Govt asks businesses to find alternativesStaff Correspondent
Prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury on Sunday suggested the entrepreneurs to explore alternate sources of primary fuel for industries as the government cannot ensure gas supply to keep up with the demand.
Despite several government initiatives, it is not possible to supply gas to all industries to run their boilers and captive generators, he said.
He, however, claimed that the government was successful in tackling immediate crisis for primary fuel, particularly allowing private entrepreneurs to produce electricity from fuel oil-fired plants.
Tawfiq was speaking at a roundtable on primary energy in the capital city.
Among others, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Md Emdadul Huque, former state minister for power and energy Rafiqul Islam, former Petrobangla chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain addressed the conference.
Tawfiq also said that two international oil companies would start oil and gas exploration in three hydrocarbon blocks in the deep sea in next winter.
The speakers in the conference emphasised on local coal extraction and import of coal for power generation.
Tawfiq said that water management in local coal extraction projects was a big challenge. So, he said that the government initiated to install power plants using imported coal unless the water management issue was settled.
State-run Petrobangla supplies about 2,260 million cubic feet of natural gas a day against a demand of more than 3,000 million cubic feet a day causing disruption to power generation, industrial production and domestic cooking.
UNB adds: Former state minister Rafiqul Islam criticised the power and energy ministry for its failure to prepare a comprehensive plan for the development of the power and energy sector.
‘This has happened because of their insincerity,’ he alleged.
Rafiqul Islam also alleged that Petrobangla is again presenting some old gas fields as newly discovered ones, which were actually discovered in 1996.
‘They’ve announced many discoveries, but those
have failed to produce any gas or oil,’ he added.
He also criticised the foreign ministry for its failure to make a diplomatic breakthrough to convince Nepal and Bhutan to allow Bangladesh to set up power plants there and import the power.
‘The Foreign Ministry is flying high in planes. How could it get success!’ he quipped.
BUET professor M Tamim said the government should engage more international oil companies (IOCs) for hydrocarbon exploration in both onshore and offshore fields. Because, he said, IOCs have been more successful than state-owned company Bapex.
He said gas exploration and production by IOCs are more profitable than gas import.
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