• Thursday, Dec 01, 2022
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10% of all gas lost to pilferage and waste, experts claim

  • Published at 05:39 pm June 20th, 2018
File Photo: A gas field Syed Zakir Hossain

'What is the government doing in this regard despite intelligence reports claiming of 300 mmcfd of gas pilferage from Dhaka and Chittagong regions alone?'

Bangladesh’s worsening energy crisis is being exacerbated by the loss of 10% of its national gas production to theft and system wastage, a leading energy expert said on Wednesday.

Dr Badrul Imam highlighted the alarming figure of 0.27 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas lost every day at a mass hearing on consumer distribution charges organized by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) in Dhaka.

“It is high time the government stopped the rampant pilferage and non-technical losses,” he said. “Why is it not taking stern measures to stop the theft and losses?”

The BERC is holding the hearings at the TCB auditorium in Karwan Bazar in the wake of a government move to increase gas prices and distribution charges to offset the price of liquified natural gas (LNG) imported from Qatar.

The super-chilled gas is expected to be added to the national energy mix by the end of this month to help plug a supply shortage, which - according to the state-run energy provider, Petrobangla - equates to around 1 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas per day.

However, when 0.27 bcf of gas is being lost daily from a total output of only 2.7 bcf, experts addressing Wednesday’s hearing wanted to know why the government was not looking to put its own house in order first.

“Why is the government more interested in importing the LNG than checking the pilferage and the loss?” questioned Dr M Shamsul Alam, energy advisor for the Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB).

“What is the government doing in this regard despite intelligence reports claiming of 300 mmcfd of gas pilferage from Dhaka and Chittagong regions alone?”

In response, BERC Chairman Monowar Islam claimed that the watchdog “was not aware of such a figure” relating to the pilferage and non-technical loss.

Meanwhile, the Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Ltd (BGDCL) have sought an 87% raise in the distribution charge. The gas company currently charges Tk0.2581 for each unit of gas and if increased, the figure will shoot up to Tk0.4826.

This proposed hike is topped by the Pashchimanchal Gas Company Ltd  (PGCL), which wants its distribution charge to be raised by 127.96% to Tk0.6650, up from the existing price of Tk0.2654 for each unit of gas.

Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Ltd and Sundarban Gas Company Ltd will have their proposals for the distribution charge hike heard on Thursday.

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