'Be patient': State Minister Hamid says gas, power issues will ease soon

The gas supply issue was bad over the weekend, but has started to improve, Nasrul Hamid says

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 21 Jan 2024, 10:39 AM
Updated : 21 Jan 2024, 10:39 AM

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid says the ongoing gas and power problems across the country will ease in the next couple of days.

He urged citizens to be patient during a media briefing at the Secretariat on Sunday.

The gas problem was 'terrible' over the weekend, but it has started to ease, according to Hamid.

On Saturday, the power, energy and mineral resources ministry issued a notice on its Facebook page, warning citizens about possible electricity outages in some areas because of a gas crisis prompted by a technical glitch at a floating LNG terminal in Cox's Bazar's Maheshkhali.

Gas supply from the terminal has resumed and there wasn’t too much load shedding on Monday, said Hamid.

Hamid hoped that the problems would be resolved within a couple of days.

Bangladesh’s daily consumption of gas is around 3,800 mmscf per day, the state minister said. Prior to the recent issues, a maximum of 3,200 mmscf was supplied.

Explaining the recent problem, Hamid said that Bangladesh has two floating storage regasification units (FSRU). Maintenance work on one of them required it to be sent to a dry dock abroad. Once it returned there were some issues reconnecting it.

The issues were resolved but the second FSRU also started to have problems. However, both units should be operational again by today, he said.

To resolve the gas crisis at homes and residences, the government is encouraging the use of bottled gas or LPG, according to the state minister.

LPG is being used in homes and vehicles, he said.

“Nearly 75 percent of residential users in Bangladesh use LPG. A small number use gas stoves. We have brought LPG down to a dynamic price.”

Asked about residential gas users having to pay for the utility despite supply problems, Hamid said the number of non-industrial users of such gas was around 2-2.5 million. These users will slowly be shifted to pre-paid metres, he added.

Pre-paid metres will be used at all homes within two to three years, the minister said. The funds for the project have largely been set aside.

“We have put in 450,000 gas metres. In the next three years, we aim to install gas metres at all homes. We’ve tried to put in gas metres for a long time. We needed funds to do it and now we have that as well. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Japan are supporting us. Before long, we will issue a tender and begin work.”