New gas connections freeze on CNG stations, houses

Commercial consumers to feel squeeze too

FE Report | Published: May 27, 2019 09:59:10 | Updated: May 27, 2019 13:29:16

Picture used for representational purpose — Collected

The government has suspended new gas connections to CNG (compressed natural gas) filling stations as it fears a potential drop in its consumption.

The energy and mineral resources division under the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources (MPEMR), in a directive last week, also suspended new gas connections to households and commercial consumers.

New gas connections to hospitals, educational institutions and jails will, however, continue.

The energy ministry also dissolved the high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister's energy affairs adviser, which was constituted around eight years back to provide new gas connections and sanction new load.

It directed the state-run gas marketing and distribution companies to decide on providing new gas connections with preferential treatment to industries, power plants and fertiliser factories.

To ensure gas connections in economic zones, the construction of new gas transmission pipelines would get preference, according to the directive.

New gas connections to captive power plants should be discouraged as the country's capacity to provide electricity has increased, the energy ministry directive noted.

A senior energy ministry official said this directive has cleared the ambiguity over providing new gas connections to the potential consumers.

Earlier, the state-run Petrobangla, in a notification, had stopped providing new gas connections to commercial consumers and suspended their load transfers.

The commercial consumers include restaurants, residential hotels, guest houses, private hospitals, clinics, laboratories, educational institutions, community centres, community clubs, convention centres, snacks and bakery item makers.

Traditional glass, chocolate, chanachur, vermicelli, biscuit, soap, ceramic, medicine, colour, agor-ator, distilled water, tannery, ice and ice-cream, and salt makers, who use hand-operated tools to manufacture their products, also belong to the commercial consumer group that has been brought under the new gas connection suspension.

Over the past several years, the suspension on new gas connections to households was either enforced or withdrawn.

Since June 2009, Petrobangla had rationed new gas connections to industries, fertiliser factories and power plants, considering the overall gas scarcity.

Despite the suspension, some consumers got approval for new gas connections over the past years following recommendation from the high-powered committee headed by the energy adviser.



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