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"We have to generate power in northern and southern regions of the country and bring it to the capital spending huge money," the minister said.

The virtual seminar, organised by Energy and Power magazine, was also addressed by economist Ahsan H Mansur, eminent energy expert M Tamim, Summit Group chairman Mohammad Aziz Khan, former NBR chairman Mohammad Abdul Mazid, and former president of Dhaka Chamber Abul Kasem Khan.

Noting that no major infrastructure is being developed in other areas of the country, Nasrul Hamid said the industrial sector failed to consume as much electricity as expected.

Dismissing a claim made by economists that there is a big surplus in power production, he said now the country's highest consumption is 15,000 MW of electricity while the actual demand is 17,000 MW and the generation is 24,000 MW-plus. "Some 7,000 MW is not a big surplus in power generation."

Hamid said the technology in power generation is changing fast and the country may not require in the future installing any new power plant.

"So, we should go for short-term planning of between two and five years," he said, adding that a big change is coming in power sector planning as the power division has already made a review in consultation with the prime minister.

He said many coal-fired plants which were not implemented will be left out. "This review will be reflected in the next power system’s master plan."

The state minister said the import of LNG has been most viable so far in primary energy while it is being mixed up with locally-produced gas as the imported coal is not suitable for the country.

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