Tk 118.62 b projects to be implemented soon
150 mmcfd gas are being pilfered in Dhaka daily
Zahid Hossain Biplob: The government plans to build a gas distribution network in ten districts of the south-west part of the country. According to the plan, the ten new gas distribution lines will include Satkhira to Khulna, Langalband to Mawa, Jajira to Tekerhat, Khulna to Gopalganj, Bhola to Barishal, Khulna to Bagerhat, Pirojpur to Kjalokathi, Kutumpur to Bakhrabad and others.
The expansion of industrialisation is hampering in the south-west part of the country due to lack of gas. Since energy could not be ensured for a large part of the country, the expansion of industry in the south-west part has been impeded. Relevant people say that people of these areas are being deprived of economic development.
The energy division will implement ten distribution lines and the initial cost has been set at Tk 118.62 billion. At the beginning of April, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will have a meeting with energy division officials in this regard. Most of the work will complete between 2022 and 2035.
Considering the necessity of attaining further economic growth, the government has taken such decision “The government wants development and once there is energy, entrepreneurs will develop new industry, ensuring jobs,” said a finance ministry official.
It’s believed that to ensure gas, LNG import is the only option and for imports, two types of energy are being given importance – one is coal and the other is gas.
The government LNG import plan states that by 2035, LNG import will be raised to 5,000 million cubic feet. From last year, a floating unit is giving gas to the national grid and another terminal is coming next month with 500 million cubic feet capacity.
In addition, a permanent LNG terminal will be constructed in Matarbari, Cox’s Bazar which will allow import of 1000 million cubic feet of gas. The first unit is supposed to start in 2023 with the second arriving in 2030.
Another terminal with 1000 cubic feet capacity will be started in 2035 in Pyra port at Patuakhali.
Md Al Mmamun, managing director of Gas Transmission Company Limited said the issue of gas distribution network is being coordinated from the ministry which will begin after getting approval.
Meanwhile, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd plans to replace its dilapidated gas pipelines in Dhaka city with new ones, and to introduce smart prepaid meters for consumers over the next three years.
The state-owned entity has taken the initiative to replace about 5,000km of the distribution pipelines, out of 7,000km, in the city at the directive of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, said sources.
Initially, about 2,000km of pipelines will be replaced with new ones and new pipelines will gradually be installed across 5,000km,” said a senior official of energy division.
Engineers of Titas are now busy designing the project. Once the design is completed, it will be placed to the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the Planning Ministry for their approval.
The official said around Tk 1,200 crore will be spent on the project to replace 2,000km of line.
He said there is also a plan to introduce smart prepaid meters for Titas Gas consumers which will enable them to recharge prepaid cards without going to any vendor.
The project was taken up mainly to check for leakages in the gas pipelines. He said most of the pipelines across Dhaka city were installed 35-40 years ago and those have already become dilapidated.
“If the pipelines are replaced with new ones, it will check the leakage and reduce system loss”, said another official.
This project will check all the illegal gas connections and gas pilferage by illegal users, he said 150 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) are being pilfered in Dhaka.
This was found when the government imported 350mmcfd of LNG and supplied it to the national gas network. Various power plants in Chittagong city consume some 200mmcfd of gas and the remaining 200mmcfd of gas is being injected into the Dhaka city network. But it couldn’t be traced where such a huge amount of gas was going to, he said.