Massive gas shortage ahead
According to a projection paper prepared by the Power division, the country will likely face acute gas shortage soon. Scarcity of natural gas could likely climb up by as much as 1, 200 million Cubic Feet a day in the coming months. And it will take place because of growing demand for power during Holy Ramadan and the summer season. Understandably, the Power Division must make its move right away to prevent and tackle the worrying future predicted.
Getting into the details of the projections forecasted, approximately 14,300 MW electricity and 1,550mmcfd gas will be needed at the peak hour from the first day of Ramadan, but Petrobangla has no magic wand to supply the primary fuel with numerable power generation plants sitting idle. Many power plants could not be turned operational due to dearth of gas. Moreover, Petrobangla is currently supplying around 2,300mmcfd gas against the demand of 3,700mmcfd, the amount includes imported LNG also, once again reinforcing the prediction that we are heading towards a massive shortage.
The point, however, the country has been facing severe gas crisis from December of 2020. The government failed to recognise it as industrial and commercial demands were very low due to the pandemic, but we cannot think of such a probable power crisis erupting during Ramadan and summer, authorities concerned must ensure extra energy supply to meet growing demand.
With possibilities of load shedding looming large in the horizon, general people must be well prepared to embrace regular hours without power. We have witnessed, how barely a week ago, severe gas shortage gripped the capital and its surrounding areas, causing sufferings to both household and industrial consumers. And with piped gas supply now reduced to nearly half the demand, complaints are pouring in from households to industrial consumers from across the capital Dhaka. The recurrent piped gas supply crisis is the result of collusion between the government and private businesses.
It has been nearly a decade since the gas crisis became a household problem during winter, now summer is about to join in. Thanks, however, to the rampant indifference within the government's authorities concerned in addressing the shortage predicaments.
From our end, we will have to keep parroting the same old grievances, as we mark evident lack of proper planning, farsightedness, supply and distribution eating up our energy and gas authorities. And also, practical and virtual meetings arranged by the authorities, frequently ending up with no concrete decision to follow and implement. The government's highest authority must act soon.