5 months ago

Power, gas crunch may ease in two days

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The countrywide electricity and gas crises might ease after the next couple of days with resumption of operation of an FSRU stuck at Moheshkhali mooring while another moved into deep sea to avert cyclone mayhem.

The second floating, storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU), which was moved deep into the Bay of Bengal ahead of the landfall of the cyclone Mocha, might take 10-12 days to become operational, State Minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told newsmen at his secretariat office in Dhaka on Sunday.

"The overall electricity supply won't be as bad as of Saturday night," said the state minister, without elaborating on the why.

The country's electricity and natural gas supply will start getting back to normal after the next couple of days, with the resumption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification in one FSRU, he said.

Both the FSRUs will come online after 10-12 days, he said, as the cyclone just began crossing the coast.

The FSRU owned by US's Excelerate Energy was taken away into deep sea to avoid any damage to the floating terminals due to the cyclone, said a Petrobangla official.

But the FSRU owned by Summit Group could not de-plug from the mooring and hence was bound to stay with the mooring to shoulder any damage out of the cyclone which was feared to be a super-cyclone comparable with the force of Sidr.

If the Mocha were severe, Summit Group's FSRU would have been damaged badly.

"Now LNG re-gasification at Summit's FSRU will first resume within the next couple of days," said the official, thanking goodness for narrowly escaping the nature's scourge.

It will take some 12-15 days for the Excelerate Energy's FSRU to come back to the mooring plant, plug in with the mooring and resume LNG re-gasification, he added.

Sources said the country's overall natural gas supply remained low at 2,150 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) on Sunday in a squeeze from around 2,900 mmcfd following the suspension of LNG re-gasification.

Power generation also dropped to around 10,000 MWs on the day from around 13,000 MWs on Friday.

Spokesperson for the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Md Shamim Hasan said around 9,774MW electricity was produced at around 12 noon Sunday against the known demand for 12,000 MWs.

There was load-shedding of around 2,126 MWs of electricity across the country, according to the BPDB.

Gas-fired power plants generated around 6,500 MWs on Sunday and generation of some 4,667 MWs was hampered due to gas shortage, data showed.

Some 25 power plants remained shut on Sunday amid the exigency of storm, the BPDB official said.

Earlier, the country's two operational FSRUs were shut at 11:00 on Friday night amid fears of cyclone Mocha.

Sources said the natural gas supply to industries, commercial entities, households and compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations squeezed badly as a consequence.

The gas-fired power plants in Chattogram, Meghnaghat, Haripur, and Siddhirganj areas were either shut or made operational partially due to the gas dearth.

Gas supply is facing disruptions in Chattogram and Cumilla regions badly due to a halt in LNG re-gasification.

People across the country continued bearing the brunt of acute load-shedding since Friday with the non-operation of the FSRUs and fall in natural gas supplies.

Businesses and commercial operations are also hit badly due to the frequent outages of electricity in major parts of the country, the sources added.

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