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Swasti Lankabangla Swasti Lankabangla

'Reduce dependency on energy imports'

Speakers suggest at webinar

| Updated: August 12, 2020 09:50:03

Illustrative photo Illustrative photo

Speakers at a webinar on Sunday suggested the government cut the growing dependency on imports of different sorts of energy to ensure the country's energy security in future.

They said the country is already facing fiscal challenges with import of LNG, or liquefied natural gas, LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, coal and petroleum products.

The country will start importing uranium, another expensive energy, within next several years to run the under-construction Rooppur nuclear power plant which will put further pressure on the national economy, they warned.

The speakers made the observations at the virtual seminar titled, "'Energy Scenario of Bangladesh: Prospects, Challenges & Way Forward."

Energy and Mineral Resources Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, or MPEMR, organised the seminar to commemorate the historic decision taken by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to take over operation of five gas fields from Anglow-Dutch Shell Oil at a cost of 4.5 million pound on August 9, 1975.

Prime Minister's energy adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury was the chief guest at the discussion while state minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid was the special guest.

Energy secretary Md Anisur Rahman chaired the virtual seminar.

Speaking on the occasion, the energy adviser said the government carried out a study over utilizing local coal before taking decision on coal imports.

But the decision to import coal was taken as the country did not have sufficient cultivable lands, he added. "We need to have flexibility in planning to cope with the changes in global energy scenarios."

Regarding offshore oil and gas exploration, he said it will take at least 10 years to extract hydrocarbon from deep sea block after discovery.

Mr Hamid was upbeat about the consumption of electricity and natural gas during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He said the energy demand will increase significantly once over one hundred economic zones go into operation.

He also said the sector was paying the price due to 'immature' and 'illogical' decisions taken by the previous government.

Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation chairman Md Shamsur Rahman said the state-run entity could not get the benefit from lower oil price due to storage bottlenecks.

The country has only 60-dayoil consumption capacity against the global standard of around six months, he said.

President of Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh, or FERB, Arun Karmakar said the country did not carry out sufficient exploration during the past one decade.

During the past one decade, natural gas consumption was around 9.0 trillion cubic feet, or Tcf, but overall discovery was around 1.0 Tcf, he added.

Top officials of different state-run gas entities and energy experts also took part in the webinar.


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