Gas Crisis: Four power plants shut temporarily

Four power plants with a combined capacity of around 1,000MW were closed for a temporary period because of a fall in gas supply.

However, it will not affect the overall generation of electricity as there are plenty of oil-based plants to offset the loss, an official of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said yesterday.

The plants are in Chittagong, Sirajganj and Narayanganj, he said.

The nationwide daily demand for electricity stands at less than 10,000MW while the country's generation capacity is over 12,000MW, the official said, requesting anonymity.

The sudden gas shortage occurred on Saturday when an emergency valve of the offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Moheskhali stopped functioning. The terminal was supplying 330 million cubic feet of gas a day to the national gas network, a senior official of Petrobangla's LNG Cell said.

“It will take about a week to fix the problem,” the official said yesterday.

Monjurul Hoque, general manager of operations of Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Ltd (KGDCL), had earlier said, “The valve is 120 feet underwater. Also, the water there [in Moheskhali] is murky. It is taking longer for divers to reach the supply line.”

Kamruzzaman, director of operations and mines at Petrobangla, said they would be able to solve the problem by November 15.

Gas crisis is not new in the country as the supply has been lower than the demand for years.

The supply was boosted since August 18 when the KGDCL started supplying 300mmcfd of gas to the national grid from the Moheshkhali floating LNG terminal.

The gas supplied by the terminal meets at least one-tenth of the country's demand.