The demand for electricity will rise by nearly 1,500 MW to around 16,000 MW during the irrigation season this year, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid has said.
Speaking at the Bidyut Bhaban on Tuesday during an inter-ministerial meeting, Nasrul instructed agencies to prepare for the heightened demand so that uninterrupted supplies can be ensured.
Last year, the demand for power peaked at 14,782 MW on Apr 16 during irrigation but the supply was uninterrupted as Bangladesh’s capacity to generate power increased.
But a shortage of fuel after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a power supply crunch, starting in June. The shortage hit 2,000 MW at that time.
The situation eased after the demand for cooling dropped during winter. The plants have been hit by another fuel shortage recently, leading to another round of power cuts as the shortage skyrocketed to 1,500 MW 10 days ago.
“We’ve asked electricity suppliers to prioritise irrigation in the coming season. The companies will have to figure out an alternative solution if they see any possibility of a shortage,” Nasrul said.
The demand peaked at 14,782 MW in April last year and it will be around 16,000 MW this year, according to him.
Fuel suppliers were ordered to deliver gas and oil as per the power producers’ demand. Nasrul also directed the Bangladesh Petroleum Company to buy and stock up on furnace oil.
According to a statement from the Power Division, as many as 465,456 pumps will be in need of 2,400 MW of power during the irrigation season this year.