Monday, 16 July 2018

Prior Notice Must be Issued for Loadshedding

Shahedul Islam Helal
Former President, Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI)

We expect quality, uninterrupted power supply. But in reality, we are not getting it. If we consider six working days, we experienced 3-4 times loadshedding every day over the last three months of this year. In March, we experienced 3.4 times loadshedding on average. Almost 2 hours 13 minutes were lost every day on average due to loadshedding. Fourteen times of loadshedding on 14 March 2018 kept industries without grid power supply for 12 hours 33 minutes. Utilities can assist industries with serving prior notice of loadshedding. They do not do that and rather often misbehave when contacted over telephone.We have no hesitation in acknowledging that power supply situation improved significantly since 2009 and is improving progressively. Following this trend, BPDB expects achieving 12,000 MW generation target during this summer. Perhaps that will also be achieved. But the end users won’t be benefitted if utilities do not change their attitude. I can share with EP readers the real time situation of power supply and loadshedding in my industry. In 2008 the annual accumulated loadshedding was for 1,017 hours. It has come down to 296 hours in 2017. There are not too many industrial users in Bangladesh. Utilities can easily inform industries about the loadshedding schedule of the following day through email, telephone or SMS and follow that schedule. During the time of huge deficit in the power grid, industries used to be discouraged for using grid power through using higher peak-hour charge. That situation does not exist now. So the peak hour charge must go now. DPDC, DESCO and BREB use three different billing formats. For the greater interest of the users uniform billing format can be introduced.The government has announced program for achieving quality uninterrupted power supply to all by 2021. I hope that would be achieved. But for an interim period of three years, utilities can improve customer services and achieve as much as practicable quality power supply through innovative approaches and changed mind set.There is another noticeable development that old industries are given additional power supply for expansion. Utilities must find out ways how the time for getting this additional supply can be expedited.

This article has been printed under a syndication arrangement with Energy and Power

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