Tk1,200cr to be spent to replace 2,000km of gas lines
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Lt plans to replace its dilapidated gas pipelines in Dhaka city with new ones, and to introduce smart prepaid metres for consumers over the next three years.
The state-owned entity has taken the initiative to replace about 5,000km of the distribution pipelines, out of 7,000km, in the city at the directive of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, said officials wishing to remain anonymous.
"Initially, about 2,000km of pipelines will be replaced with new ones and new pipelines will gradually be installed across 5,000km," said a senior official at the division.
He said engineers at Titas are now busy designing the project. "Once the design is completed, it'll be placed before the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, as well as the Planning Ministry, for their approval."
The official said around Tk1,200 crore will be spent on the project to replace 2,000km of line.
He said there is also a plan to introduce smart prepaid metres for Titas Gas consumers which will enable them to recharge prepaid cards without going to any vendor.
About the government's plan, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid, said the project was taken up mainly to check for leakages in the gas pipelines.
He said most of the pipelines across Dhaka city were installed 35-40 years ago and those have already become dilapidated.
The state minister said if the pipelines are replaced with new ones, it will check the leakage and reduce system loss.
"This project will check all the illegal gas connections and gas pilferage by illegal users," he said, adding that they came to know that 150 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) are being pilfered in Dhaka.
"This was found when the government imported 350mmcfd of LNG and supplied it to the national gas network. Various power plants in Chittagong city consume some 200mmcfd of gas and the remaining 200mmcfd of gas is being injected into the Dhaka city network . But it couldn't be traced where such a huge amount of gas was going to," he said.
Introduction of smart prepaid metres also on the cards
Nasrul said if the new gas pipelines are installed, they can easily trace the gas movement.
He said the Energy Division also asked Titas authorities to introduce smart prepaid gas metres, whereby consumers can pay their bill through digital systems like bKash from remote locations without going to vending stations.
Titas Gas company officials said they have some 13,000km of gas transmission and distribution lines in and outside Dhaka city.
Of this, some 5,000km were installed about 25-40 years ago and most of those pipes are rusted and have now become risky for a reliable network, said a senior official of the leading gas distribution company with a market share of 60%.
The Titas Gas company distributes 17,000m cubic metre (mmcm) to its registered 2.783 million users: eight government power plants, 36 private power plants, 1,630 captive powers plants, three fertilizer factories, 5,128 industries, 382 CNG pumps, 11,688 commercial consumers, and 2,764,247 household consumers.