Gas and electricity consumers in parts of Bangladesh have been suffering due to a shortage caused by a halt on production at the floating LNG terminal in the Bay of Bengal amid the threat of a cyclone.
The power, energy and mineral resource ministry said the two Floating Storage Regasification Units of the liquified natural gas terminal near Moheshkhali channel in Cox’s Bazar were moved to the deep sea on Friday with Cyclone Mocha set to make landfall on Sunday.
Gas-run power stations in Chattogram, Meghnaghat, Haripur and Siddhirganj depend on the repurposed gas from the two FSRUs, which, on average, produce around 700 MMcf (million cubic feet) of gas from LNG every day.
Aa the supply was cut off, people in Dhaka and other parts started complaining about frequent power cuts and low pressure or no gas in their kitchens on Saturday.
Local authorities made announcements through loudspeakers in some areas of Dhaka, alerting them to the supply disruption.
“We’ve been told the power disruption is caused by Mocha. We’re still a day away from the cyclone to make landfall, and we are already experiencing power cuts every other hour. What will happen when it makes landfall?” said Sajia Afrin, a resident in Dhaka’s Taltola.
bdnews24.com’s Cumilla and Narayanganj correspondents reported that the residents of the cities and Chandpur have been experiencing unprecedented power cuts, for at least a total of 10 hours.
The ministry said in a notice that until the FSRUs are repositioned and start production, the four power stations will either be shut entirely or remain partially operational.
Nearly half of the country’s electricity comes from gas-run power stations, which means the disruption of production in four major power stations affected a significant number of people.
SM Wazed Ali Sarder, a member of the Bangladesh Power Development Board, said the disruption may continue until Tuesday.
He thinks the situation will worsen with a shortage of up to 2,000 MW electricity due to the storm-caused supply disruption.
Frequent power cuts returned to some areas of Bangladesh at the beginning of summer, as consumption went up significantly, coupled with crippled power production by some sizable power stations due to the unavailability of coal.
GAS SUPPLY DISRUPTION
The disruption in production at the LNG terminal has severely hit gas supply to households as well.
Reports from different areas in Dhaka indicated that the disruption had massively impacted Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Co Ltd subscribers.
Md Haronur Rashid Mullah, managing director of Titas, told bdnews24.com that his company lost 300 MMcf of gas from the floating terminal due to the disruption.
[bdnews24.com’s Cumilla Correspondent Abdur Rahman and Narayangaj Correspondent Sourav Hossain Siam contributed to the report]