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Bangladesh’s Growth On A Halt, 130 million Reside In The Dark

According to a government official, a grid failure has left large areas of Bangladesh without electricity. However, he added that authorities are gradually working to restore power to the nation of 168 million people. 


According to Bangladesh Power Development Board official Shameem Hasan, the country experienced blackouts in 75 to 80 percent of the country at around 2 p.m. (01:30 IST) on Tuesday. As a result, about 130 million people were without light, reports Ahsan. 


In recent months, Bangladesh has experienced a severe power crisis due to rising global energy prices in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Extended blackouts in the South Asian country, struggling to pay for enough imported diesel and gas to meet electrical demand, have increased public rage. 


The latest significant unplanned outage in Bangladesh occurred in November 2014, when around 70 percent of the nation was without electricity for almost 10 hours. According to government-run Bangladesh Power Development Board representatives, there was a problem with power transmission in the country's east. 


According to Hasan, all power plants tripped, cutting off the electricity to Dhaka, the capital, and other major cities. Power shortages have jeopardized Bangladesh's recent spectacular economic growth. Since the government has shut down all diesel-powered power plants to lower the cost of imports as the prices rose. 


The diesel-powered facilities generated around 6% of Bangladesh's total electricity, so their closures reduced output by 1,500 megawatts. According to Faruque Hassan, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president, the situation is so critical that the garment manufacturers are currently without power for four to ten hours daily. 


The power outage on Tuesday disrupted business operations in Bangladesh's valuable export-oriented apparel sector, which serves customers like Walmart (WMT.N), Gap Inc. (GPS.N), H&M (HMB.ST), VF Corp. (VFC.N), Zara, and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO.N). 


"We have been using generators to deal with the (power) situation. The outage today was unanticipated. As a result, offices had to be closed."Shahidullah Azim, Vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, reported to Reuters that generators could not run continuously. 


After China, Bangladesh is the second-largest apparel exporter, and these sales account for more than 80% of its annual foreign exchange earnings. In a report released last month, the Asian Development Bank predicted that Bangladesh's economic growth for the current fiscal year would drop from 7.1 percent to 6.6 percent.


It claimed that the downturn is caused by lower consumer spending due to weak export demand, domestic manufacturing constraints, and other factors. It is anticipated that Bangladesh will struggle to meet its export obligations due to its frequent power outages and blackouts, and its economy will stagnate.

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