LNG import fails to alleviate gas crisis

The government imported expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) to alleviate the growing gas crisis in different industrial sectors, but this failed to solve the problem.

Recently, the gas crisis has become so acute that 25% of the capacity of local textile mills has gone unused over the past three months, costing them $1.75 billion, the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) said on Saturday. ) during a press briefing.

Sources from state-owned oil and gas company Petrobangla said the industries gas crisis was caused by damage to a pipeline from the Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs) in Moheskhali and will return to normal. next month after repairs.

Even before the FSRU was damaged, the garment and textile industries and the electricity sector suffered from a shortage of gas. Last September, the government ordered CNG stations to remain closed for four hours a day to meet industrial gas demand.

Energy experts have said the gas crisis cannot be solved by importing LNG. Only local production could solve this problem in a sustainable way.

“Sustainable and uninterrupted gas supply to industries is not possible with LNG. The current situation is the result of bad policies created by bureaucrats,” said Professor Dr M ShamsulAlam, an energy expert.

“To get rid of this situation, the Energy and Mineral Resources Division should be freed from bureaucratic control and the energy policy should be focused on cost-effectiveness and competitiveness,” said Dr. Shamsul, Energy Advisor of the Bangladesh Consumers Association.

To meet the growing demand for gas in different industries, the government set up two Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs) in Moheskhali in 2018 and 2019 to import and supply LNG into the national gas grid.

Along with local production, the two FSRUs supplied 650 mcf of gas per day.

But on November 18 last year, an FSRU, owned and operated by Summit Group, stopped supplying LNG due to damage in its pipeline.

Due to the closure of the Summit FSRU, approximately 250 million cubic feet of gas supply has stopped in the national gas transmission line.

As a result, gas supply to industries also decreased as distribution companies did not get enough gas.

Petrobangla Chairman Nazmul Ahsan told The Business Standard: “Hopefully the damage to the FSRU will be repaired by the first week of February and we can resume gas supply from there this month- the.

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