• Sunday, Jul 12, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:43 am

Potential sectors under blue economy identified, but remain untapped

  • Published at 10:44 pm March 2nd, 2019
blue economy

Activities remain confined to holding occasional meetings only

Although 26 sectors have been identified to exploit the potentials of blue economy in Bangladesh, almost all the sectors remained untapped for lack of proper initiatives.  

So far, only a small administrative cell, Blue Economy Cell (BEC), was created in January 2017 under the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, according to official sources.

But the activities of the BEC remained confined to holding occasional meetings as the administrative body is now inadequately equipped with a few officials sent on deputation.

Amid the dismal situation, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry made a recommendation to upgrade the BEC as an authority with permanent setup, but the recommendation has gone unheeded.

The 26 sectors identified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through two workshops at national level twice in 2014 and 2017.  

The sectors are shipping, coastal shipping, seaports, passenger ferry services, inland waterway transports, shipbuilding, ship recycling industries, fishery, aquaculture, coastal aquaculture and marine culture, marine acquaintance products, marine biotechnology, oil and gas, sea salt production, ocean renewable energy, tidal energy, blue energy (osmosis) and biomass, aggregate mining (sand, gravel etc), marine mineral mining, coastal tourism, recreational water sports, yachting and marines, cruise tourism, coastal protection-artificial islands-greening coastal belts, human resource development, marine surveillance and marine special planning.

Bangladesh won two settlement of maritime disputes

Bangladesh won 19,467 square kilometres out of 25,602 sqkm disputed areas from India in the Bay of Bengal following the settlement of maritime dispute with India on July 8, 2014.

The country won a claim to 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone and territorial rights in the Bay of Bengal following the settlement of dispute with Myanmar in December 18, 2013.

Officials said those two settlement of disputes opened the door of huge blue economy.

No sign of advancement in last two years with the blue economy plan

Official sources said the government had formed a 25-member high-powered committee, headed by the principal secretary to the prime minister, to prepare a comprehensive plan on blue economy.  But, in the last two years, there has been no headway in this regard because of the inactivity of the committee, said a top official of the Blue Economy Cell preferring anonymity.

Foreign Ministry officials, however, said they have recently moved for a desktop study to analyze the data of an already conducted survey to identify the presence of gas-hydride, a kind of methane gas, which is normally found in low depth of 200-500 metres of under the sea while the natural gas is found in a depth of 3000-5000m under sea.  

Multi-client survey contract yet to be given

Meanwhile, the Energy and Mineral Resources Division moved twice for conducting a multi-client survey to identify the potentials of oil and gas exploration in the offshore areas.

But the multi-client survey contract is yet to be awarded to any company for unknown reasons although a Norwegian company was selected by Petrobangla.  

Energy sector experts said the neighbouring India and Myanmar had moved much earlier to exploit potentials of their maritime areas.  They said Myanmar has awarded its 20 offshore blocks to 13 international companies under production sharing contracts while it again moved for inviting international bids for another 30 offshore gas blocks.

India has also awarded a number of blocks to different international companies in recent years.

About the offshore gas exploitation, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said, "Currently, work on data analysis is going on."  

He said work on oil and gas exploration started in four blocks in deep and shallow sea under four Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) with five companies.   The state minister also said some seismic surveys have already been completed.

67
59
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail