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Gas supply likely to improve from next week

Published : 30 Mar 2024 10:50 PM

Gas supply in the country is expected to improve to some extent from the next week as a floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU), known as LNG terminal, is scheduled to resume operation from April 3 after end of its routine maintenance work.

According to official sources, one of the two FSRUs went into maintenance programme last month, leading to a decline in the gas supply to the national grid.

As a result, the country’s gas supply came down by 500 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) to about 2,655 from.

Of the two FSRUs set up in Maheshkhali, one having 650 MMCFD capacity is owned and operated by US-based Excelerate Energy and another, having 500 MMCFD capacity, is owned and operated by Summit Group.

“Recently, the FSRU, owned and operated by Summit Group, came back from the maintenance programme and is now ready for operation. We hope it will resume operation from April 3 as per schedule,” Engr. Md. Kamruzzaman Khan, Director (Operation & Mines) of Petrobangla, told UNB.

He also said resuming operation of the Summit’s FSRU will increase the gas supply by 500 MMCFD to the national grid which will improve the overall supply situation.

He said currently, Petrobangla can get a maximum 650 MMCFD gas supply from one FSRU. “But after Summit FSRU’s resumption of supply, we will get 1100-1150 MMCFD gas,” he added.

Petrobangla officials, however, said despite the Summit FSRU’s comeback, the country will continue to suffer from the gas crisis as there will remain a huge gap between gas demand and supply.

The country’s gas demand is about 4000 MMCFD when FSRU will resume operation it will be able to increase the supply to maximum 3150, another official of Petrobangla said.

Industries in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj have been experiencing an acute gas shortage for long due to the shortage in supply.

Most of the industries in Gazipur do not get adequate supply of gas during their operational periods, the most crucial hours during which their machines need to be running. Inadequate supply manifests in the form of low pressure gas flow.

Low pressure gas flow is akin to low voltage electricity - many appliances won't run, even though an electric charge is present.

Due to the lack of gas supply, production in various factories is being disrupted and some are on the verge of shutting down.

In the ongoing gas crisis, important machines like generators and broilers in the dyeing section of the factories are not operating. This has been posing a great risk for the industries to continue their production and pushing them towards huge financial losses.

Industry insiders said there are more than 300 factories in Kaliakoir and other areas in Gazipur.

All these industries have been suffering from the nagging gas crisis and some of them have already suspended their productions.

Each of the industries has more than 1000 workers. But following the gas crisis, they have to reduce their production target while some of them use CNG at a higher cost to continue their operations