Category Archives: Electricity or Power

Grameenphone to use solar to cut costs, emissions


Oct 5 (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s top mobile phone carrier Grameenphone GRAE.DH signed deals with three solar power companies to run its base stations using the alternative energy, a statement from the cellphone operator said on Tuesday.

The deal will save the Grameenphone, which is 62 percent owned by Norway’s Telenor (TEL.OL), up to 1.15 million litres of diesel a year, the company said.

“Annual carbon emissions up to 3,062 tonnes will be avoided, while millions of people will be connected to mobile networks using green power,” the c0mpany said.

Chief Executive Oddvar Hesjedal said Grameenphone was the first telecommunication company in Bangladesh to use solar power on a large scale.

Grameenphone has over 160 off-grid base stations which are entirely dependent on diesel generators and around 1,500 more sites where the grid power situation is poor.

Only one in three people in Bangladesh have access to a mobile phone, though mobile use has been growing at a rate of more than 20 percent a year among Bangladesh’s more than 150 million population. (Reporting by Serajul Islam Quadir; Editing by Anis Ahmed and David Holmes)



Bangladesh invites bids for two power plants


Oct 12 (Reuters) – Bangladesh has invited bids for two fuel oil-fired power plants to generate 150 megawatts of electricity for a period of 15 years, officials said on Tuesday.

Bidding for build, own and operate (BOO) contracts will involve one plant for 100 MW to be located at Aminbazar on the outskirts of Dhaka and another for 50 MW in Barishal, which is 300 km (188 miles) south of the capital.

Two separate tenders floated last week will close on Nov. 15.

Energy-starved Bangladesh, which faces a deficit of 2,000 MW of power, aims to set up a number of power plants to cover the shortfall as quick as possible, a senior official of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said.

The BPDB is the regulator for power generation and distribution in the country, where the gap between power demand and generation has been growing.

The government is working on a plan to generate 9,000 MW of electricity by 2015, the official said.

Bangladesh also seeks to buy electricity from rented generators, and so far it has signed deals with eight firms including Britain’s Aggreko PLC (AGGK.L) to buy some 870 megawatts of power for periods up to five years starting later this year.

Aggreko has already started generating 200 MW from two rented generator from August, and the firm is likely to win another deal to sell another 150 MW.

These deals were awarded without floating tenders to meet urgent power requirements. Companies charge between $0.11 and $0.21 for each kilowatt hour unit of electricity generated from fuel oil-fired plants.

The Bangladeshi parliament recently passed a law authorising the power ministry to sign deals to augment power generation in the energy-starved country.

With the passage of the law, the power ministry can also award unsolicited deals to chosen firms for the sake of quick power generation.

BPDB signed a $114 million deal with a Chinese firm on Tuesday to set up a 150 megawatt power plant. [ID:nSGE69B0G8]

Bangladesh will soon sign deals with 25 foreign and local firms to buy some 3,000 megawatts of electricity for its national grid in the next six months, a senior government spokesman said Last week. [ID:nSGE68Q09T]

(Reporting by Nizam Ahmed)


Solar power lights up Bangladesh central bank: Reuters

DHAKA | Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:21am EDT

(Reuters) – Bangladesh’s central bank has switched over to solar-powered lighting, in a move to encourage green energy in a country drastically short of electricity, bank officials said.

The bank has spent around 13.5 million taka ($195,000) on a solar power plant that will generate 8 KW of electricity a day.

“It is not possible to meet the country’s fast-growing power demand only using gas and coal. So we have to go for alternative energy resources,” central bank governor Atiur Rahman told reporters late on Tuesday.

“From now on, we will light up our offices with solar energy and spread the message across so more people follow suit.”

Bangladesh has recent taken a number of measures, including rush-hour rationing of power, to deal with a shortage the World Bank estimates costs it up to 2 percent in GDP growth each year.

Currently renewable energy contributes less than 1 percent to overall power generation in this south Asian country of more than 150 million people, barely 45 percent of whom have access to electricity.

