Residents of some areas in Chattogram have been suffering immensely for a week due to low gas pressure for inadequate LNG Supply.
Officials of Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited and Petrobangla blamed inadequate supply of LNG for the crisis.
For about a week, from morning till 2:00pm daily, many consumers of different residential areas suffered due to adequate gas supply.
The gas pressure sees a drastic decrease after 9:00am in the morning in some areas of Kotowali, Chandgaon, Askardighi, Chawkbazar, Uttar Kattali, Agrabad, Bakalia, Bohoddarhat, Goni Bakery, Love Lane, Halishahar, Zamal Khan, Rahamatganj. Low pressure continued till 2:00pm.
Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited manager (customer and maintenance) Anupam Dutta said that the increase in consumption of gas during winter makes the situation worse. Residential consumption of gas during winter increases about 20 per cent, he added.
He said that normally they receive 350 MCF (million cubic feet) of LNG per day, but the amount dropped down to 250 MCF last week, leading to the crisis.
A fourth consignment of imported LNG is scheduled to reach Chattogram by the first week February, till then Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited, KGDCL in short, is supplying gas by rationing.
Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company Limited and Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Factory Ltd both are producing fertilisers. So, a huge amount of imported LNG is consumed by these factories, he said.
Swapna Begum of Halishahar area said that they have been experiencing very low pressure of gas which made cooking impossible. Nearby restaurant and hotels also faced the same crisis. Due to gas shortage, they have been buying food from restaurants far away from home.
Kotowali area resident Miraj Sheikh told New Age in the morning that gas supply in the area came to a halt. We bought breakfast from nearby hotel. Due to low gas pressure CNG refuelling stations have also been facing troubles, he added.
Earlier on November 3, there had been a technical glitch in the supply valve at the floating storage re-gasification unit which caused acute shortage of gas and forced three power plants and a state-run fertiliser factory in Chattogram to suspend production. After 15 days the factories reopened when the problem was solved.
Chattogram city needs 500 million cubic feet of gas. Of this, industries require 250 million cubic feet and residential areas require 224 million.
State-owned Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited imported LNG from Qatar while state-owned GTCL is entrusted with the responsibility of transmitting the gas to the national grid.
The maiden consignment of imported LNG reached the country on April 24 of 2018, through the FSRU-based ship. RPGCL imported the LNG from Qatar and moved for re-gasifying it through the FSRU set up at Moheshkhali by US-based Excelerate Energy.
After missing several deadlines to start injecting LNG into the national grid, the country received a supply of re-gasified super-chilled fuel, for the first time in history, as consumers in the Chattogram region started getting LNG from August 18.
The move was aimed at mitigating the country’s growing gas crisis and the rest of the country was supposed to get fuel after the demand of gas in Chattogram region was met.
The port city started getting 300 million cubic feet gas per day through Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited distribution line against a demand for around 500 million cubic feet per day. With the new gas supply, Raozan power plant, Shikalbaha Power plant and fertiliser factories, which were closed earlier due to gas shortage, reopened.
According to officials at KGDCL, there are some 5,80,000 consumers of gas. Among them, more than 5,75,000 are residential consumers. There are 1,500 industries in Chattogram. There are 70 CNG filling stations.
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