Bangladesh Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources, energy and environment

Bangladesh has large reserves of natural gas, which is the most important energy source and accounts for most of the electricity generation. In addition, there are smaller deposits of coal, oil and a number of minerals. The fertile soil is also an important asset.

Natural gas has been extracted since 1960, mainly in eastern Bangladesh. In addition to natural gas, natural gas is also used for the production of artificial fertilizers. In the late 1990s, gas fields were also found offshore. The hopes were high in terms of both their own energy supply and export opportunities. However, strong domestic opinion opposes exports as long as the country’s energy needs are not met. The electricity shortage is large, despite extensive efforts being made to expand the capacity of the electricity grids and electricity generation.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Bangladesh with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

The electricity shortage is partly due to sharply increased demand, but also to corruption and unwarranted bureaucracy. The electricity grids that are available are under-dimensioned, leading to constant power cuts. According to the World Bank, the power cuts cause financial losses for billions of dollars each year.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, BD stands for Bangladesh. Visit itypeusa for more information about Bangladesh.

After the turn of the millennium, new large natural gas reserves have been found, which means improved chances of both managing their own supply and possibly exporting. In 2014, the state-run energy company Petrobangla signed an agreement with a US consortium to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. Bangladesh has also entered into an agreement with Qatar on imports of LNG. However, the two major political parties in Bangladesh have both said that exports can only become relevant once the country’s own electricity supply is secured for 50 years to come.

Just over half of the energy consumed comes from natural gas, while traditional energy types such as firewood, animal waste and waste from rice crops account for a quarter. The remainder mainly comes from oil, most of which is imported. Electricity is generated to over 80 percent using natural gas. The remainder is mainly extracted from imported oil products. In 2013, the construction of two nuclear power plants started, by a Russian company and with Russian financing. They are expected to be ready by 2022.

The environmental problems are many in the densely populated Bangladesh. Lack of clean drinking water is one, and tragically, a large-scale attempt to address that deficiency has led to what the World Health Organization (WHO) has called the world’s largest poisoning disaster of all time. In order to give people access to other than the often heavily polluted surface water, millions of wells were dug in the countryside in the early 1970s. This often happened under the auspices of foreign donors. During the 1990s, it was discovered that the well water contained high levels of arsenic from the surrounding bedrock. Around 20 million people are still estimated to be referred to as arsenic-poisoned water today, according to a 2016 report by Human Rights Watch (HRW). paralysis and blindness. The victims are mainly poor rural residents. According to the estimates, up to 5 million of the 90 million children expected to be born between 2000 and 2030 will die from arsenic.

One problem is also decreasing water levels in the rivers. All Bangladesh rivers come from India, which divert water to use it in agriculture and for power generation.


Energy use per person

223 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)

Electricity consumption per person

311 kWh, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

73 190 thousand tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

0.5 ton (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

34.7 percent (2015)



At least 1,500 factory workers are laid off

December 27

Bangladeshi clothing manufacturers kick off at least 1,500 factory employees. The reason is that they have participated in strikes for higher wages, which have resulted in dozens of factories standing still for a week and unable to deliver goods to, for example, western clothing stores.


Islamist leaders are executed

October 16

Asadul Islam, a high-ranking leader of the banned Islamist group JMB, is executed by hanging in Khulna prison. Islam was convicted of participating in a 2005 blast in which two judges were killed.

Suspected Islamists are killed

October 8

Security forces kill twelve suspected members of the New JMB outbreak group, which is said to have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State (IS). A three-hour firefight erupts in connection with raids on four of the group’s hiding places on the outskirts of Dhaka.


Jamaat leaders are executed

September 4th

Mir Quasim Ali, leader and financier of Jamaat-e-Islami, is executed by hanging in a security prison outside Dhaka. He is the sixth high-ranking opposition leader to be executed after being convicted of war crimes at the country’s disputed war crimes tribunal ICT.


The factory accident 2013 trial begins

August 23rd

Eighteen people are charged with crimes committed in connection with the death of 1,130 people (the majority of young female workers) when a factory outside Dhaka collapsed as a result of construction larvae and security breaches (see April 2013).

More charges against Khaleda Zia

10th August

Nine new charges are brought against GDP leader Khaleda Zia, who is now facing charges of 30 points. Some of the allegations concern corruption, but most are related to the violence in early 2015.

About 30 websites are closed

5 August

The government closes over 30 news portals and websites, citing that they have published “questionable content”. Among the news sites that are banned are several that are considered opposition friendly.


Khaleda Zia’s son is imprisoned

July 21st

BNP leader Khaleda Zia’s eldest son Tarique Rahman is sentenced to seven years in prison for money laundering.

