Extensive natural gas exploration stressed for cost-effective energy supply

Published : 19 Jun 2021 08:43 PM

Speakers at a webinar on Saturday stressed extensive exploration for natural gas to ensure cost effective energy supply in the industries in future. 

They alleged that LNG and LPG are being used in the industries but the volume is very low because of its higher price. 

They also opined that still natural gas is very cost effective for our industries. They also emphasized on energy mix and energy diversification.  

 Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) organized the webinar on “Future of Industrial Fuel Source in Bangladesh: LPG & LNG” on Saturday. 

Senior Secretary, Energy & Mineral Resources Division, Md. Anisur Rahman joined the webinar as the chief guest. Member (gas), Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Md. Maqbul-E-Elahi Chowdhury joined as the special guest. DCCI President Rizwan Rahman chaired and moderated the webinar.

Addressing the webinar, Md. Anisur Rahman, Senior Secretary, Energy & Mineral Resources Division said government has not stopped gas exploration rather 100 million cubic foot gas has been added to the national grid recently. It is good news that we have found new gas field in Jokigonj from where BAPEX will explore gas. 

"Our capacity for onshore gas exploration is quite satisfactory but for offshore gas exploration we still encourage foreign explorers, he said. The market size of LPG is of 12 lakh ton and already 30 thousand crore taka have been invested in this sector. 29 private LPG operators are now active", he added.

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said that energy plays a pivotal role in the economic development and industrial progress of a country. The growing energy need for diverse economic operations demand blended energy mix to offset the shortages of gas, he told. 

Rizwan Rahman also mentioned that to accelerate the industrial growth in a planned and more environment-friendly way, we need to put more focus on the import and production of alternative fuel like LPG and LNG alongside natural gas exploration. Currently, LNG constitutes 1.2% of the total global import which is around 1000 mmcfd against the daily demand while LPG meets 2% of domestic energy demand, he said.

  Engineer Kohondkar Saleque Sufi, Former Director (Operation), GTCL, Petrobangla presented the keynote paper. 

He highlighted that the LNG and LPG will be the future fuel for industries in Bangladesh. He also said that for a sustainable supply of primary fuel in the industries we need to have a rational planning for utilization of gas. 

Md. Maqbul-E-Elahi Chowdhury, Member (gas), Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) said we have to strengthen BAPEX for gas exploration. At present we have 3300 million cubic foot gas out of which 74% comes from local gas and 26% comes from LNG.

 Professor Dr. M. Shamsul Alam, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Daffodil International University said that we have to be competitive in terms of price of energy. 

He further recommended rationalizing and reducing the price in the end-user level. Moreover, he also urged for protecting the interest of mass consumers as well.

 Mr. Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA said gas is very important for the RMG industry and the backward linkage industry that is textile, Spinning, Dying, and Finishing.  7%-8% of the country’s total gas supply is used in the RMG sector which is very less in terms of the contribution to the economy.