A disruption due to bad weather in the gas supply in the Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in Moheshkhali has led to a severe gas crisis in the capital over the last week.
Residents of many parts of the city complained that the supply of gas in their areas was so low that they found it difficult to cook food during the daytime.
“The problem starts after 8:00am and continues throughout the day. In fact, by noon we find no gas. Things start to improve after 9:00pm. My wife prepares food for my children late at night,” said Sirajul Haque Khan, a resident of Mirhajirbagh.
Officials said the problem is caused by the low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal.
Md Kamruzzaman, director (operation and mines) of Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, said due to the bad weather, the level of the wave went above three metres which prevented the supply of LNG from ships anchored on the sea.
“It happened between August 12 and 13,” he told The Daily Star.
“We get nearly 600 million CFT LNG daily. After the disruption we had to adjust. Now we’re getting about 560 million CFT daily,” he said, adding that the situation would continue to prevail for five or six more days.
According to the Met office, the low pressure in the Bay is now at Urisya and Gangani, West Bengal, because of which weather at sea is very rough.
Aftab Uddin, a meteorologist of the meteorological department, said this situation might continue for the next two days and they were asking all maritime ports to continue hoisting their local cautionary signal number-3.
Explaining the situation, Rana Akbar Hyderi, director of operations of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, said the ships carrying LNG were jolted by the high waves, prompting officials to suspend supplying gas through pipelines.
“Had they not stopped the supply, it could have caused a blast,” he said.
He added that they usually get 1,800 million cubic feet (mmcfd) gas supply per day from Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) and around 500 to 570 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) comes from LNG.
But they are getting 70 mmcfd gas supply fewer from them now due to rough weather, he said.
Rana Akbar said they were supplying over 300 mmcfd gas per day to Dhaka city now, against the demand of around 450 mmcfd gas.
He said power and fertiliser companies got first priority and then they supplied gas to other industrial zones and domestic uses in Dhaka.
Seeking anonymity, an official of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited, which looks after LNG import and supply, said the LNG transfer was delayed on three dates on August 12, 17, and 18.
“It’s a common phenomenon during monsoon,” he added.
The government has been purchasing LNG from Qatar on a government-to-government basis since 2018 and it now gets around 600 mmcfd gas per day.