Dhaka – In the face of depleting natural gas reserve, a move is underway to make the installation of LPG reservoirs in buildings mandatory by incorporating a provision in the Building Code, officials at Energy Division said, UNB news agency reported.
The Energy Division has moved for this mandatory provision as part of the government’s new plan to replace the current piped gas with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).“The Prime Minister’s Office has recently approved a ‘strategy paper’ on LPG use instructing the agency concerned to incorporate such a new provision in the Building Code,” Akram Hossain, a deputy secretary at Energy Division of the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, told UNB.
Officials dealing with matter said once the provision is incorporated, it will be mandatory for building owners to introduce LPG reservoir system on the ground floor or underground so that residents can use the gas from that system.
“LPG vendors will fill the reservoirs and the gas will go to flats through pipe. There’ll be no need to individually carry any LPG bottle,” said an official.
Users may pay separate bills for their LPG use under this system, which is being practised in many developed and developing countries, he said.
Akram Hossain said the Energy Division last week sent a proposal on the basis of the PMO-approved strategy paper to different ministries seeking their opinions prior to finalising a complete proposal to introduce the new provision.
He, however, said an inter-ministerial meeting will be convened as part of the process to finalise the proposal.
As part of the government plan, providing new gas connections to household consumers has already been stopped and a comprehensive plan is being developed to replace the existing 2.8 million household gas consumers with LPG.
State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid also said the Energy Division will announce a concrete policy on LPG pricing and marketing for making its use popular.
Officials said the replacement of piped gas by LPG is a very complicated issue as it involves a huge work. Before moving to LPG, bottled-gas has to be popularised by ‘rationalising the price of piped gas’ and that of LPG.
The Energy Division has been working on a formula to end the existing private sector’s monopoly on fixing LPG price.
Once the proposed proposed is in place, private operators will have to fix LPG price on its basis and there will no scope for monopoly pricing, said another official.
Official statistics show the country’s natural gas reserve now stands at 14 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and it will start to decline from 2017 if there is no new discovery.
According to officials, the gas will completely get exhausted by 2031 if no substantial reserve is discovered.