Gas consumers will have to wait at least two more months for the current gas crisis and low pressure problem to ease, according to top officials in different agencies involved in the gas sector.
They said installation works of two gas compressor stations -- one at Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria and another at Elenga in Tangail -- are now in progress and likely to be completed by the middle of November this year.
At present almost all kinds of gas consumers including household, commercial, industrial and CNG refueling stations, have been experiencing severe gas crisis and low pressure problem.
In many areas of the capital, household consumers hardly get gas in their ovens to cook foods while commercial and industrial consumers face severe low pressure in supply. The CNG refueling stations are among the major sufferers, who failed to meet the required gas supply to their motor vehicle customers.
Halima Khatun, a domestic consumer in the city’s Basabo area, complained that she gets gas in her oven only from midnight to early in the morning. “Rest of the time we don’t get gas,” she said.
Bushra Begum, another housewife at Mirpur, however, said she gets gas only twice at day -- in the morning and in the late evening. “We don’ t get gas to cook our meal any other time,” she added.
The commercial consumers, particularly those who run restaurant business, suffer the most. The industrial consumers, particularly in Narayanganj, Rupganj and Munshiganj face similar problems as they don’ t get gas supply at required pressure.
Huge queues in front of the CNG refueling stations across the city have now become a common scene.
President of Bangladesh CNG Station and Conversion Workshop Owners Association Zakir Hossain Nayan said most of their filling stations are experiencing low pressure problem.
“We get gas pressure at 5-7 psi (pound per square inch) in our dispensing machine to feed the motor vehicles, which was supposed to be 15 psi,” he told UNB.
As a result, most of the motor vehicles receive half of their required gas and sometimes have to take gas twice a day. This puts extra pressure at the CNG filling stations, Nayan said.
Admitting severe gas crisis, state-owned Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company’s managing director Nowshad Islam informed UNB that the government’s recent decision to provide gas supply to fertilizer factories has led to such a situation. He said three fertilizer factories -- Jamuna, Palash and Ashuganj -- were shut down during the last Ramadan, but these were opened recently and the government ordered to give priority to supply gas to these fertilizer factories.
“So, about 200 million cubic feet (mmcfd) of gas daily are being given to these factories from the gas transmission and distribution system. This has created some extra shortage in supplying gas to the city dwellers, CNG stations and also industries,” Titas Gas MD said.
He, however, said the state-owned Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) is installing two gas compressors. When these two compressors will come into operation, situation will improve significantly.
Echoing Titas Gas MD Nowshad Islam, GTCL managing director Aminur Rahman said the installation of the two gas compressor stations in Ashuganj and Elenga is now at the final stage.
“We hope, we could start test run from next month and the final commissioning is scheduled for mid-November,” he said.
The GTCL managing director said that when these two compressors will start operation, consumers of all groups will get adequate gas supply subject to enhancement of gas production at different gas fields.