical system (or smart

grid), must be designed to meet four major requirements of the global society: — Capacity — Reliability — Efficiency — Sustainability Capacity As long as societal will does not limit the growth of energy consumption, it is expected that the consumption of electrical energy will grow substantially in the future. If the forecast of the International Energy Agency holds, it means that we will need to add one 1 GW power plant and related grid infrastructure every week for the next 20 years. The future electric system must cope with this capacity increase in an economic way. Reliability The larger the amount of electricity transported the closer the system will operate to its stability limit. Yet black

outs or even smaller disturbances are becoming increasingly unacceptable. Reliability of the electrical system has always been a priority to engineers and has improved dramatically over the last few decades. Nevertheless, electricity interruptions are still a real risk. Dramatic events such as massive rolling blackouts that can cut a whole country from its electricity supply are only the small tip of a far larger iceberg. It is the large number of short disturbances that contribute to significant economic disadvantages. A recent study performed for the United States reported that unreliable electrical systems cost $80 billion annually. A more reliable electrical supply not only helps the economy and improves the quality of life, but it also has a positive influence on climate change. If an electrical system can safely handle and stabilize grid disturbances, then that system will require fewer generating plants available in reserve. This means lower emissions. Energy Efficiency Projections by the International Energy Agency show that using energy more efficiently has a greater potential to curb CO2 emissions over the next 20 years than all the other options put together. Yet out of the financial sector’s $119 billion invested in clean energy around the world in 2008, just $1.8 billion was spent on improving energy efficiency, according to a study by the UN Environment Program and New Energy Finance. The reluctance to invest in energy efficiency is surprising. Investments can usually be recouped through lower energy costs in less than two years, and under other circumstances, businesses would normally leap at such prospects of rapid returns. A major obstacle is a lack of knowledge in private households, companies or public authorities concerning energyefficient equipment. This challenge is further compounded by the variety of available options. Another obstacle is a lack of incentives. Why should a landlord invest in energy efficiency if the tenant will reap the

benefits? Why should a purchasing manager spend more of his budget on efficient equipment if the savings all go to the department that pays the electricity? In addition, energy efficient solutions are rarely photogenic, and many have obscure names. Variable-speed drives, which raise the efficiency of electric motors, sit in plain metal boxes, belying the fact that their energy saving potential is many times greater than the much touted compact fluorescent light bulb. The drive systems installed by ABB alone save as much as 170 million metric tons of CO2 every year globally. This corresponds to 20 percent of all emissions in Germany. The European Union took an important step in June 2009 when it set efficiency standards for most of the electric motors used in industrial applications. The move was barely noticed, yet it is expected to save 135 billion kilowatthours per year by 2020. That is three times more than the savings expected from phasing out incandescent light bulbs in the European region and equals more than Sweden’s total electric power consumption (which in 2007 amounted to 132 billion kWh). Sustainability Generating electricity with solar, wind, wave or geothermal energy is without doubt a powerful way to avoid CO2 emissions. There is hope that with improving technology, better conversion efficiency and sinking production costs, the contribution of such sources to the future energy mix will increase. Hydropower is the traditional CO2 free source of electrical energy and according to the IEA this will continue to be the case for the next 20 years. Generating electricity in this way is one task; the other equally important requirement is to connect it to the electrical grid. Huge distances have to be bridged to carry electrical power from hydropower plants to the centers of consumption. In China, for example, bulk power is being transported more than 2,000 km with low transmission losses.

