The government will raise the gas tariff for supplying 1000mmcfd of costly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) through the national grid, state minister for power and energy Nasrul Hamid said.
The government will start supplying LNG-mixed gas after August 9, he informed.“I assure you that gas tariff will remain affordable and a smooth gas supply will be ensured by the end of this year after injecting the LNG,” state minister said at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of the national energy security day.
He said the government decided to import LNG in face of depletion of natural gas in the country’s gas fields. The government also shut several gas fields due to poor output of gas, he informed.
“The country will require additional 1000mmcfd of natural gas to meet its demand,” he said.
Nasrul Hamid also said the government will need around $2 billion a year to import LNG.
The ministry of power and energy has already taken consent from the prime minister, finance minister and NBR to mobilize the fund, he added. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has already held a hearing with stakeholders regarding the issue. The government will implement a series of LNG-fired power plants that will consume 35 per cent of costly natural gas by 2040, he said.
Responding to a quarry regarding the delay in the drilling of 108 wells on the onshore, Nasrul said international oil companies are asking for $33 million for drilling a well though the rate was $9-$11 million earlier.Currently, Petrobangla can produce a maximum of 2750mmcfd of natural gas against the demand of 3700mmcfd.
Nasrul Hamid said the government is planning to use the finest technology to increase coal production.
Regarding the Barapukuria coal scandal, he said the prime minister office has formed a high-powered committee to nab the culprits.
“My ministry will not take the responsibility of any misdeeds committed by the officials of the coal mine,” he said.
He also said the government has a target to meet around 70 per cent of household gas demand through LPG.
“So we are preparing price formula for affordable LPG,” he said.
The demand for LPG increased significantly, he said, adding that the government is also reviewing its plans to install the Dhaka-Chittagong fuel pipeline.
“The land acquisition for this huge project will be a challenge,” he said.
The minister also said the capacity of the state-run Eastern Refinery Limited will increase to 45 lakh tonnes per year from existing 15 lakh tonnes after the construction of the second unit of the refinery.
At the press conference, state minister recalled the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to acquiring five natural gas fields on August 9, 1975.