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Bangladesh plunged into darkness due to the failure of the national grid

Bangladesh plunged into darkness due to the failure of the national grid
  • Power grid collapse leads to power outages in 75-80% of Bangladesh
  • The authorities are working to restore power, and investigate the cause
  • The government has rationalized some gas due to high international prices

DHAKA (Reuters) – Vast swathes of Bangladesh were left without power on Tuesday after a grid outage, a government official said, adding that authorities were working to gradually restore electricity supply in the country of 168 million people.

Shamim Hasan, an official at the Bangladesh Energy Development Board, told Reuters that the country’s power grid was disrupted at around 2 pm (0800 GMT) on Tuesday, leading to blackouts in 75-80% of Bangladesh.

He explained that an investigation is underway to find out the cause of the network breakdown and to restore electricity in 45% of the areas affected by the power outage. By nightfall, it was not clear when electricity would be fully restored.

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Bangladesh, which gets three-quarters of its electricity from imported natural gas, is facing frequent power cuts this year due to its inability to meet the rising demand for electricity.

The country has rationed some gas supplies amid high global prices driven by the Russian war in Ukraine. The government has pledged frugal spending after reporting a record fiscal deficit last year.

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

Network failures generally occur when there is a large mismatch between supply and demand, likely due to unexpected or sudden changes in energy usage patterns.

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The peak power demand in Bangladesh on Tuesday was 3% higher than the Bangladesh Energy Development Board’s forecast of 13,800 megawatts, according to government data.

readymade garments factories

Operations in the profitable export-oriented garment industry in Bangladesh, which supplies clients such as Walmart (WMT.N)jab you (GPS.N)H&M (HMb.ST)VF . Company (VFC.N)Zara and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO.N) She had a power outage on Tuesday.

“To face the (electricity) crisis, we used generators. Today’s power outage was unexpected. We had to close our offices,” because generators could not run for long periods, Shahidullah Azim, Vice President of Garment Manufacturers and Exporters in Bangladesh Association told Reuters.

The association represents members who have more than 4,500 garment factories nationwide. Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter in the world after China.

“We cannot run factories without electricity,” Azim added.

“Returning (electricity) with a heavy load is very risky,” Znaid Ahmed Balak, a state minister in Bangladesh, said on Facebook.

The load on the electricity grid generally increases in the evening in Bangladesh, when citizens return home after work. Demand growth in recent years has been largely driven by the residential sector.

“If the stability of the system is somewhat satisfactory, the power lines will be activated in all areas of Dhaka. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience,” Palak said.

The Bangladesh Mobile Telecom Operators Association said on Tuesday that mobile and internet services may be disrupted in some parts of the country due to the failure of the national power grid.

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Additional reporting by Devgyot Ghoshal and Tanvi Mehta; Editing by Raisa Kasulowsky and Frank Jack Daniel

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.