The ongoing load shedding caused by the gas and fuel crisis will not last long, said State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid.
"Within this year, the second unit of Payra Thermal Power Station and Rampal Power Plant will start operation and 1600 MW of electricity imported from India will be connected to the national grid," he said in a written statement issued Tuesday (5 July).
He also advised everyone to be economical in using gas and electricity.
"The Russia-Ukraine war has plunged the world into a deep crisis just as everyone was recovering from the pandemic. This crisis has affected not only developing countries but also many developed countries as well. The effects of the war have made the fuel market extremely unstable," his statement read.
The state minister noted that while Bangladesh needs 1600-1700 million cubic feet of gas to generate enough electricity, the supply is only about 900 million.
"We cannot supply more gas as we have to prioritise agriculture and industrial sectors. Fertilisers are indispensable for agriculture. We need to supply a huge amount of gases to produce that too," he said.
Nasrul Hamid said the current gas production in Bangladesh is 2300 million cubic feet. The rest of the demand is being supplied to the national grid by importing LNG.
"It is sad but true that our own gas production rate has started to drop due to declining reserves in our mines," added the state minister.
The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said there was a maximum of 1,400MW load shedding at 9pm on Monday in different parts of the country.
Gas-based power plants need around 1,400mmcf of gas whereas the supply was only 882.52mmcf on that day.
Gas prices in Europe and Asia surged more than 60% in the weeks since an important liquified natural gas facility in Texas temporarily shut down.
Gas prices have soared since the start of last year, jumping as high as 700% in Europe.
Germany said the gas shortfalls could trigger a Lehman Brothers-like collapse, as Europe's economic powerhouse faces the unprecedented prospect of businesses and consumers running out of power, Bloomberg reported.
The main Nord Stream pipeline that carries Russian gas to Germany is due to shut down on July 11 for ten days of maintenance, and there's growing fear that Moscow may not reopen it.