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Nazmul Likhon
The country is facing a gas crisis since the past six days because of a technical fault in the underwater hydraulic valve at Bangladesh’s first LNG terminal at Moheshkhali, which will be remedied within a week, said a RPGCL official.
Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited General Manager (LNG), Mohammad Rafiqul Islam told Bangladesh Post, a diver team from Excelerate Energy, which is building the Summit’s FSRU, inspected the valve fault on Friday. They have already completed their initial work, and hope the main physical work will be started from Saturday.
‘The work is not so easy. The fault has occurred at around 40 meters under the sea. Also, the water there (in Moheshkhali) is murky. So, it is taking time for divers to reach the supply line. It’s hard to say. We hope we will be able to solve the problem within a week,’ he added.
Sources said, it would require specialized technical knowledge to solve the problem. If the engineers working on Summit’s terminal can fix it, the gas supply could be reinstated within a week, or else it would take more time.
The RPGCL official said that they were in talks with a Singapore-based consultant to fix the valve.
In 2010, the government took the initiative to import LNG to overcome the gas crisis in the country. The ship carrying Bangladesh’s first imported consignment of 1.37 lakh cubic feet of LNG from Qatar anchored in the Bay on April 24. Since then several deadlines had expired for gas transmission to the reservoir due to technical problems. Finally on August 18, the supply began in Chattogram.

Sources said, the supply of LNG stopped on Saturday night after the authority had detected defects in the supply pipeline. The hydraulic valve between the floating terminal and the submarine pipeline is ineffective, and the pipeline gas supply is stopped. For this reason the gas supply to the national grid is has decreased by 30 crore cubic feet.

The absence of imported gas has created a gas crisis in households and industries. The production in several types of industries is hampered due to low pressure in the pipeline.

Titas sources said that currently the gas demand in Dhaka is 210 crore cubic feet. The gas deficit was around 50 crore cubic feet in Dhaka before the fault in the LNG pipeline. Now the deficit has reached around 75 crore cubic feet.

Since the beginning of the LNG import, around 37 to 38 crore cubic feet of gas was supplied to Chattogram on a daily basis, which has now dropped to only 20 crore cubic feet.

According to Petrobangla, currently the total demand of gas is around 350 crore cubic feet in the country. After the supply of LNG, about 300 crore cubic feet of gas was being supplied against this demand. Now it is again 270 crore cubic feet.