Staff Correspondent: The Power Division fears a huge financial loss due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic as it may impede the growth in electricity demand.
It fears the current gap between demand and supply may rise further, leading to an increase in surplus in electricity generation.
We’re sensing a huge financial loss as the fallout of coronavirus pandemic in multiple ways in power sector
“We’re sensing a huge financial loss as the fallout of coronavirus pandemic in multiple ways in power sector,” Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources told.
He said the amount of financial loss was unclear yet.
“But it is certain the loss will be huge and I’ve already asked the power cell to make an assessment,” he said, adding that power cell will take help from the foreign consultant to conduct the assessment, if necessary.
Sources at the power industry said field-level works in power projects came to a halt with the announcement of the general holidays that began late March to prevent the transmission of coronavirus in the country.
In this case, the transmission and distribution projects will suffer the most as these are being implemented in the outside fields, said a top Power Division official.
He noted that most of the contractors of these projects are either Chinese or their equipment are coming from China.
“The delay in these projects means further rise in the gap between demand and supply,” he said adding that the government has already been incurring a financial loss of over Tk 60 billion a year due to surplus in electricity generation.
So, if the gap rises further, the financial loss will increase, he said.
“But the pandemic-stricken economic situation doesn’t suggest the demand will grow to 15,000 MW,” he said.
He said the country’s generation capacity will continue to grow in the coming years as a good number of base-load plants will go into operation.
Officials said a number of base-load plants are scheduled to start operation within next three years which include 1,320 MW Rampal Power Plant, 1,200 MW Rampal power and 2,400 MW Rooppur nuclear power plant while 1,600 MW of electricity will be imported from India as per contract.