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Bangladesh outages likely to go on longer

Tan KW
Publish date: Tue, 06 Jun 2023, 10:17 AM
Tan KW
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DHAKA: Bangladesh could face power cuts for two more weeks, its power minister says, as higher electricity consumption because of rising temperatures has caused a fuel shortfall for generation plants.

Bangladesh has suffered severe power shortages since April as a searing heatwave spiked demand for electricity and then a deadly cyclone cut off supplies of natural gas to fuel plants.

The country also curtailed imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), its main power generation fuel, after record high prices in the second half of 2022 made the fuel too expensive.

“This condition may remain for another two weeks,” said Power, Energy and Mineral Resources State Minister Nasrul Hamid.

“This problem is happening because we are not able to ensure an adequate supply of coal and gas,” Hamid said.

The power losses threaten Bangladesh’s crucial apparel sector, which accounts for more than 80% of its exports and supplies retailers such as Walmart, Gap Inc, H&M, VF Corp, Zara and American Eagle Outfitters.The loss of those exports will exacerbate issues around its dollar reserves, which have plunged by nearly a third in the 12 months to the end of April to a seven-year low and limited its ability to pay for fuel imports.

 - Reuters

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