Bangladesh power cut: Millions without power after grid failure, officials say
The powercut was first reported in the eastern part of Bangladesh
Enguneers were investigating the incident
Restoring power could take hours, the Bangladesh Power Development Board said
More than 140 million people are left without power in Bangladesh on Tuesday evening. Officials say that a grid failure had caused a widespread blackout. Bangladesh Power Development Board, a state-run agency, said that the failure was first reported in the eastern part of the country.
Shameem Hasan, a spokesperson for the agency, said that power plants tripped and electricity was cut in the capital of Dhaka. Other major cities were also impacted, news agency Associated Press reported.
Hasan said that it could take hours to restore electricity throughout the country. Engineers were trying to determine where and why the glitches happened, he added.
Bangladesh's recent impressive economic growth has been threatened by power shortages since the government suspended operations of all diesel-run power plants to reduce costs for imports as prices have soared. The diesel-run power plants produced about 6% of Bangladesh's power generation, so their shutdowns cut output by up to 1500 megawatts.
Earlier this month, Faruque Hassan, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that the situation is so serious that garment factories are without power now for around 4 to 10 hours a day. Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment exporter after China, and it earns more than 80% of its total foreign currency from exports of garment products each year.
Last month, the Asian Development Bank said in a report that Bangladesh’s economic growth would slow to 6.6% from its previous forecast of 7.1% in the current fiscal year.
Weaker consumer spending due to sluggish export demand, domestic manufacturing constraints and other factors are behind the slowdown, it said.