Bangladesh Plunges Into Darkness After Power Grid Fails

Photo: CNN

Bangladesh, once a growing economic power, seems to be on a downward spiral.

A failure in Bangladesh’s national power grid plunged much of the country into a blackout on Tuesday, officials said. Officials of the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board said that 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 Shameem Hasan, a power department spokesman. This was according to an Associated Press report.

Engineers were trying to determine where and why the glitches happened and it could take hours to restore the system, officials said. This is bound to impact the data center industry in Bangladesh.

Currently, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh has 15 providers running its 16 data centers, as per reports. There are no carrier neutral facilities in Dhaka and out of a total of 16 facilities, no data centers offer remote hands support.

Economic Challenges

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government—for years—touted the economic success of the country is now facing tough times, as a combination of slowing exports have contributed to this situation. Add to this, weak consumer spending post Covid has not helped Bangladesh. The diesel-run power plants produced about 6% 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 around 4 to 10 hours a day.

Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s willingness to support Bangladesh’s request for a $4.5 billion bailout package over the next three years confirms that the country’s economy is facing a serious crisis. Besides requesting from the World Bank a one billion dollar loan, an estimated $2.5-3 billion have been solicited from several multilateral agencies and donor nations (such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA) just this year, according to think tank Atlantic Council.

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