June 26, 2024, 5:10 am

Staff Correspondent

2024-04-05 00:00:11 BdST

Load shedding increases with heat wave, fall in power generation

The power supply situation has been aggravated by the decrease in generation, triggering load shedding mainly outside the capital amid the sweltering heat.

The situation is worse in rural areas than urban territories as the authorities concerned have been concentrating more on keeping supply stable in the large cities including the capital to avoid public wrath.

The high temperature that has soared up to 38.5 Celsius degree over the last few days is aggravating the plight of common people.

Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has issued a heat alert for four divisions, including Dhaka.

The prevailing heatwave over Rajshahi, Khulna, Dhaka, and Barishal divisions may continue and spread for the next 72 hours starting from Wednesday," it said in a bulletin.

Official statistics of the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh show the power supply situation turned bad mainly with the beginning of the summer in the country in the last week of March.

After a long winter, the country first experienced a substantial amount of load shedding on 25 March when the authorities had to resort to about 200 MW of load shedding at midnight.

The statistics show that the amount of load shedding first crossed the benchmark of 850 MW on 1 April at 2 am.

"From the very first day of April which is deemed to be the start of the summer, the country's power supply situation keeps worsening", a senior official at the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said.

"Now, every day, the country has been experiencing 1200-1650 MW of load shedding", he added.

PGCB data also shows that in recent days, the highest load shedding of 1678 MW was recorded on 2 April at 5 pm when the country supplied 11,976 MW against the demand of 13,700 MW.

Last year, the highest generation was recorded to be 15,104.00 MW demand on 30 July against the demand of more than 17,000 MW.

As a result, the country witnessed a shortfall of 3000-4000 MW in power supply although the power generation's installed capacity crossed 25,000 MW.

But due to constraints and inadequate gas supply, the country always had to keep generation units of 2500-3000 MW capacity idle, said another official.

Power Division officials forecast that this summer the country's demand may cross 18,000 MW and the load shedding situation may prevail the same as last year if the gas supply is not increased.

Official statistics show the country experienced 717 MM load shedding at 10 am on Thursday.

The BPDB officials apprehend the extent of load shedding may go up in the peak evening hours.

Meanwhile, the Petrobangla officials informed that the supply of imported LNG could not be raised as the Summit Group's LNG terminal failed to resume its production.

"We think it may take 3-4 days more to get the gas supply from Summit's LNG terminal", said Engr. Md. Kamruzzaman Khan, director (Operation and Mining) of Petrobangla.

He also informed that if Summit's LNG terminal resumes operation, it will add 500 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas to the national grid.

Petrobangla statistics show the country's gas supply was 2,640 MMCFD on Thursday against the demand for more than 4,000 MMCFD.

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