Monthly Progress Report (22) June 2021

1. Major Activities of the Month

Approaching the end of fiscal year, The PI Consultant Team endeavoured for the maximum output, especially on physically visible activities. However, with the expected lifting of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown not realising, the activities had to be restrained from various constraints. The lockdown which started from the 5th of April 2021, did not take place during the reporting month, and continued to be imposed all throughout the month. Even with the presence of one international consultant member of the Project Implementation (PI) Consultant Team (head of the team) up to 8th of June, the physical activities could not be conducted in full swing.

With the aim to achieve a breakthrough in the stagnation of the lending activities in the Project, the PI Consultant Team started a market survey on air conditioners and refrigerators in Bangladesh, as the first step to expedite the newly considered Component III utilising A-type loan. The team conducted few interviews with the manufacturers of air conditioner and refrigerators, especially those targeting on inverter-controlled products. It was found, through the interview that the time is right to introduce a financial support for the promotion of inverter-controlled products as the eligible energy efficient equipment on the Project’s eligible equipment list. Opportunities for a positive intervention with the low interest rate fund was found to be present, but under the condition that the subject of the loan widely covers the investments.

Approaching the end of the fiscal year for the government, the priority issue was to perform physically visible activities for awareness raising on EE&C promotion among the industries. The newspaper advertisement, being prepared for many months, was finally given go ahead with four national English language newspapers for a week. Some of the readers, having seen the advertisement, contacted SREDA to seek for a possibility to access to the loan. With regards to the billboards, there were no significant progress during the month.

One high visibility achievement, in the first part of the month, was the contribution to SREDA’s seminar on the national energy balance, which was held on Tuesday 8th of June. The seminar was attended by the Minister, the Secretaries and heads of various energy related organisations and companies. On this opportunity to present, explain, and to publicise the use of national energy balance table, the head of the PI Consultant Team was invited for a keynote presentation. In response to the presentation the participants agreed on the necessity to share various energy-related data on a single platform so that the bird’s eye view of energy supply and consumption pattern becomes visually available through the national energy balance table. Other ongoing activities, including the procurement of measurement tools for energy audit field activities, focus group meetings and mid-term report preparations are also being pursued, however, with the persistent mobility constraints due to COVID-19 infection, the activities did not see tangible progress during the month.

1.1 Awareness raising activities

1.1.1 Newspaper Advertisement

From the 1st to 7th of June, for seven consecutive days, the Project advertisement appeared on four English language national newspapers, namely Daily Star, Daily Sun, Dhaka Tribune, and New Age. The advertisements were observed also by the project stakeholders, showing that they were highly visible, contributing to raising awareness as well as promoting the Project activities.

Fig 1 Actual Newspaper Advertisements

The Project Director received some visitors who were inspired by the advertisement, seeking for an opportunity to become a part of the Project activities. Some were potential applicants, and there were also equipment suppliers who wanted to consult with SREDA whether they might get an opportunity to sell their products. These contacts show that the advertisement have been effective in attracting the attention of those who are interested to be more energy efficient, or to gain profit by contributing to energy efficiency businesses.

After these English language newspapers, the idea is to have the Bangla version advertisement on some of the regional newspapers. These regional paper advertisements may be implemented at the timing of having the focus group meeting with the industrialists and journalists in Bogura, Khulna, Sylhet and Chattogram. The preparation is currently under way.

1.1.2 Regional Focus Group Meetings

The PI Consultant Team have been preparing the opportunities to interact with the local industries and the journalists in four regional cities, which are Bogura, Khulna, Sylhet and Chattogram. The aim is to further involve the industries in EE&C promotion at a national scale. Although a thorough preparation was completed last month in May, it was decided to postpone the activity until the ongoing official mobility restriction measure against COVID-19 infection is lifted. The restriction continued throughout the month of June, therefore, the regional focus group meetings are expected to be conducted in August, when the infection situation improves and also when the international consultant members of the team will be present in Bangladesh. After the activities in the four regional cities, an additional and enhanced meeting may also be held in Dhaka, by attracting a wider audience as required.

1.1.3 Billboard Advertisement

Billboard advertisement which were understood to be starting this month could not start as it was found that exact locations of the billboards must be specified by SREDA, and also because intensive negotiations on the outsourcing conditions were found to be required. The billboard is expected to carrying the similar / same message as the newspaper ads are also being considered. One billboard, each measuring more than 1,000 square feet, is planned to be erected in the eight regions around the country.

1.2 Energy Audit

1.2.1 Energy Audit Equipment Procurement

The measurement equipment purchase process showed no progress during the month. for both Power Tech Electronics’ and Express Systems’ procurements were severely delayed limited access to the stocks and slower delivery due to the lockdown in India. The PI Consultant Team will wait for the updates in the delivery status, still hopeful for the delivery (at least partially) to be made in July 2021.

1.2.2 Energy Saving Effect Calculation

The PI Consultant Team’s energy auditors, Mr Norio Fukushima and Mr Muhammad Zakir Hossain contributed to preparing the visual presentations based on the effect calculations which have been conducting. The calculation is done from the data collected in many of the walk-through energy audits pursued by the PI Consultant Team in the past. The presentations are currently being revised for improvement, yet to be completed.

1.3 National Energy Balance 2019-20

1.3.1 Data Collection and Calculation

The PI Consultant Team, during their last activity on this topic in January 2021, had already obtained data on electricity and domestic gas, while the data on coal, petroleum products and imported gas remained unobtained. Since then, data from Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL), Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL) and Hydrocarbon Unit of the Energy & Mineral Resources Division (HCU) became available by the previous month of May. Further, data which are not publicly available, for the private import of coal, petroleum products could also be obtained through SREDA. Now that the data is available, the entire balance, at the maximum precision level possible, could be prepared.

Fig 2 Visual Presentation of National Energy Balance FY 2019-20

At the same time, national energy intensity could also be calculated, using the preliminary GDP data available from Bangladesh Board of Statistics (BBS) website. It should be noted here that the energy supply date used for national intensity calculation is not the same as that of the national energy balance. This is because the national energy intensity is compared in time series, therefore the basis of calculation should not be changed from that of the base year, which is FY 2013-14. At the time, the obtainable data was more limited than what is available today, and therefore the country’s energy supply data was taken from Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Petrobangla and BPC only. The time series comparison showed that the energy intensity was improving significantly during the recent years.

Fig 3 Trend of National Energy Intensity

1.3.2 Presentation at the Seminar

On Tuesday 8th June, a seminar at Intercontinental Hotel Dhaka, on national energy balance was convened by SREDA, with the participation of the State Minister, Secretary of Power Division, and also other chiefs of energy related companies and organisations. JICA Chief Representative, Mr Yuho HAYAKAWA, was also invited to the seminar. The head of the PI Consultant Team was given an opportunity to make a keynote presentation. The contents of the presentation are as in the attached document to this monthly report (Appendix 22-1).

Discussions were mostly focused on the elaboration of the trends explained based on the data. There were also questions to clarify how national energy balance table and visual presentations can contribute to the policy making among the government officials and the academics. Technical questions were also there concerning the data to be utilised. It was necessary to explain the constraints surrounding the calculation of the national energy balance.

The outcome of the seminar was an endorsement from the participants to contribute to establishing a better energy data management structure under SREDA so that the available data will be concentrated in one central location for easier analysis, disclosure and dissemination. The seminar turned out to be an excellent opportunity for the key leaders of the energy sector to reconfirm the necessity for a well-organised and cooperative mechanism for data management.

Fig 4 Seminar Presentation

1.4 Other Activities

  • Contributed to SREDA’s fire tube boiler use guidelines online workshop conducted on 22 June 2021, titled “Energy Management Guidelines for Fire Tube Boiler Workshop”
  • Preparing guidelines to the IFIs on ESPR improvement.
  • Continued with the DASH data analysis functions improvement.
  • Mid-term report planning.

2. Appendices

Appendix 22-1: National Energy Balance – Bangladesh Perspective