Stranded gas from Bhola Island is set to be transported to gas-starved industry boilers around the capital shortly, following the completion of necessary works by Intraco Refueling Station, according to sources.
Intraco is now ready to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) from the island — located some 282 kilometres off the capital — to Gazipur and Bhaluka industrial belts, a senior Petrobangla official told The Financial Express on Wednesday.
The company is currently seeking an appointment from government high-ups to formally inaugurate the supply of Bhola gas to industries in CNG form, he said.
This will be the country’s first-ever instance of transporting stranded gas from one region to another for consumption.
The company will initially supply around 5.0 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas to the factories, particularly in Gazipur and its adjoining areas, where piped-gas pressure remains low.
Officials said Intraco plans to augment its CNG supplies to industries by an additional 20 mmcfd within the next one year.
This much-needed relief comes against the backdrop of an ongoing inconsistent gas supply, as the country’s overall natural gas production has plummeted nearly a third.
According to state-owned Petrobangla, the overall natural-gas output on November 28 was around 2,598 mmcfd, which is around 30.5-percent lower than Bangladesh’s overall production capacity of 3,716 mmcfd.
The country’s overall natural-gas output is currently nearly half the overall demand, which was projected by Petrobangla at around 4,000 mmcfd.
Intraco inked a deal with state-run Sundarban Gas Company Ltd (SGCL) in May to obtain natural gas from SGCL and then compress it for sale to consumers.
The company has the authority to select consumers and many industry owners have queued up with the company to secure gas supplies as soon as possible, said a senior official of state-run Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd.
He said the company will provide Bhola gas in CNG form to industries within the Titas franchise areas, where gas pressure typically remains low for most of the day.
Industry owners will have to purchase Intraco gas at the government-fixed rate of Tk 47.60 per Mcf (1,000 cubic feet), which is 58.66 per cent higher than the usual gas tariff of Tk 30 per Mcf.
Intraco’s CNG, sourced from Bhola gas, will also be costlier by around 36 per cent compared to conventional CNG priced at Tk 35 per Mcf, the Titas official added.
Intraco Refueling Station will receive Tk 30.50 per Mcf for its sale of Bhola gas to industries in CNG form, as it will procure Bhola gas from the government at Tk 17.10 per Mcf.
Sources said that there are three producing gas fields on Bhola Island with a total production capacity of around 200 mmcfd. However, production is limited to around 70 mmcfd due to a sluggish demand in the area.
Around 120 mmcfd of surplus gas currently remains unused and trapped in Shahbazpur, Bhola and Ilisha gas fields.