Intermittent wind-power generators pose another challenge on grid stability and the need for additional reserves, but adequate technology is also required to connect them from remote places far offshore. Energy storage will ultimately help to overcome the issues of intermittency and HVDC cable technology is the way to cross the sea. The final influence, however, is the end consumer who decides how much and in which way he wants to consume energy. At the present energy costs and in view of the difference between high and low tariffs, the incentives to save energy or use it at times of lower cost are limited. Technology could provide greater transparency regarding consumption at any moment in time and its associated cost to the consumer. The resulting demand response relationship between generators and consumers makes a further contribution to the reduction of the required generating reserve. ABB has the full portfolio of products, systems and services to further improve and develop the electrical system. Wide area control systems, flexible AC transmission systems, substation control, HVDC systems, cable connections, distribution control and lowvoltage systems address the grid. Drive systems, efficient devices and a broad application of process control technologies help to in- crease the efficiency in industrial and commercial applications. Building automation and control is another area with energy saving potential served by ABB. ABB meters and the connected communication technology that facilitates demand-response interactions and the software to operate energy markets is in use in many locations worldwide. ABB is committed to lead further development of smart electricity, providing efficient power for a sustainable world.

EP Desk; Source ABB


Want Growth and Peace?Go for Power!


e know how vulnerable our power sector is to small accidents or technical glitches. Consider the gas fields in Bangura and Sangu which were shut down first and 2nd week of June for technical glitches. That meant a crucial shortfall in the supply of gas to power stations. That led to cut in power generation forcing the authorities to resort to power cuts.

soon as possible; get damaged gas fields back to operation the soonest and keep the supply steady and stable. Or else risk more power-related violence from irate World Cup fans. Power officials are urging fans to have patience and asking users to be judicious in the use of air conditioners when the WC matches are on. Let's wait and see what happens next. But the next big thing should be a steady implementation of the government's big plans about power generation and its transmission. Focus is being made not only on generation of electricity but also boosting production of energy such as gas and coal. The national budget placed in the Parliament by Finance Minister AMA Muhith has a glimpse of what the government is aiming at. The money proposed in the upcoming 2010-11 national budget is more than Tk. 6,000 crore, up by 60 percent than what was spent in the power sector last fiscal. Shortage of natural gas (it is widely used in power generation) is one of the many problems the government is try-

ing to sort out in the mid-term solution. The current shortage of natural gas a day is estimated at 300 to 500 MMCFD. When gas goes down it takes the power down with it. So, production of more energy should be in the government list of immediate tasks. The finance minister knows it more than any one else. So, when natural gas is in short supply he points to the reserve of coal that we have in the north. Coal can save us from our power plight. It is, however, easier said than done. Extraction of coal is out of question until we have a sound coal policy. Until the policy is in place and extraction of coal actually goes under way, the government is going for some quick-fire measures: rental power and peaking power plants; the possibility of importing electricity from neighbouring India. The rental power brings with it higher price for electricity. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government is still going for it. That is because the government realizes too well that its plan to gain a 6.7 economic growth next fiscal year will be impossible if power problem is not solved. So, the government is in a hurry. Get electricity at whatever cost and get the engine of growth running. Go, Go for power! It's power which can make or break power.

The power plight did not end there. To compound the crisis three units of Ashuganj Power Plant (generation capacity: 390 MW) went out of order due to technical problems. The power came at a very crucial time: the outages have interrupted the live telecast of World Cup matches sending many angry fans out to the streets when they vandalized vehicles (innocent people have suffered) and attacked power stations across the country. Bangladesh has never made any international headlines for playing football. But we have been able to make headlines for a different reason: rioting for not being able to watch Argentina's 1-0 win over Nigeria due to power cuts in parts of the country. No one can guarantee that such violence will not be repeated. The problem that has caused the rioting remains. The authorities are once again trying to scramble out an immediate shortterm solution: get the technical glitches repaired as

Crazy world cup fans vandalize vehicles, attack power sub-stations at different parts of country as they deprived of watching Argentina-Nigeria match due to power outage




“Backs Even Corruption If It Costs Less Than Delayed Decision”


inance and Planning Adviser of the last caretaker government Dr Mirza Azizul Islam nothing wrong with the government initiative to install power plants without inviting tenders as he thinks that the tender process is not also immune from corruption. He, however, stresses the need for ensuring transparency in the contractor selection process. He is also apprehensive about whether the power crisis can be faced unless the process to extract the country’s coal resources starts immediately.

