POST TIME: 7 November, 2018 12:25:23 AM
Gas crisis likely for 10 more days over LNG terminal glitch
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

Gas crisis likely for 10 more days over LNG terminal glitch

The country is likely to face a 10-day gas crisis because of a technical fault in the underwater hydraulic valve of Bangladesh’s first LNG terminal at Maheskhali. The absence of experts to rectify the fault has compounded the problem, with gas supply across the country being disrupted for the past four days. Petrobangla was mulling to hire a foreign consultant to fix the damage, sources with the state-owned body said yesterday. Sources with Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) said they were in talks with a Singapore-based consultant to fix the valve. Petorbangla has also sought technical assistance from experts working at Maheskhali to establish the Summit Group’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU).

A diver team from Excelerarte Energy, which is building the Summit’s FSRU, will inspect the valve fault on Friday, an RPGCL official said. Sources with Petrobangla’s LNG cell said the valve at the pressure point between the underwater pipeline and the floating terminal had started to malfunction four days ago, forcing officials to shut down the line.

Since the valve in the line was located 40 meters under the sea, fixing it would require specialised technical knowledge, the Petrobangla official said, adding that if the engineers working on the Summit’s terminal could fix it, then the gas supply could be reinstated within a week or else it would take more time.

Meanwhile, there was a shortfall in gas supply across the country for the fourth consecutive day since last Friday. The crisis was most acute in Chattogram as residents of the port city have been consuming only regasified LNG alone since commercial supply started on August 18 this year.

Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Ltd (KGDCL), which is dedicated to the Chattogram region, has been receiving 170 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) less gas than it was getting before the termination of regasification at the LNG import terminal, a company official said.

During the pre-termination period, KGDCL was getting around 390 mmcfd of gas, including around 320 mmcfd as regasified LNG and the rest from the national gas grid, he also said.

But owing to the valve damage, the state-run company was now receiving around 220 mmcfd of gas from the national grid, the official said, adding that this has triggered a shortfall in the entire country as the amount now supplied to the port city was earlier channelled out to other regions, including Dhaka, while the LNG supply was on.