Prime Minister's Advisor DrTawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Thursday again turned down any possibility ofproviding new gas connection to household consumers in the near future.
The government's first priorityis to augment gas supply to power plants and the second priority is industriesand fertiliser factories, he said while addressing a seminar at Petrobangla.
Tawfiq said: "Right at thismoment, our first priority is power, then industries and fertiliser. We'llresume gas supply to fertiliser factories soon. If we find any new energyoption, then we'll think about the household consumers."
Tawfiq's comments came when newconnections to household consumers remained suspended for more than three yearsdue to gas crisis.
While imposing ban, thegovernment had said the new connections will resume when gas production exceeds2200 mmcfd benchmark. Though the gas production recently reached 2239 mmcfd,still the ban continued.
Gas supply to countries'fertiliser factories also remained suspended for several months as thegovernment had diverted gas supply to power plants to raise power productionacross the country to meet the extra demand in the irrigation season and thenin the Ramadan.
The Energy Ministry organised theseminar to observe the National Energy Security Day at the PetrobanglaAuditorium in the city with Energy Secretary Mohammad Mezbahudin in the chair.
State Minister for Power andEnergy Mohammad Enamul Haque, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committeeon Power and Energy Ministry M Subid Ali Bhuiyan and Petrobangla Chairman Dr.Hussain Monsur also spoke at the seminar. Petrobangla Director (operation)Mollah Mobirul Hissain presented the keynote paper.
At the function, four privatecompanies-Incepta Pharmaceuticals, Square Textile, Akij Textile, and EOSTextile-were conferred appreciation certificates for their steps to introduceco-generation system that increased their energy efficiency to about 37 percentto above 70 percent.
The Energy Ministry has beenobserving 9 August as National Energy Security Day for last two years to markthe purchase of five gas fields from Shell gas company in 1973 by father of thenation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at a very nominal cost.
Addressing the seminar, TawfiqElahi said the present government has taken some strategic decisions includingsetting up of short term rental power plants which started yielding result.
"The government's strategyhas proved right. This Ramadan, the people first time consumed electricitywithout any interruption or load shedding," he said, taking a swipe at thecritics of the rental power plants.
Tawfiq Elahi said the PrimeMinister's another strategic decision to settle the maritime boundary issuewith Myanmar will also provide good results in future.
Mohammad Enamul Haque said thegovernment will fulfill its commitment to the people through increasing powerand gas supply. Industries in the country should go for introducingco-generation system, he added.
Subid Ali Bhuiyan said thegovernment should not provide pipelined gas connection. Instead, it should gofor bottled gas supply. He also advised the government to go for open-cast coalmining to address the energy crisis.
Mollah Mobirul Hossain said thecountry's gas production has been raised by 593 million cubic feet a day overthe last three and half years of the present government.