Alternative source suggested: No gas to power plants


Anisul Islam Noor :
No more gas based power plants would be permitted in the country, as there is less possibility of relief from gas crunch in near future, ministry sources said.
In a meeting held on Thursday in the ministry of gas, power and mineral resources, the issue of supplying gas to nine power plants was taken up. Petrobangla Chairman Professor Hossain Monsur said it there.
State Minister Nasrul Hamid Bipu, Power Secretary Monowar Islam, and Managing Directors of gas power distribution entities were also present.
At present, Petrobangla supplies gas to 35 power plants.
The nine power projects are the 195-MW Ashuganj modular power plant, 200-MW Kodda dual fuel power plant, 163-MW Fenchuganj combined cycle power project (CCPP), the 160-MW Keraniganj CCPP, the 52.2-MW Jangalia power project, the 150-MW Kodda dual fuel power project, the 300-MW Shahjibazar CCPP, the 225-MW LANCO infratech project and the  
300-400-MW Ghorasal CCPP.
The plants need some 286 mmcf of gas every day, which is 500 mmcf less than the volume required, Dr Monsur said.
Dr Monsur said, the Power Development Board (PDB) had ignored Petrobangla’s objections while signing contracts with the above projects. “The PDB ignored our objections and signed the deals. What can we do now? If we supply gas to all these power plants, all other projects would face serious shortage of gas,” Dr Monsur added.
The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchases approved the proposals in September 2012 for purchasing power from the plants. As many as 34 gas-based power plants are being built in the public and private sectors and they are scheduled to start production by 2016.
Meanwhile, Petrobangla officials told The New Nation that unless fresh gas reserves are found and developed rapidly, the new plants would not become operational. Moreover, the plants will have to depend on imported diesel and furnace oil, which will increase production costs.
At the meeting, the PDB official said that it would face a major setback in implementing at least eight large and medium power plant projects to generate a total of 1,700 MW power, as Petrobangla informed the PDB that it would not supply gas to the plants.
The PDB had earlier told Petrobangla that around 1,069 million cubic feet of gas per day would be needed for the 18 proposed government power plants, with a total capacity of 3,825 MW, and five independent power producers (IPPs) with 1,840 MW capacity. The plants were scheduled to have become operational by 2010-2012.
Petrobangla had named at least eight power plants that would not get gas supplies and advised the PDB to relocate the two proposed 100-MW rental power plants at Baghabari and Haripur to places adjacent to gas fields. The other plants, which may not get gas supplies, include the 450-MW Ashuganj power plant, 225-MW Shikalbaha plant, 210-MW Shiddhirganj second unit, 225-MW Ghorashal plant, and 150-MW Sylhet Gas Turbine.
The ministry suggested for finding alternative of gas for generating electricity to translate the commitment of the government into reality. Sources said, another 37 gas based plants are under construction.