The government is mulling a Power Division proposal for creating an emergency fund amounting to Tk 1.35 billion for overhauling a good number of electricity generation units to address the country's prevailing power crisis.
Some 13 power units need immediate maintenance and overhauling to boost the overall power generation capacity, official sources said.
"We have sought the additional fund from the finance ministry, which is urgently required for the revamp of some power units," a senior Power Division official informed the FE.
The official further said allocation of the proposed fund is now under active consideration of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
The proposed amount will be in addition to the existing budgetary allocation of about Tk 1.10 billion for maintenance and overhauling of the state-owned power generation units, according to an official.
Generation of such power plants have remained suspended due to some technical malfunctions, official sources said, adding that some of those require major overhauling to press back into production.
The power units include Khulna 60 megawatt (mw) power unit, Baghabari 100mw plant, Tongi 80mw unit, Ashuganj 150mw plant, Karnaphuli 40mw unit, three power plants in Haripur each having 32mw capacity, Fenchuganj 30mw unit, Shahjibazar 35mw plant and Karnaphuli 50mw power unit.
An early revamp of the aforesaid power plants has been initiated against the backdrop of the country's ongoing power crisis.
"Resumption of such a good number of power plants will somewhat ease the current power pangs to an extent," an official said.
He noted that additional 400mw to 500mw of electricity is expected to be available in the national grid after maintenance and overhauling works.
The official also attributed the current power problem to the shutdown of a large number of power units at a time.
Presently, the country experiences power shortage to the tune of 1,000mw to 1,200mw daily, hampering industrial production, irrigation of current 'boro' crop and peoples' normal activities.
The total electricity supply is varying between 3,100mw and 3,200mw per day against its minimum demand for 4,300mw to 4,400mw.
Earlier, the government took an initiative to complete the maintenance and overhauling works of all faulty power units by February 28 to prevent any untoward power collapse during the peak season. But it did not materialise due to fund shortage, sources mentioned.
Under the move, the Power Division directed the state-owned power entities to accomplish necessary revamp activities of their power units to keep those fully operational during summer.
Usually, power crisis takes a serious turn in the country every summer due to a sharp increase in consumption.
Since the country's power generation capacity is considerably lower than its demand, disruption in electricity generation that occurs frequently due to operational problems also aggravates the supply crisis, according to officials.
Meanwhile, the government is trying to borrow fund from major development partners to set up some new power generation units in order to cope with the country's growing demand for electricity.