Monday, September 15, 2008

Bangladesh Natural Gas Needs are 20000 MMCFD

Bangladesh has a perspective plan to supply power to its entire citizen by 2020. It is one of fundamental requirement for maintaining its current GDP growth rate of about 6% and also to achieve its Millennium Development Goal. Considering the situation with three quarter of 2008 almost gone serious apprehension now being made whether the 2020 vision and MDG of Bangladesh can be at all achieved. People do not have much faith in Bangladesh government statistical figures. But the conservatives feel that about 35% of Bangladeshi population have access to some form of energy now. But energy supply in most cases is not reliable and dependable unfortunately. So given the present scenario even the most optimistic person would hesitate to believe that achieving power for all by 2020 is at all possible.

Bangladesh is currently having serious energy crisis .It can supply about 3500 MW power per ay against a national demand of 5200MW. Production and supply of natural gas which is the major source of power generation is also in crisis. National demand is now about 2000 MMCFD but production capacity is about 1830 MMCFD and transmission capacity is 1750 MMCFD.

Energy crisis is causing serious problem in industrial growth, trade, commerce and civic life. A country having all the potential to grow into mid income group utilizing all its resources in the most economic way must set out its priorities and pursue vigorously its implementation. This write up will discuss the present situation, future possibilities and will try to identify the priorities.

Bangladesh as we all know is one of the world’s poorest and most densely populated countries. It is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters such as cyclones, flooding and drought. Every year massive flood inundates most of its land, destroy standing crops. Occasional cyclone and tidal bore s also create miseries. Even then its struggling masses, brave framers could make the country turn around .But there is another human factor which bogs down its development efforts. Civil unrest, political instability and widespread corruption make it a very unsuitable place for required foreign investment.

Natural gas is the major source of commercial energy, and accounts for almost 75% of commercial energy consumption. The largest gas consumers are the power and fertiliser industries, which account for around 70% of daily production. Current supply capacity of 1,750 MMcf/d, however, is believed to be about 200 MMcf/d short to meet the demand. Virtually less than adequate exploration and very little development of known resource over the last ten years have the situation to the present crisis. The demand however increased at a rate of 10% per annum. Gas supply to a major growth centre Chittagong region in particular and rest of the country in general has entered red zone. No new bulk consumer can get gas connection. Supply to existing consumers is interrupted every now and then. About 500MW available capacity of power per day can not be generated for lack of require gas supply, fertilizer production is also seriously affected. There may be serious deficit of electricity, fertilizer for farmers in the ensuing Aman cultivation compounding the miseries. Many export oriented industry all over the country are complain about lack of energy for keeping their factories running and as such failing in the export commitment.

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