Loadshedding crosses 1000MW: Electricity consumers face more sufferings

February 23, 2010

Peak summer is still far away, but load shedding has already crossed 1000 MW in the country, an ominous sign that more sufferings are in store for the electricity consumers in the coming days.
The consumers in and outside the capital city are experiencing frequent power cuts, no matter it is day or night. In some cases, such load shedding total 3-4 hours in different spells.
According to official sources, the country’s highest power generation was about 3,700 MW on Monday evening against a demand for 4,700 MW plus during the peak hours.
Normally, the peak summer starts in the country from mid-April and continues until end of October, and with the start of summer, the power consumption starts rising for various reasons.
On the other hand, the demand for electricity remains relatively much lower in the winter – from November to April. This year, the power demand varied from 3,500 MW-4,700 MW in the winter.
Last year, the electricity demand crossed a benchmark of 6,000 MW while the highest generation was 4296 MW in September 2009. However, the highest demand was official admitted to be 5,200 MW.
Officials at the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) apprehend that this year the demand would go up to 6,600 MW and the highest generation might be 4,600 MW in peak summer. This means, the gap between demand and supply will be no less than 2000 MW.
They, however, said increase in electricity supply depends on many ifs and buts as huge programme undertaken by the government are under implementation. If the programmes are successful, then 300-400 MW might be added to the national power grid within the year.
PDB officials also claimed that a huge number of generation units, with total 770 MW capacity, have been forced to keep idle because of gas shortage. “Although our machines are ready for generation, we could not produce this huge electricity because of gas shortage,” a top PDB official told UNB.
There is no sign from the state-owned Petrobangla that the gas supply will be increased soon, he said.
Managing Director of Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC) Ataul Masud said the greater Dhaka received about 1200 MW against a demand of 1600 MW on Monday evening.
He said the demand is likely to rise to 2200 MW in the peak summer when the greater Dhaka is expected to receive 1400-1600 MW of electrcity. It means about 600-800 MW load shedding for the consumers in the capital city in coming summer.
He mentioned that a substation in the Ramna Engineers’ Institute faced trouble that triggered a frequent disruption in different areas of the city on Monday. But the problem was sorted out by the evening.

Courtesy of UNB via The New Nation

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