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JS panel chief opposes piped gas to households
Households should be assigned gas through cylinders instead of the existing piped system to avoid waste, said a parliamentary committee on energy yesterday.
"We let the gas burn all day just to save a single matchstick," said Subid Ali Bhuiyan, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the power, energy and mineral resources ministry.
"We are providing the scarce natural resource to households at a nominal price, but they are wasting it away. We have to replace the piped system with cylinders, and introduce metres, to deter them from squandering."
The comments from Bhuiyan came at a seminar organised to mark the second "National Energy Security Day" at the headquarters of Petrobangla in the capital.
The annual demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has increased from three lakh tonnes to five lakh tonnes due to non-availability of gas connections to households, according to government statistics.
Two state-owned companies -- Rupantorito Prakritik Gas Company Ltd and Eastern Refinery Ltd -- import, bottle and market about 20,000 tonnes of LPG per year, while four private companies -- Totalgaz, Kleenheat, Bashundhara and Jamuna Spacetech -- deal with 80,000 tonnes.
Bhuiyan also said Bangladesh should exploit all available energy sources, including opting for the open pit coal mining process, which maximises gas extraction, to spread out the mounting pressure on gas.
For decades, Bangladesh has been divided over the mode of mining the country's high-quality coal reserves.
The total coal reserve, as per government statistics, is about 2,797 million tonnes, with the heat generation capacity from the reserve standing around 37 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Of the five coal mines so far discovered, only Boropukuria in Dinajpur started commercial production five years ago using the underground mining method, and now supports a 250-megawatt power plant.
A vested quarter is opposing the country's efforts to extract coal, said Bhuiyan, pointing fingers at the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports. "Experts have backed the open mining method, and I think we should go for that," he said.
The ruling party lawmaker said the government should take care of people who would be affected by the open pit mining method: "Compensation cannot be a major issue for the government."
Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to the prime minister, said a government-sponsored committee is working on the best coal extraction method.
At the seminar, Petrobangla honoured one pharmaceutical company and three garment companies for their efforts to reduce energy consumption and increase fuel efficiency.
The energy adviser awarded certificates to Abdul Muqtadir, managing director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals; Mostaq Ahmed Siddiqui, chief operating officer of Square Garments; Sheikh Jamil Uddin, director of Akij Group; and Giuseppe Berto, managing director of EOS Textiles.
Abubakar Siddique, chairman of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, said Bangladesh would require about 5.8 million tonnes of liquid petroleum in the current fiscal year, an 11.5 percent increase from last year's 5.2 million tonnes.
Muhammad Enamul Huq, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources; Md Hossain Monsur, Petrobangla chairman, and Mohammad Mejbahuddin, energy secretary, also spoke.
[ Business ] 2012-08-10