Along with the gas crisis, electricity load shedding has increased severely over the last three-four days.
As a result, industrial production is being affected. People's daily life has also become miserable.
A Power Division official said that currently the government is not buying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the spot market due to rising prices in the world market. The supply of gas in the country has decreased. As a result, it is not possible to generate electricity as per the demand.
“Gas supply has declined by 30 per cent in the last few days due to reduction in LNG imports. The price of fuel oil is also high in the international market. BPC is losing around taka 108 crore per day. Therefore, the oil-fired power plants are not running at full capacity. So it is being forced to go for load shedding,” according to the official.
Petrobangla has said that they are trying to meet the shortage by increasing the production of domestic gas. However, there is no possibility of filling this gap suddenly.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that electricity production is being hampered due to lack of gas supply.
This power shortage is causing load-shedding in various parts of the country. The electricity production will return to normal once gas supply is increased, said the minister in a Facebook post.
The high price of fuel and supply chain disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine war has affected Bangladesh like all other countries of the world, said the state minister while apologising for the temporary inconvenience.
Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) sources said the country’s daily gas demand is more than 400 crore cubic feet, while production capacity is 376 crore cubic feet. Of this, 100 crore cubic feet of gas is available through imported LNG under long-term contracts. To meet the shortage, the government occasionally buys LNG from the spot market. However, the supply of imported LNG has halved in the last few days to 50 crore cubic feet per day.
Currently, gas is being supplied to the country at 270 to 280 crore cubic feet per day.
On the other hand, the price of LNG in the international spot market has crossed $38 per unit. Last month, three LNG cargoes arrived from the spot market at a price of $25 per unit.
Consumers in different parts of the capital Dhaka have been complaining to Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd. about the declining gas supply for three days.
According to Titas sources, consumers in Bashundhara residential area, Baridhara, Badda and Keraniganj areas are not getting gas at all.
The gas pressure has decreased in several areas including Kathalbagan, Mohammadpur, Mirpur and Jatrabari. There are allegations that industries in Savar, Manikganj, Gazipur and Narayanganj are not able to produce due to gas shortage.
Meanwhile, power generation has decreased due to lack of gas. Distribution companies are not getting electricity as per the demand. Currently, the country’s installed capacity of power plants is more than 22,000 MW, while the demand for electricity is about 14,000 MW. However, power generation has decreased on an average of 1,500 megawatts per day. Most of the gas-fired power plants have to be shut down.
The demand for gas for power plants has been estimated at 2252 million cubic feet per day. In contrast, Petrobangla is supplying 913 million cubic feet of gas. Fertilizer production is being supplied 155 million cubic feet against the demand of 316 million cubic feet.
The consumers of Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (REB), the biggest power distribution company of the country, are suffering the most. They have to carry out power outages for five to six hours a day on average. In the areas near Dhaka, power goes out four to five times a day. Consumers are not getting electricity for a few hours somewhere.