Thursday, 23 September, 2021

Gas tariff hike likely for extra users

Gas tariff hike likely for extra users

The government is planning to impose extra tariff for those who use natural gas more than allocated.

Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources has ordered the authorities concerned to submit a proposal in this regard to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) ahead of the upcoming winter hearing.

“We have found that some users are using natural gas 200 percent more than they have been allocated. This has created additional pressures on the distribution companies,” said State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid.

“We are planning strict measures against such additional consumption of the natural gas,” he said.

Hamid said the ministry also plans to introduce to peak and off-peak hours for the usage of piped natural gas like electricity.

The minister, at a meeting on July 5, 2021, already instructed the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company to prepare a list of the companies that have been using gas more than allocation.

The state minister said the government is going to launch automation system in the gas sector to stop pilferage and additional use of the costly natural gas.

    Currently, the six hours from 6:00 PM to 12:00 midnight are considered peak hours of electricity consumption.

A team of the Petrobangla is now working to set the peak and off-peak hours of the natural gas usage.

They will submit a proposal to the BERC before the next public hearing on gas tariff hike, the official sources.

The government is now supplying 3107 mmcfd gas against the demand of around 4000 mmcfd to different sectors.

Petrobangla said of the supply shortfall, they are unable to supply around 521 mmcfd of natural gas for electricity generation. It pushed them to rationing of the supply to the different consumer segments.

The government has already decided to keep CNG re-fueling stations closed from 6:00 PM to 12:00 midnight for uninterrupted gas supplies to power plants during the peak hours of electricity consumption.

The government policymakers are worried about the strategy of importing costly LNG to meet supply shortage as the locally produced gas is depleting gradually.

On the other hand, the tariff on the LNG import has been raised significantly. LNG will be the main fuel to meet the country’s demand.

According to the Petrobangla sources, the government will need 5092 mmcfd of natural gas in 2041, of which, 3850mmcfd will come from imports.