Power back in Bangladesh after grid glitch forces 7-hour blackout | Energy News

Power supplies were restored after the country went into a blackout following a national grid failure.

Power supply across Bangladesh has been restored after the South Asian country fell into a power outage Officials said after its national grid failure.

The power outage, which affected much of the country, began at 2pm (08:00 GMT) on Tuesday and lasted nearly seven hours before power was fully restored at 9pm (15:00 pm: 00 GMT).

It is not yet clear what caused the problem.

Grid failures often occur when there is a high disparity between demand and supply, possibly due to an unexpected or sudden change in electricity usage patterns.

Bangladesh Power
People leave their homes during a power outage in Dhaka [Mahmud Hossain Opu/AP]

Many major shopping malls in the capital Dhaka closed early on Tuesday evening. Elsewhere, people gather at fuel stations to collect diesel to run backup generators and market vendors operate by candlelight.

Nasrul Hamid, the minister in charge of power, energy and mineral resources, said in a statement that he regretted the “temporary inconvenience” caused by the blackout.

Officials at the state-run Bangladesh Electricity Development Board earlier said power transmission had failed in the eastern part of the country.

Shameem Hasan, a spokesman for the electricity department, said all power plants were tripped and power was cut off in Dhaka and other major cities.

Bangladesh’s recent impressive economic growth has been threatened by power shortage since the government suspended the operation of all diesel-powered power plants to reduce the cost of imports due to skyrocketing prices.

The country has auctioned off some gas supplies amid soaring global prices due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. The government announced thrifty spending after reporting a record fiscal deficit last year.

Government data showed on Tuesday more than a third of the country’s 77 gas-powered units were running short of fuel.

Diesel-powered power plants produce about 6% of Bangladesh’s electricity, so their shutdown has cut output by up to 1500 megawatts.

Earlier this month, Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the situation was so dire that garment factories no power now for about four to 10 hours a day.

“In response to the (power) crisis, we used generators. Today’s power outage is unpredictable. We had to close our office because the generator could not run for a long time,” Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the association representing more than 4,500 garment factories, told Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

Azim added: “We cannot run factories without electricity.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, a junior minister in Bangladesh, said on Facebook that “it is very risky to restore (power) with a heavy load”.

Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment exporter after China, and the country earns more than 80% of its total foreign currency from garment exports each year.

Last month, the Asian Development Bank said in a report that Bangladesh’s economic growth will slow to 6.6% from its previous forecast of 7.1% in the current financial year.

Weaker consumer spending due to sluggish export demand, limited domestic production and other factors were responsible for this decline.


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