After setting up a solar panel, Midas Safety Bangladesh Limited is now going to generate wind power for the first time in the country's private sector in its journey towards renewable energy and self-reliance.
Moinul Hossain, general manager at the multinational company headquartered in Canada, said that their daily electricity demand is around 12MW.
By installing a total of 10 wind turbines and two solar panels at its factories by next year, the company wants to get one-third of its electricity from renewable sources, he told The Business Standard.
In May this year, the industrial company located at the Chattogram Export Processing Zone (CEPZ), installed a solar panel with a capacity of 200KW which supplies one megawatt of electricity per day to the factory.
It is going to install another 200KW solar panel in July next year.
A vertical wind turbine with a capacity of three kilowatts will be installed on the roof of the factory this month which will generate 36 kilowatts of electricity daily.
"Our factory location is within 100 metres away from the Bay of Bengal. So we have imported a vertical wind turbine of three-kilowatt capacity to generate electricity using the wind facility," said the general manager.
To set up the vertical wind turbine purchased from China's Jiangsu Naier Wind Power Technology will cost $7,000. It arrived at Chattogram Port last Thursday and its installation will begin on 18 August in unit number three of the factory.
The general manager said, "Although the capacity of the windmill is three kilowatts, we expect to get at least 1.5 kilowatts of electricity per hour. As such, we will get 36 kilowatts of green energy every day, with which we can light 40 lights."
Moinul Hossain said to keep production normal, the country's industrial factories are leaning toward building their own power system.
Last week Universal Jeans Limited, a subsidiary of Pacific Jeans Group in Chattogram EPZ, installed a 708KW solar panel at its factory.
Another project with a 5.5MW daily solar power generation capacity is being launched next month at Pacific Jeans Limited belonging to the same group.
Md Alauddin, former chairman of Sustainable and Renewable Development Authority (Sreda), said, "The initiative to build a wind power station in the private sector is the beginning of a new chapter towards diversifying the country's energy sources."
In 2017, Wind Minds International, a private organisation conducted a survey of wind power in Bangladesh on behalf of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. According to its report, the wind speed in the coastal areas from Faujdarhat in Chattogram to Cox's Bazar is 4-5 cubic metres. With this, it is possible to generate electricity from a medium size wind turbine.
SK Md Zahidul Alam Zahid, programme associate at Sreda, said the coastal areas of Bangladesh – Cox's Bazar, Chattogram, Khulna, Patuakhali and Bhola – are particularly suitable for setting up wind power plants.
"However, the feasibility study of wind power is a major part of the programme. After wind farm modelling, a definite idea can be obtained as to how safe it is for investors to set up a wind station in an area," he told TBS.
However, Moinul Hossain said, "Jiangsu Naier Wind Power Technology suggested us the vertical wind turbine after conducting a feasibility study."
"Our factory in the Chattogram EPZ is right on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. We have measured the wind speed on the anemometre for several months and the wind pressure here averages five cubic metres per second, which is ideal for vertical wind turbines," he said.
According to a report by the Energy Tracker Asia, Bangladesh has a total of 724km long coastline with potential for wind power generation. This huge source of renewable energy has huge potential, which is still untapped.
The country's largest wind power plant with a capacity of 60MW is going into production in Cox's Bazar from next December.
The government is going to build nine more wind power plants with the aim of producing 10% of the country's total electricity supply from renewable energy sources by 2025.
Apart from this, the Midas factory has set up a waste recycling plant, where steam is generated from jhut or leftover scraps of fabric, a by-product of the readymade garment sector. Apart from reducing water consumption, various projects like water recycling, rainwater harvesting and setting up of modern washing plants have been implemented.