Grid power to cover entire countryside

Dhaka,  Wed,  20 September 2017
Published : 14 Apr 2017, 00:21:10 | Updated : 14 Apr 2017, 09:44:45
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Grid power to cover entire countryside

Mega-plan to cost Tk 143.55b
Grid power to cover entire countryside
FHM Humayan Kabir
Entire rural Bangladesh will come under on-grid electricity cover under a mega-plan that will cost Tk143.55 billion.

Officials said Wednesday the Rural Electrification Board (REB) has drawn up the massive power-supply plan.

The rural electrification authority would connect 2.70 million fresh households with the power-supply network by 2021, they said.

Power Division officials said the REB has undertaken two separate projects, which will be the largest and second-largest ones in its history.

"The REB has taken up two separate projects to cover all the villages across Bangladesh, especially those that are left behind from the on-grid power. After completion of the project, all the rural Bangladesh will have the electricity coverage," said one of the power officials.

"We have already sent the project proposals to the Planning Commission (PC) for getting approval so that the REB could start electrification work within this year," he said.

According to the REB, it has undertaken a Tk 73.63 billion project titled "Distribution line expansion for ensuring cent percent electrification in rural areas (Dhaka, Mymensingh, Chittagong and Sylhet) and another Tk 69.92 billion-cost project titled "Distribution line expansion for ensuring cent percent electrification in rural areas (Rajshahi, Rangpur, Khulna, and Barisal Division) for the electrification in the villages left out of on-grid power supply.

Officials at the electrification board said the board had given connection to 16.20 million consumers and expanded its 0.315 million kilometres of distribution lines across the country till June 2016.

According to the REB study, they need to set up 0.472 million kilometres of distribution lines across the country for covering all under electricity supply.

The board has so far installed 0.315 million kms of distribution lines. Besides, another 80,000 kms of lines are under construction through different ongoing projects.

So, the REB has taken the steps to install the remaining nearly 77,000 kms of lines at the villages which are still out of on-grid power.

"As per the Prime Minister's plan to supply electricity for all by 2021, we have taken up the projects for ensuring electricity to all the villages alongside some other ongoing distribution projects in the country," said an REB official.

The state-owned rural electricity provider is now implementing some 16 electricity-distribution projects. Those include connection to 1.8 million consumers through rural electrification project at Tk 64.26 billion, connection of 2.5 million consumers project at Tk 12.28 billion, connection to 1.5 million consumers at Tk 69.15 billion, and upgradation of rural electrification distribution system (Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet division) at a cost of Tk 53.51.98 billion.

The REB official said soon after getting approval for the project from the PC and government's higher economic policymaking body, ECNEC, they would get down to the project work to be completed by December 2019.

The state-owned rural-electrification body has had 18 million consumers where its total returns from the electricity sales amount to Tk 11.97 billion per month.

kabirhumayan10@gmail.com
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