Gas price hike in the offing due to LNG imports

Tawfiq for efficient gas use at industries

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:36, Jul 29,2017 | Updated: 00:45, Jul 30,2017

 
 

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Abul Kasem Khan speaks at a seminar ‘Energy Security 2030: Challenges and Opportunity’ organised by the DCCI in Dhaka on Saturday. Prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury was present, among others. — New Age photo

Prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Saturday called on the business communities to ensure efficient use of natural gas at their factories, otherwise they would not be able to cope with increased gas prices in the coming days due to imported LNG.
The price of natural gas would go up significantly to adjust the import cost of liquefied natural gas, which would enable the government to increase gas supply by 1,000 million cubic feet per day by 2018, he said while addressing a seminar ‘Energy Security 2030: Challenges and Opportunity’ held in Dhaka.
The adviser suggested that the entrepreneurs should adopt co-generation system in the industrial units to run boilers and other heat-driven equipment using the exhaust heat released by their captive power generators.
Energy expert M Tamim, also a petroleum engineering professor at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, presented the keynote at the seminar.
Tamim showed that mixing of only 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from imported LNG with 2,700 mmcfd indigenous gas would require increasing the average price to $3.78 per thousand cubic feet from current price, $2.19 per thousand cubic feet. He considered the LNG supply cost at $10 per thousand cubic feet.
He also projected that the average price of natural gas would be at $6 per thousand cubic feet if 2,400 mmcfd imported gas is blended with 2,400 mmcfd indigenous gas while the price would be at $8.2 per thousand cubic feet if 4,000 mmcfd imported gas is blended with 1,200 mmcfd indigenous gas.
The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the seminar at a time when the government is set to increase gas supplies by 1,000 mmcfd by 2018 and another 3,000 mmcfd by 2030 due to failure in discovering gas reserves.
Meanwhile, being persuaded by the government, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission since 2009 increased the price of natural gas to Tk 9.62 per cubic metre, 221 per cent up from Tk 3 per cubic metre, for captive power plants in the industrial units. The price was also increased to Tk 7.76 per cubic metre, 85 per cent up from Tk 4.19 per cubic metre for industrial boilers.
At the seminar, speakers expressed their concerns over import-based plan for meeting country’s demand for primary fuel as well as electricity.
Md Tajul Islam, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on power, energy and mineral resources ministry, said that the price was not a problem but ensuring uninterrupted supply of natural gas.
On July 12, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said that at least 2,000 industrial units were waiting for gas connections.
At the seminar, M Tamim said that there were hardly any potential for tapping solar energy for large-scale power generation. He, however, stressed solar home systems and min-grid solar park at remote areas and rooftop solar photo-voltaic system for urban areas.
He also said that there was no potential for tapping wind energy in Bangladesh with the technology so far available.

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