Steps needed to make energy use in industries efficient
IT IS indeed disturbing that while acute power and energy crisis continues to haunt the people, more than 170 million cubic feet of natural gas is being wasted every day in different industrial units as they continue to use inefficient boilers and captive power plants, that too, defying instructions. According to a study based on the data available in 2009, in addition to 37 per cent of the gas used to generate captive power, at least 10 per cent of the gas used in industrial boilers, can be slashed just by increasing the efficiency of the equipment used. Having based on these revelations, as mentioned in a New Age report on Sunday, officials of the state-owned mineral resources company Petrobangla have estimated that the wastage with the industrial boilers consuming 374 million cubic feet of gas per day has already gone up to 36 million cubic feet each day while that at captive generators using 352 million cubic feet each day rose to 137 million cubic feet a day. On the other hand, in August 2009, the energy division instructed the gas distribution agencies to take steps to reduce the wastage in question. Accordingly, although belatedly, at least one company — the Titas gas Transmission and Distribution Company — conducted a survey on 20 industries located in the capital Dhaka and its adjoining districts last year and asked them to increase efficiency of their boilers within six months. Regrettably, however, the owners of those industries have turned a deaf ear to the directive thus far. What is worse, the authorities did not take punitive actions against the errant owners, understandably because of their strong connections with the ruling quarters.
A significant portion of the power plants installed so far in the country run on gas, which usually provides power at a cheap rate compared to other options, while a number of those plants, mostly tied to the Power Development Board currently remain closed due to inadequate gas supply. Meanwhile, apparently blaming on gas crisis, the incumbent government opted for quick rental plants run on expensive liquid fuel which have already wrecked havoc on the economy. Pertinently, according to the chairman of Petrobangla, the PDB would be able to generate around 800 megawatts extra power had the above-mentioned wastage of gas been put to an end.
It is imperative for the government to take effective actions in this regard without any delay. At the same time, the industries in question need to realise that their compliance with the directive to stop wastage of gas will benefit the overall economy.
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