The noted economist made the observations in an exclusive interview with Energy and Power, the country’s one and only magazine devoted to the sector. EP editor Mollah Amzad Hossain interviewed Dr Aziz. EP: Bangladesh is suffering from an “energy-famine” situation, particularly in terms of the primary energy supply. How do you evaluate the situation? Dr. Aziz: There is no difference of opinion that the country is suffering from energy-famine at present. It is well evident as one can see the crisis in power and water supply while the apparel manufacturers informed me that they cannot utilize more than half of their capacity. They were forced to turn down substantial quantity of export orders, as a result. From the economic point of view, there is a perception that the export earnings slowed down due to global recession, but the sluggish exports were mainly due to the energy crisis. “Famine is an appropriate word (in this situation).” EP: The political governments have so far failed in taking decision in extracting coal as the alternative primary energy. Would you explain why the last caretaker government could not take decisions in this regard? Why the CG failed to sign any PSC to explore offshore gas and oil?

Dr Aziz: we all know that we need primary energy like fuel oil, gas, coal and atomic energy for power generation. Fuel oil is completely import-dependent while gas reserves and production are not satisfactory. We have enough coal resource, which needs to be extracted. We have to formulate a policy to extract coal, but the policy has now become like a “ping pong ball”. The last caretaker government had finalized a draft on the policy, but we found it as a “hybrid policy” due to accommodating opinions from different quarters. The draft policy has not been attractive to investors that prompted the CG not to adopt the policy. Coal extraction is a sensitive issue and, as a result, an unelected government thought that it would not be appropriate for them to take a decision in this regard. We did not approve the coal policy. I think, it is ralatively easier for the government that came into power with a huge mandate. “As soon as the present government takes decision, it would bode well for the government as they would yield result of the decision during their tenure.” While presenting the budget, the Finance Minister mentioned about Barapukuria coal mine, but not a single word about the Phulbari coal project. “I think, it would have been better for them, who live in the capital, to resist open pit mining of coal if they were in caves.” EP: Why do you think the so-called coal policy is a barrier to extracting coal despite having laws and regulations for mining of coal and other mineral resources? Dr. Aziz: It is true that there are laws and rules and regulations in this regard, but there are some other problems. The challenges include which method would be applied to extract coal, what could be done to rehabilitate affected people,

Dr Mirza Azizul Islam

I want to make it clear that the corruptor must be tried, but at the same time, there should be a punishment system if the country’s interest is affected for not taking time-befitting and appropriate decisions.

whether the land would be reclaimed and how the environmental challenges could be faced. The proposed coal policy should address the issues. However, there is no obstacle to extract coal without the policy, but it should be kept in mind that the interests of the affected people should not be compromised under any circumstances. EP: How do you rate the 17-month performance by the present government in developing the energy sector? Dr. Aziz: We cannot blame a new government for their delay in extraction of coal as they need some time to decide the policy. They have also undertaken positive steps like declaring power sector as an emergency service and waived Public Procurement Regulation (PPR) to facilitate development of the sector. “It’s a

good initiative, I should say.” However, in don’t think only the PPR can help avert corruption, but what is important is monitor whether corruption is really taking place. It’s also true that those who are out to indulge in corrupt practices will find one way or another to do so. In recent times, we can see that the decisions in this regard were being delayed on apprehension of corruption charges. If we undertake an analysis, we would see that the loss of not taking a decision would be much higher than the loss to be incurred due to corruption. “In this case, we need to take the decision and ensure close monitoring whether the project works were going on in a time bound manner. In response to criticism that the waiver of the PPR would unleash corruption, I told them that it would simplify procurement process. I want to make it clear that the corruptor must be tried, but at the same time, there should be a punishment system if the country’s interest is affected for not taking time-befitting and appropriate decisions. A system should also be introduced in the administrative system for rewarding for appropriate and timely decisions. EP: How will you justify the Finance Minister’s statement that the present energy-famine is due to lack of initiative during the last seven years? Dr. Aziz: There is no doubt that the extent of power generation during the period has been inadequate as compared to the rising demand. But, it’s not appropriate that there was no development as around 325 MW of electricity was added to the national grid during the tenure of the caretaker government while the government had approved many plans to add further 1,177 MW by June 2010. The plants under the approved projects have not been completely commissioned yet. One should keep in mind that only increasing the production is unlikely to help face the power problems, and the management efficiency need to be improved simultaneously. The CG also faced similar situation of deficit in power supply, but it has been successful in producing electricity 76 percent of the capacity through ensuring efficient management. Maintenance works were undertaken timely while the system loss reduced by almost half from then existing 28 percent to 14 percent. The

