POST TIME: 14 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Take all measures to tackle gas crisis, says PM
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

Take all measures to tackle gas crisis, says PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked energy and power ministry officials to take “all possible measures” to avert an impending gas crisis in the country. During a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, Hasina expressed concern over the current situation of the gas reserve and asked officials of the energy and mineral resources division to come up with feasible solutions to meet the country’s increasing demand for gas.

Dr Tawfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy and power advisor to the PM, Nasrul Hamid Bipu, state minister of power, energy and mineral resources, Dr Ahmed Kaikaus, power division secretary, and Abu Hena Md Rahmatullah Munim, energy and mineral resources division secretary, were present at the meeting.

Sources said the PM enquired about the current supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the national gas grid line. She reminded the officials about the Awami League’s poll manifesto in which it said that up to 2023, the party will keep up its LNG import project to ensure 5,000 million cubic feet of LNG gas in the country.

The ruling Awami League had also vowed to intensify the exploration of oil and gas in offshore and onshore regions of the country in a bid to discover and increase the total fossil fuel reserves of the country.

Hasina has said that a number of business organizations had applied for new gas connections, but didn’t get any. She asked the officials to take immediate steps to resolve the matter.

The PM also stressed the implementation of her party’s pre-poll promise to ensure sustainable electricity to every household in the country within the next five years.

In its manifesto, the Awami League also mentioned that it would ensure energy security for every citizen and promised to ensure a rational use of coal as well.

The manifesto had set a target to generate as much as 28,000 MW of power by 2023 along with 23,000 km circuit transmission lines.

According to the AL manifesto, the government will install 5 lakh km of distribution lines in the country by 2023. It will also develop “energy hubs” at Maheshkhali in Matarbari area and at Payra in Patuakhali.

The ruling party also promised to install a 130-km-long India-Bangladesh friendship pipeline to ensure energy security in the country along with another 305-km-long pipeline from Chittagong to Dhaka.

AL had also vowed to raise the refinery capacity of Eastern Refinery Ltd from 15 lakh metric tons to 45 metric tons and provide assistance to establish private refineries.