Authorities of a gas distribution company in Chattogram have said it may take up to seven days for the supply to return to normal as consumers in the city were hit by a severe disruption as the threat of Cyclone Mocha brought a halt to production at the floating LNG terminal in the Bay of Bengal.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources said the two Floating Storage Regasification Units, or FSRUs, of the liquified natural gas terminal near Moheshkhali channel in Cox’s Bazar were moved to the deep sea on Friday with the cyclone set to make landfall on Sunday.
The FSRUs, on average, produce around 700 MMcf (million cubic feet) of gas from LNG daily.
In a notice published in local newspapers on Sunday, Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited or KGDCL, the sole gas distributor in the port city, expressed their regret for the dire situation city residents are facing at the moment and advised that it would “up to 6-7 days” for the situation to return to normal.
According to KGDCL, at least 350 MMcf gas is required daily for the port city’s households, businesses and the nearby fertiliser factories and power stations. The FSRUs solely fulfil the requirement, which is why the city is not connected with the national gas grid.
Aminur Rahman, the company's general manager (of distribution), said that as soon as the FSRUs went offline, KGDCL had practically no gas to distribute.
“However, we have asked the authorities to divert some gas from the national grid to Chattogram so that we can fulfil some basic demands of Chattogram residents. By Monday, we may get some,” he said.
CHATTOGRAM RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES SUFFER MASSIVELY
The daily routines of the port city's residents and businesses have been hampered severely due to the supply disruption for the last two days.
Residents in the city cannot cook due and affordable eateries cannot meet the increased demand.
Surovi Ghosh, a resident of the city’s Enayet Bazar area, said she was forced to opt for a makeshift stove since there is no gas to cook for her children.
“It’s been like this for two days, and my kids are suffering. We were not even told beforehand that we would face something like this,” she said.
Lutfunnessa, a resident of the Halisahar area, had a similar story.
“My daily routine became a mess due to the ongoing supply disruption,” she said.
Atiqur Rahman from the city’s Mirzarpool area raised a different problem.
“Since demand has gone up for restaurant food due to this shortage, we are forced to buy food at an increased price, causing more trouble for us,” he said.
The city's CNG stations are also offline due to the supply disruption, which has nearly brought the city’s vehicular movement to a halt.