management efficiency contributed a lot to improve the situation. The government should look deep into the happenings as to why the situation is getting worse day by day despite no new electricity connection was given in last three months. “There might be a big crisis in the management.” EP: Do you think the highest budgetary allocation to the sector would make a big difference? Is the allocation sufficient for meet the needs? Dr. Aziz: The allocation of Tk 6,100 crores in the budget for the fiscal 2010-11 is a positive sign, but the big challenge is its utilization. I think there is room for spending the entire money before the end of the fiscal year. If it is possible, there will also be a scope to allocate more funds from within the budget — be it from the lump sum allocation or transferring fund from the poor performing sectors. EP: Do you think it would be possible to mobilize the estimated US$24 billion needed to implement the government’s power sector plan by 2015? (Power plants $ 9 billion, transmission and distribution $ 3 billion and primary energy for the power generation $12 billion). Dr. Aziz: I am not aware of the exact investment requirement for implementation of the plan to generate 9426 MW of power, and I am relying on information as you provided. However, the Finance Minister made it clear in his budget speech that the investment would come from the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative. The fund would come from investors from both home and abroad. I believe that there will be no dearth of investment if the government starts working with proper planning to develop the sector. EP: How can the country’s capital market contribute to the investment needs in this sector? Dr. Aziz: The availability of investment from the capital market would depend on the extent of private sector participation in the sector. The private sector could consider mobilizing fund from the market through issuing shares. On the other hand, the government could issue bonds at a pre-fixed rate. EP: Do you think the economy can afford to bear the subsidy estimated to be around US$ 1.5 billion by the end of 2011 due to fuel oil dependent power

generation? Dr. Aziz: I believe that subsidy encourages inefficient use of any product or service and, and for that reason subsidy should be gradually removed from the energy and power sectors. It’s not possible for any political government to withdraw subsidy from the sector at one go. However, it can be continued for few areas. For example, power tariff can be staggered in a manner that subsidy would be continued for those who consume power of up to 50 MW or 100 MW. The power tariff may be increased for those who consume higher quantities. Development of a particular sector is not possible if the sales price remains lower than the production cost. EP: How do you see the government’s initiative to import LNG, and to set up power plants having a total capacity of 2600 MW based on imported coal instead of extracting domestic coal? Dr. Aziz: The price of gas in Bangladesh is not realistic yet. In this situation, there is every possibility of an adverse impact on the market if LNG is imported before adjusting the price of gas in the domestic market. Import of LNG could push up the gas price substantially in the market. It is unlikely the market would afford the increased price of gas. Before importing LNG, gas price should be enhanced gradually in the domestic market. In the meantime, use of alternative fuel should be ensured in the power generation system to mitigate the gas crisis. Extraction of domestic coal is the best option in this regard. I do not think that imported coal will yield good results. However, it is necessary to start the process of both extracting and importing of the coal. Import may be stopped as soon as we can start extraction of local coal. EP: What sorts of law could be enacted to compel foreign companies operating in the country’s energy sector to the capital market? Dr. Aziz: There is no scope to bring the companies already in operation, but they could be requested through negotiation as happened in case of Grameen Phone. However, the companies, which will invest in the sector in future, could be encouraged to offload shares in the local capital market, without imposing any condition. EP

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