Prime Minister’s Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Sunday advised industrial consumers of energy to look for alternative energy sources for their establishments.
“It’s not possible for the government to always provide captive power and gas supply to all the industries. So, I would advise entrepreneurs to better look for alternative energy sources,” he said.
Tawfiq-e-Elahi was addressing a roundtable, titled ‘Primary Energy: A Big Challenge to Vision 2021’ at Cirdap Auditorium organised by Energy and Power magazine.
Tawfiq, a former energy secretary, however, did not mention any particular name of the alternative energy for which the country’s industrial consumers should pursue.
The function was addressed, among others by, former state minister for power and energy Prof Rafiqul Islam and ex-caretaker government chief adviser’s special assistant and Buet Professor M Tamim and Dr Izaj Hossain.
Energy and Power Editor Mollah Amzad Hossain presided over the meeting. Its contributing editor Khandoker Abdus Saleque made the keynote presentation.
Dr Elahi said the government has achieved a big success in its target to boost the power and gas production. “This achievement has been possible due to cooperation of the private sector entrepreneurs who invested in the power sector.”
He claimed that enhanced power production has contributed about Tk 100,000 crore to the GDP of the country, and mentioned that the present government has moved to increase the gas production through bidding of gas blocks in the deep sea and shallow waters.
“Already three international companies have won the shallow gas blocks. We hope these companies will start their drilling in the sea in Bangladesh territory next winter,” Dr Elahi said.
Former state minister Rafiqul Islam criticised the power and energy ministry for its failure to prepare a comprehensive plan for the development of the power and energy sector.
“This has happened because of their insincerity,” he alleged adding that cadres of Chhatra League are being placed in state-owned Petrobangla without looking into their efficiency.
Rafiqul Islam also alleged that Petrobangla is again presenting some old gas fields as newly discovered ones, which were actually discovered in 1996. “They’ve announced many discoveries, but those have failed to produce any gas or oil,” he added.
He also criticised the foreign ministry for its failure to make a diplomatic breakthrough to convince Nepal and Bhutan to allow Bangladesh to set up power plants there and import the power.
“The Foreign Ministry is flying high in planes. How could it get success!” he quipped.
Dr M Tamim said the government should engage more international oil companies (IOCs) for hydrocarbon exploration in both onshore and offshore fields. Because, he said, IOCs have been more successful than state-owned company Bapex. “So far, Bapex has discovered only 3.37 trillion cubic feet of gas”.
He said gas exploration and production by IOCs are more profitable than gas import because if the government imports gas it will cost US$ 15 per unit, the production cost of which by IOCs will cost only US$ 4.