Solar panels in 204 upazila complexes planned
The country’s upazila complexes are going to have solar panels installed in their planned four-storey structures under a new project approved recently by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council.
Under the Tk 1,199 crore Upazila Complex Extension (1st revised) project, extension works will be carried out in 204 upazila complex buildings out of 453 upazilas.
Briefing reporters after the ECNEC meeting, Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the upazila complex buildings would be gradually extended with modern facilities. Each of the four-storey upazila complex building would have one-storey hall room, incorporating system for reserving rain water, solar panels, emergency exit and fire extinguishing system, he added.
The minister said entire cost of the the projects would come from the government exchequer.
State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan and Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam were present at the briefing.
The approval came at the 19th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Govt withdraws mandatory provision for rooftop solar systems
The government has recently withdrawn a mandatory provision for new apartment and commercial complexes to set up rooftop solar systems to get new power connections from the state-run power distribution agencies, officials said.
Instead, the new connection seekers will have to pay a certain amount of money, which may vary with the load, to the Renewable Energy Fund, they said.
The power ministry, at a meeting on the day in May, took the decision, with the state minister Nasrul Hamid in the chair.
Power distribution agencies had compelled new connection seekers to set up 24,050 units of solar home systems with a capacity of 9,672 kilowatts, till December 2013, according to data available with the power division.
The power cell director general Md Hossain told New Age that power distribution agencies made the installation of solar home system mandatory, although the government did not make it mandatory. ‘It was an option,’ he said.
The power cell director general said applicants for new power connections with less than two kilowatt (2,000 watts) voltage will not be required to pay money to the Renewable Energy Fund.

Power development allocation to increase next fiscal
The government’s budget management committee has decided to allocate Tk 9,284.17 crore for the power division’s development projects in the coming fiscal up from last fiscal’s Tk 9,054 crore, officials said.
The allocation envisages setting up new public sector power generation units at a cost of Tk 3,993.56 crore, they said.
For setting up new public sector power generation units in fiscal 2014-15, the budget management committee decided to allocate Tk 3,194.56 crore to the Power Development Board, Tk 885 crore to the Ashuganj Power Station Company Limited, Tk 810 crore to the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh and Tk 104 crore to the North-West Power Generation Company Ltd.
The budget management committee at a meeting recently, however, turned down power division’s request to allocate it Tk 20,761 crore for the implementation of its ongoing development projects in the coming fiscal, they said.
Of the Tk 9,284.17 crore, proposed for the power division, the government expects to receive Tk 4,531.4 crore as project assistance from the international lending agencies and the rest would come from the domestic sources, according to the BMC decision.

PDB to buy wind power for Tk 9.60 a unit
The Power Development Board has signed a deal with US-DK Green Energy (BD) Ltd to buy electricity for $0.12 or Tk 9.60 a unit from the company’s wind farm that is capable of generating 60MW.
The board will need to count Tk 3.45 in losses buying each unit, or kilowatt-hour, of wind power as the board now spends about Tk 6.15 on each unit of power on an average, officials said.
The board will be buying the electricity for 18 years, according to the contract.
US-DK Green Energy (BD) Ltd, a joint venture of US-based Taylor Engineering Group LLC, Denmark-based Ph-consulting Group and Bangladeshi Multiplex Green Energy Ltd, will set up the wind farm at Kurushkul in Cox’s Bazar.
The joint-venture company, which will build, own and operate the wind farm, will begin power supply from the middle of May 2015. It will set up 30 to 35 units of wind turbine generators with 2MW generation capacity each on 60 acres of land under a 35-year lease contract.
The project will involve a total of $12 crore investment, of which $10 crore will be arranged from foreign sources by the joint-venture company.
The government has a target to generate 5 per cent of the power that the country requires from renewable energy sources by 2015 and 10 per cent by 2020 under a phased plan.

BERC to ask captive power users to set up cogeneration systems
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission chairman AR Khan said the captive power users would be asked to set up cogeneration system to utilize the exhaust heat of the captive generators.
Many industries run inefficient captive power generators and boilers using natural gas causing a significant wastage of energy which could be reduced through the use of cogeneration system.
The commission had so far been reluctant in pursuing the captive power users to set up the system when the factory owners sought the renewal of their licences for the captive generators although the condition was tagged with the licences, he said.
According to a study published in 2012, gas consumption by industrial boilers could be slashed by at least 10 per cent and by 37 per cent at captive power generation each year by replacing the old systems with modern and more efficient technologies.
The commission chairman was addressing a roundtable on Revised Renewable Energy Policy as special guest. State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid attended the roundtable as chief guest.

BB’s Tk 200-crore revolving fund for green energy
Bangladesh Bank has recently incorporated 26 more green products in its Tk 200-crore revolving fund for solar energy, bio-gas and effluent treatment plant.
The BB issued a circular to the managing directors and chief executive officers of all scheduled banks and non-bank financial institutions saying that it incorporated 26 more products including biomass-based large biogas plant, poultry and dairy-based biogas pant, solar cooker assembly plant, solar water heater assembly plant, solar energy-based power production plant, solar energy-based cold storage, power switch assembly plant with auto sensor to reduce electricity, and tube light assembly plant.
The central bank included new products in its revolving fund in the second part of last year totalling the products number to 18 and it has now extended the fund for more green products, the official said.
According to the BB circular, a cooperative society, which has obtained licence from Registrar of Joint Stock, can apply to get the bank credit to set up biomass-based large biogas plant, and poultry and dairy-based biogas pant.
The borrower will get maximum Tk 2 crore loan with 9 per cent rate of interest and he or she will facilitate a grace period of nine months to repay the loan.
The tenure of the loan is five years and the client will have to pay the installment of the loan on the basis of quarterly or monthly.

PSC signed with Santos-Kris JV for block 11
The government on Wednesday signed contract with a joint venture between Santos Sangu Field Ltd and Krisenergy Asia Ltd for oil and gas exploration in hydrocarbon block 11 in the shallow of the Bay of Bengal.
Under the contract, Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company or Bapex will have a 10 per cent share in the block.
With this, the government signed three deals under the Model Production Sharing Contract 2012 in one month interval amid protests from different left-democratic groups.
According to the contract, Petrobangla or the government will get between 24.35 per cent and 36 per cent of the produces, natural gas and condensate, while the contractor will get the rest of the produces.
Petrobangla, the state-run Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation, will buy the contractor’s share of gas at about US$ 4.5 per thousand cubic feet.
The contractor, Santos-Kris JV, would be allowed sell its share of produces to third party in Bangladesh territory if Petrobangla does not buy it.

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