Cyclone Mocha has affected electricity and gas supply in the country. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supply has been completely halted as part of precaution. Gas flow in the pipeline has declined. Households are suffering due to gas outage. Also, electricity production fell due to gas crisis. A large part of the country including Dhaka and Chattogram is experiencing frequent load shedding.
The deep depression formed in the Bay of Bengal has turned into a very severe cyclone. Therefore gas supply from two floating LNG terminals was stopped at 11:00 pm on Friday. The two floating terminals at Maheshkhali have already been moved to the deep sea. LNG imported through the two terminals is refined and supplied to the pipeline. It is learned that it may take Tuesday to resume the gas supply after setting up the connection.
Consumers may experience gas and power outage for at least three days. Gas crisis started in Chattogram and Cumilla region from midnight on Friday. Gas-run power plants in these areas were shut down which led to frequent load shedding. Dhaka residents also witnessed the crisis from Saturday morning. The power distribution companies are tackling the situation by implementing hourly load shedding intermittently. The gas and electricity distribution company has apologised to the consumers.
Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) data reveals that the demand for gas is about 400 million cubic feet per day. Maximum supply is 280 to 285 million cubic feet on an average. Supply is always short. This shortage is adjusted by rationing, closing supply to one sector and increasing in another. Of this, 215 to 220 million cubic feet gas comes from domestic gas fields. Around 620 million cubic feet of gas supply was received from LNG on Friday. Shortage spiked due to LNG shutdown.
Mahmuda Akhtar, a resident of Mohammadpur, told Prothom Alo on Saturday that she noticed that the gas flow was very low while making breakfast in the morning. It completely disappeared as the day progressed.
Earlier, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources had sent a notification on Friday night and said that the gas supply will be disrupted in Chattogram and Cumilla regions due to shutting down the gas supply from two terminals. Apologising for this inconvenience, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said that the gas and electricity supply be restored to normal as soon as possible.
However, in a notification sent yesterday, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited says, there will be low pressure of gas in the areas under Titas due to reduction in LNG supply. Titas supplies gas to the capital Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Manikganj, Mymensingh. Titas control centre received complaints from different areas of Dhaka throughout the day Saturday.
Electricity production dips
The Power Development Board (PDB) said several power plants have been shut down due to reduced gas supply. Officials of this organisation say that gas-powered power plants have been shut down in Chattogram, Meghna Ghat, Haripur and Siddhirganj areas. As a result of this, the production of electricity started decreasing from midnight on Friday. Although 6,500 megawatts of electricity is produced per day from gas-run power plants, it has come down now less than 5,000 megawatts.
The Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), the only state agency to transmit electricity from the power plant to the national grid, has sent a message to the distribution companies about power supply. It is said that electricity production will be limited to 9,500 megawatts due to the shutdown of LNG supply.
It will continue till Tuesday. Therefore, they have instructed all the distribution companies to follow the directions of the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC). The maximum demand for electricity was 13,000 MW yesterday. Around noon, 10,500 MW were produced. Earlier, the load shedding exceeded 2000 MW around 9:00 am.
PDB Member (Production) SM Wazed Ali Sardar told Prothom Alo on Saturday that the supply of gas for power generation has dropped from 1.1 billion cubic feet per day to 600 to 700 million cubic feet. Efforts are underway to increase production from oil-run power plants. Various power plants are being given instructions from the PDB control room to maintain power supply.
Load shedding occurred in various areas of the capital since morning. Even Gulshan that has always been prioritised is seeing load shedding.