Prime Minister’s energy advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has urged officials to work towards building a diversified energy sector.
“Creative solutions have to be taken up for resolving the problems in the power and energy sector,” he said, while addressing a webinar, titled ‘Diversified Energy, Enriched Future’, organised by the Energy and Mineral Resources Department on the occasion of the National Energy Security Day Tuesday.
The PM’s energy advisor advocated the use of solar power instead of diesel in irrigation pumps. “If we could introduce solar irrigation pumps, it could save half a million metric tonnes of diesel,” he said.
Defending the government’s gas import policy, Dr Chowdhury said it was introduced as part of the diversified fuel-mix policy.
“It is not true that there was no drilling in past 5-10 years in the country. Rather, 35 wells were drilled in the past five years, which means an average of seven wells have been drilled in a year.”
With senior secretary Md Mahbub Hossain in the chair, the event was also addressed by State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, chairman of the parliamentary standing on power and energy Begum Waseka Ayesha Khanom, power secretary Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) chairman ABM Azad, and Petrobangla chairman Nazmul Ahsan.
‘Energy and Power’ magazine editor Mollah Amzad Hossain and Dhaka University professor Dr Anwar Hossain Bhuiyan made two separate presentations at the event.
On his part, Nasrul Hamid said that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had shown great courage by purchasing five gas fields from a foreign company on August 9 in 1975.
“We’ve been getting the benefits of the great deal to date,” he said. “We have to follow his path by showing courage in taking decisions in the energy sector.”
He also urged all to face the current challenges in the energy sector through unity and patience. “Post-pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war might not be the last one. Many more dismays may come in the days to come.”
Begum Waseka Ayesha Khanom said that appropriate technologies and fundamental research works should get priority in resolving the problems of the power and energy sector.
Habibur Rahman, on the other hand, said the government has framed electric vehicle policy to encourage use of electricity in the transport sector. “Initiatives have been taken up for setting up offshore wind power plants as renewable options.”
Modular nuclear power plants are also being considered for the future electricity generation, he added.
Nazmul Ahsan said that Petrobangla has initiated a move to drill 46 wells in the next few years, “which will result in increasing production of natural gas by 600 million cubic feet gas to the national grid”.
ABM Azad, on his part, said that BPC is implementing a single point mooring project which will annually save Tk 800 crore in petroleum transportation from deep sea to the fuel refinery in Chattogram.