DHAKA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's total installed electricity generation capacity has reached nearly 16,000 megawatts (MW), an official said Wednesday.
The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) official told Xinhua Wednesday that "installed generation capacity (as of Aug. 30) has increased to 15,761 MW."
Despite a robust rise in the capacity, the official who declined to be named, said the current power generation is, to some extent, insufficient to meet increasing demand.
He said power plants in Bangladesh Tuesday generated 9,891 MW of electricity against the total demand for about 10,000 MW.
Regarding generation of power less than the installed capacity, the BPDB official attributed to shortage of gas supplies to the power stations.
He said the BPDB has taken a massive capacity expansion plan to add about 11,600 MW generation capacity in next 5 years to achieve 24,000 MW capacity with the aim to provide quality and reliable electricity to all Bangladeshi people.
The power system is being expanded to keep pace with the fast growing demand, he added.
Sources said the number of power connection receivers in Bangladesh have risen to some 26 million so far this year.
On the other hand, the transmission lines reportedly rose to 10,436 km while the distribution line to 401,000 km.
To improve its nagging electricity situation, Bangladesh has been getting support from the country's development partners and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which last year approved 165 million U.S. dollars in loans for a Bangladesh power sector project - the first batch of loan for the country from the China-based development bank.
The project is designed to expand electricity coverage by providing 2.5 million new service connections in rural areas and upgrade grid substations and convert overhead distribution lines into underground cables in northern Dhaka.
The AIIB said the project will supplement other development partner efforts by providing additional financial resources to connect more rural and urban consumers, further reduce distribution losses, and improve the quality and reliability of power supply in Bangladesh.
"The project, upon completion, is expected to benefit about 12.5 million people in rural areas," it added.
Officials said Bangladesh is looking to AIIB as the country, which has already identified inadequate electricity supply as a major constraint on GDP growth and overall economic development, is in a dire need for more funds to develop mega infrastructure projects.
Bangladeshi State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid visited Myanmar last month and expressed Dhaka's keenness to import gas and power from China through Myanmar.
In this connection, he said Bangladesh is interested to build a grid line with Myanmar.
He said if Bangladesh and Myanmar can build a grid line between them, it will pave the way for exchanging electricity with China and ASEAN countries bolstering cooperation among the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectorial Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM) nations.