Bangladesh is facing the worst electricity crisis since 2013 due to erratic weather patterns and a lack of funds to pay for fuel imports.
The country, known for its garment exports, has already experienced 114 days of power cuts in 2023, surpassing the total number of outages in 2022. The power minister has warned that the outages could continue as heatwaves persist through late June.
The crisis is primarily attributed to a shortage of fuel, with a significant number of gas-fired and coal-fired power plants unable to operate steadily due to a lack of fuel supply. Over 40% of power plants running on diesel and oil are also affected.
The state petroleum firm has expressed concerns about the inability to pay for fuel supplies, citing a shortage of US dollars and a decline in fuel oil reserves. The devaluation of the taka currency and declining dollar reserves have exacerbated the situation.
The country's power output is struggling to meet the growing demand, causing supply deficits to an average of 15% in the first week of June.
The prolonged heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, has further exacerbated the situation. The power cuts have affected daily life, leading to the closure of tens of thousands of primary schools.
The power cuts have had significant economic and social consequences. Manual laborers and street vendors are struggling to work in the scorching heat, leading to reduced incomes.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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