Government prioritizes transmission and distribution with large allocations to the power grid

Government prioritizes transmission and distribution with large allocations to the power grid

Around a third of the budgetary allocation for the power division is going to the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB). The government plans to make the most of installed generation capacity by expanding grids and making some existing facilities smart. The government allocated Tk 29,230 crore for the power division for 2024-25, a 13% decrease from the previous year. The Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) will receive Tk 10,634 crore to expand grids and make facilities smart. The Coal Power Generation Company of Bangladesh, managing the Matarbari power plant, received the second-highest allocation.

Significant PGCB projects include BDT 1,500 crore for Chattogram grid upgrades, 2,356 crore for the Barapukuria-Bogura-Kaliakair 400kv project, and 3,555 crore for the Power Network Strengthening project. The power generation capacity rose to 30,277 megawatts in 2023-24 from 4,942 MW in 2009. Currently, 27 plants with 9,144 MW capacity are under construction, mainly in the private sector.

The Mymensingh region struggles with gas supply for its power plant. A pipeline project received Tk 1,070 crore to improve gas supply. The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will finance two electricity plants, five distribution projects, and two pre-paid meter projects.

The Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) received Tk 11 crore. The Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (REB) saw its solar power irrigation project allocation double to Tk 330 crore. Other companies under the power division, such as Rural Power Companies of Bangladesh and North-West Power Generation Company, focus on generation projects like the Rupsha 800MW power plant.

Experts praised the focus on transmission and distribution, citing inadequate networks as a cause of supply disruptions. However, they noted the low allocation for renewable energy and local gas exploration. The budget reflects a priority on transmission and distribution over raising generation capacity. This approach aims to provide a sustainable and reliable electricity supply.

Source: The Daily Star

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