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The Bangladesh government has taken up a project to construct 2,082.5 kilometres of transmission line and provide 19.5 lakh power connections to people in rural areas by 2020. The project is in line with the ambitious aim of the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) to bring power to every house in the country by 2021.

Already, the BREB has prepared the project plan, titled “Rural Electrification Expansion”, to bring 15 lakh more REB consumers in the power network by providing 19.5 lakh connections (first amendment) at an estimated cost of USD 8.3 billion. The proposal was placed at the the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting on January 29, 2019.

According to the proposal, the project will entail construction of 59,000 km of transmission line and five lakh connections in Palli Biddyut Samiti (PBS) areas in 61 districts, excluding the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The project cost has increased by another USD 2.11 billion with the increase in its scope and pushing back of completion time. The three objectives of the project are – power connection in every household in Bangladesh, uninterrupted power supply by 2030 and improving socio-economic development through power supply.

According to the BREB, the present number of BREB subscribers has reached 2,24,75,552 through 80 PBSs across the country. Earlier, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, Nasrul Hamid said: “The government has made significant progress in the power sector, and hoped to provide electricity to every home by 2021.” He added that the power generation capacity is increasing because of the government efforts.

The total installed capacity is 20,000 megawatt (MW) and currently 90 per cent of the population has access to electricity. Bangladesh will need an estimated 34,000 MW of power by 2030 to sustain the economic growth of over 7 per cent.