Perpetrators from affluent families

July 5

Police say several of the perpetrators came from well-to-do families and attended high-status schools. Among the perpetrators is a son of a government member from the Awami League.

Terrorist act against restaurant in Dhaka

July 1st

About 20 people, including two police officers and all five perpetrators, are killed when suspected Islamists perform an explosive act in a restaurant in the diplomatic district of Gulshan in Dhaka. The perpetrators first take the visitors hostage. Among the victims are nine Italians, seven Japanese, one American and one Indian. After an exchange of shots, which lasts for at least ten hours, an intervention force storms the restaurant. The extreme Sunni Muslim group IS is taking the deed, but the government says the perpetrators belong to the local group JMB (Jamaatul Mujaheddin Bangladesh) and that several people have been arrested. The government blames the violence in the country on groups with ties to the opposition and rejects information that IS is active in the country.


Murder of Hindu

June 30th

A volunteer worker is murdered in a Hindu temple in western Bangladesh. The crime is another in the line of murder of people belonging to a minority.

Police action against violence

June 10th

The police initiate a week-long effort to end the wave of violence that swept across the country for about three years and is directed at minorities and secular forces in society. Around 50 murders have been committed, for example, by Hindus, Shia Muslims, so-called secular bloggers, academics, LGBT activists and Christians. Thousands of people are arrested during the police operation.

Few factories have been improved

June 1st

A new report reveals that only 7 of 1,660 factories have implemented an improvement plan in accordance with the legally binding agreement (roughly the Fire and Construction Safety Agreement) concluded in 2013. The agreement came after the accident that claimed 1,138 employees’ lives when a factory building collapsed, partly because of neglect with the building rules.


Jamaat’s leader Nizami is executed

May 10

Motiur Rahman Nizami, former minister and leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, is executed by hanging. The disputed war criminal tribunal ICT has convicted him of genocide, rape and torture during the War of Independence in 1971. Nizami is the fifth and highest ranking Islamist leader executed since December 2013. Four of the executed were members of Jamaat. Nizami refused to ask for mercy from President Abdul Hamid.


LGBTQ activist is murdered

April 16

A well-known LGBT activist and editor of a LGBT magazine is murdered when unknown perpetrators break into an apartment in Dhaka and kill him. Another person is injured at the same time. This time, too, the government is blaming local militant Islamists.

University teachers murdered by Islamists

April 24

The Islamic State (IS) is taking on the blame for the assassination of a university teacher in Dhaka, but the government who refuses to say IS is present in the country states that a local militant Islamist group is behind it.

Domestic Islamists arrested for student murder

April 14

Police arrest two members of the banned militant Islamist group ABT. They are suspected of murdering the Islamist-critical student in March of the same year (see March 2016).

New prosecution against Khaleda Zia

April 5

BNP leader Khaleda Zia is charged with lying behind a bomb attack aboard a bus during government-critical protests in early 2015.


Student murdered by militant Islamists

March 30

A 26-year-old student at the University of Dhaka was stabbed to death by unknown perpetrators. The victim has written critically about militant Islamists in social media. Al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent (Aqis) later takes on the blame for the murder, which is the sixth similar murder of Islamist critics in 15 months.


Murder of a Hindu priest

February 23

Three men are arrested for the brutal murder of a Hindu religious leader in northern Bangladesh. The Islamic State (IS) takes on the blame for the murder, but the authorities are doubtful that the extremist group is behind the act.

Major theft from the central bank

February 5

About 20 unknown hackers manage to steal $ 81 million from the country’s foreign exchange reserves in the central bank. They place the money in an account in the Philippines and then transfer it to casinos in the Republic of China. The theft raises anger among the public and the security of the country’s banking system is called into question. The Governor is dismissed by the Minister of Finance for not informing the government quickly enough. Bangladesh’s total foreign exchange reserves are approximately $ 27 billion.

ICT issues two new death sentences

February 2

The Bangladeshi War Criminal Tribunal ICT sentenced two former Pakistani-friendly militiamen to death for war crimes committed during the 1971 civil war.


GDP leader Zia is being prosecuted

A Bangladeshi court is suing Zia for rioting because in a statement she has questioned the official record of the number of casualties in the 1971 civil war.

Bangladeshis are expelled

Singapore expels 14 Bangladeshi suspects for conspiracy with extremist Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), believed to be behind attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh. The 14 expelled are being detained in Bangladesh.

Death sentence for murder of bloggers

Two students are sentenced to death for the murder of a blogger in 2013. These are the first convictions that fall for a series of brutal murders of bloggers committed recently.

Bangladesh Energy and Environment Facts

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