Experts want ban on coal, gas exportStaff Correspondent
Energy expert Mohammad Nurul Islam on Friday urged the government to slap a ban on export of gas and coal dropping the provision for their export in the model production sharing contracts for energy and mineral resources exploration and production.
Nurul Islam in the key note paper he presented at the opening session of a national seminar on ‘Energy resources and governance Issues – Bangladesh perspective’ said that it would be difficult to meet the domestic demand in future even by importing energy due to Bangladesh’s geographical location.
‘The time is not far away when we will not get energy even if we have enough money to buy it because a number of energy-hungry developed and developing countries are there in the Asia Pacific region. So we will need to protect our resources for our own development, he told the seminar organised by Chemical Engineering Alumni Association of BUET.
Nurul Islam, who also teaches at the institute of appropriate technology of BUET, said that a bill had been placed in parliament in 2010 seeking a ban on export of energy and mineral resources but it was yet to be passed.
‘We will be able to sleep in peace if the government passes the bill,’ he said.
He suggested that the agreement should incorporate provisions ensuring that coal extraction rate would be in line with the demand of the power plants installed at coal gates.
He also said that there was no need to frame a policy for coal extraction.
Existing rules and regulations were enough for coal extraction. But it would require a pilot project to assess the viability of coal extraction through open-pit method, he added.
Nurul Islam and other experts said that the country had already lost huge wealth due to lack of good governance.
Badrul Imam, who teaches at geology department of Dhaka University, said that a Canadian court had punished Niko Resources Limited for bribing a government policymaker to avoid paying compensation for the damage it had done to a gas field in Bangladesh.
‘But we failed to take proper action against the company,’ he said.
The speakers also said that the extent of damages in the Tengratilla gas field for negligence of its operator Niko was yet to be estimated correctly.
They said that the governments had given away a number of known gas fields to international oil companies under PSC for which the country had to count huge financial losses.
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