Apart from parts of Bangladesh’s northwest, ‘the rest of the country is without power’, says an official.
About 140 million people in Bangladesh are without power after a grid failure caused widespread blackouts, the government’s utility company said.
The grid failed at 2pm (08:00 GMT) and, apart from parts of Bangladesh’s northwest, “the rest of the country is without power”, Power Development Board spokesperson Shamim Ahsan said on Tuesday.
Officials of the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board said power transmission failed somewhere in the eastern part of the country.
All power plants tripped and electricity was cut in the capital Dhaka and other big cities, said Hasan.
Engineers were trying to determine where and why the glitches happened and it could take hours to restore the system, he said.
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 the cost of imports as prices have soared.
The diesel-run power plants produced about 6 percent 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 4 to 10 hours a day.
Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest garment exporter after China, and it earns more than 80 percent of its total foreign currency from these exports each year.
Last month, the Asian Development Bank said in a report that Bangladesh’s economic growth would slow to 6.6 percent from its previous forecast of 7.1 percent 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.