The central bank last year launched a 2 billion taka ($29 million) refinance scheme for renewable energy in an effort to help ease a power and gas supply crisis and reduce pollution.

About 80 percent of electricity is produced from natural gas, with state-owned and private sector power plants only able to generate up to 4,000 megawatts of electricity a day against a demand of 5,500 megawatts.

The government says it is exploring various means, including nuclear power generation, to overcome the problem, which is one of the key constraints to growth.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Anis Ahmed and Alex Richardson)


Solar power lights up Rangpur, Bangladesh

Tuesday, August 4, 2009: The Daily Star Report


Sales of solar home systems in towns and rural areas in Rangpur and Dinajpur are soaring, driven by frequent power outages.

Fifteen organisations, including Grameen Shakti, BRAC Foundation, Rural Service Foundation (RSF), Padokkhep Manobik Unnayan Kendra and TMSS are expanding solar systems in the region.

About 65,000 families, 300 shops and 85 educational institutions have been brought under solar power over the last two decades.

BRAC was the first to roll out the service in the region in the early 1990s, but Grameen Shakti emerged in 2008 — better equipped.

“We are the largest solar power service provider in the region as well as other parts of the country. We meet 66 percent of the target, while 14 other organisations meet the remaining 34 percent,” said Kamrul Hoque, deputy general manager (DGM) of Grameen Shakti.

Grameen started marketing solar systems in April 2008 in Rangpur and Dinajpur, connecting 10,600 families, said Shawkat Hossain, the company’s divisional manager for Rangpur.

Grameen has sold the highest number of solar systems this year, at an average of 2,500 systems a month.

“We have sold 479 solar power home systems in four upazilas in Kurigram and four systems in Lalmonirhat since April,” said Amir Hosen, regional manager of RSF, a sister concern of Rahimafrooz.

The organisations are providing these services, promoted by Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL), which is under the power and energy ministry.

World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Gtz and KfW have been funding IDCOL since 2003 in an effort to take the services to the underprivileged masses in remote areas.

Rabiul Islam, sales promotion officer of BRAC Foundation for Rangpur and Gaibandha, claimed children’s education and other household activities in rural areas have improved with the arrival of solar power.

The Grameen Shakti DGM said new business ventures such as radio/TV repairing shops and telephone services are available in the remotest villages in the north thanks to solar power.

With increasing power cuts, the service providers plan to supply solar power systems even in towns wired by electric lines of the Power Development Board and Polli Bidyut.

Dr Isahak, a medical officer of Rangpur Medical College Hospital, installed a 185-watt solar power system at his home. He said it is better than an IPS because it can supply power for four hours a day and can easily be maintained.

Khalilur Rahman of Palichara under Rangpur Sadar upazila, who installed a solar power home system at his home recently, said: “Though we have a Polli Bidyut power connection at our house, we are fed up with frequent outages. I was compelled to install the solar system.”

Saiful Islam of Ochingachh, Rajarhat upazila in Kurigram district, said: “As the Kurigram Polli Bidyut Samiti authorities have not agreed to extend their cables to my house, which is about 1,000 feet away from the pillar, we installed a solar power system.”

Solar power service providers are selling the system at different rates, depending on the watt it generates. A customer can choose to pay at a time or in instalments. A customer wishing to pay in instalments will have to make a 10 percent to 15 percent down payment first.

Service providers have made several recommendations to the government to boost sales of these systems.


Electricity Crisis in Bangladesh

BPDB is responsible for distribution of electricity in most of the areas in Bangladesh except Dhaka Metropolitan City and its adjoining areas under DESA and DESCO, areas under West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited   (WZPDCL)  and some of the rural areas under Rural Electrification Board ( REB).
At present only 47% of the population is served with electricity and per capita electricity consumption is only 156 Kwh (FY -2009).

Presently BPDB’s distribution network is comprising of 33 KV, 11 kV and  11/0.4  KV lines.Total distribution line in the country is about 2,09,932 km   of which 29176 km belongs to BPDB and total number of consumer of different category  is about19,22,361 at the end of FY 2009.
Source: Official Website of Bangladesh Power Development Board,