A bill has been tabled in parliament to extend the special law on the purchase of electricity from ‘quick rental’ power plants by another five years.
The Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provision) (Amendment) Bill 2021 was introduced by State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Wednesday.
After the Awami League returned to power in 2009, the government began signing deals for renting power plants for up to 16 years. The law was passed to legalise the plants, reports bdnews24.com.
Although the government considers the plants as useful in maintaining dynamism in the economy with increased power supply, the subsidies to pay the high cost of electricity from the plants have drawn criticism.
The draft law for the latest extension includes a provision to allow the signing of deals with interested organisations upon discussions through a special committee.
As many as 65 projects in the power and energy sector have been approved under the law, according to the state minister.
Recently the government stated that, following the extension, the rental power plants would remain on ‘standby’.
It has not yet been finalised how power will be purchased from the plants during the extension.
Nasrul Hamid said the plants will only be paid when the government buys electricity and otherwise will not. The arrangement would continue in this way, he said.
Explaining the need for the extension, Hamid said: “It is necessary to take up more projects quickly in order to reach the Renewable Energy Policy-2006 target of 10 per cent of total electricity produced in Bangladesh being generated from renewable energy sources.”
“It is essential to continue the ongoing infrastructural development of the power and energy sector in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to become an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a developed country by 2041.”
The power, energy and mineral resources ministry in a report to a parliamentary standing committee in March said the plants would be shut down by 2024.