Internal tech issues responsible for power outage: Bangladesh

Dhaka: Bangladesh today said the worst nationwide power outage in recent years was not caused by a glitch in a transmission line from India but was the result of internal technical problems.

"There was no problem from India's side, the 400 MW line had no problem, either. There was a transmission problem on our side," Finance Minister AMA Muhith said after a meeting with the power division officials.

"Our transmission and distribution system is very poor which caused the blackout," Muhith was quoted as saying by bdnews24.

Officials earlier had said the power outage happened after India-Bangladesh power inter-connecter experienced a "technical glitch" leading to failures throughout the national grid, with power plants and substations shutting down.

Over 12-hour blackout left the capital Dhaka and other cities looking like ghost towns. Even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's office and presidential palace plunged into darkness.

But Muhith said the 400 KV line which pumps 450 MW power to Bangladesh's national grid through western Bheramara interconnector system should not be blamed for the outage.

Officials also said the tripping of the interconnector station, was too much for the "under frequency relay" system to prevent the blackout.

Bangladesh last year started importing electricity from India through the 400-kilovolt transmission line, which runs from Baharampur in West Bengal to the town of Bheramara in southwestern Bangladesh.

Former director general of Power Cell and leading electricity expert BD Rahmatullah told PTI that "over the past years Bangladesh put on its most efforts to increase generation volume caring little about the transmission and distribution systems and the Saturday's debacle was the outcome of the poor transmission system".

"Generation, transmission and distribution systems are equally important. But 60 percent of the total investment was poured on the generation alone in the past one decade," he said. 

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