Titas to replace dilapidated gas pipelines in Dhaka
The Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd has planned to replace its dilapidated gas pipelines in Dhaka city, with new ones, as well as to introduce smart prepaid metres for consumers, over the next three years.
The state-owned entity has taken the initiative to replace about 5,000km of the distribution pipelines—out of 7,000km in the city—at the directive of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, said officials wishing to remain anonymous.
“Initially, about 2,000km of pipelines will be replaced with new ones, and new pipelines will gradually be installed across 5,000km,” said a senior official at the division.
He said engineers at Titas are now busy designing the project. “Once the design is completed, it will be placed before the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry as well as the Planning Ministry for their approval.”
The official said around Tk1,200 crore will be spent on the project to replace 2,000km of lines.
He said there is also a plan to introduce smart prepaid metres for Titas Gas consumers; which will enable them to recharge prepaid cards without going to a vendor.
About the government’s plan, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the project was undertaken mainly to check leaking gas pipelines.
He said most of the pipelines across Dhaka city were installed 35-40 years ago and those pipelines are now dilapidated.
The state minister said if the pipelines are replaced with new ones, leaks will be checked and system loss will be reduced.
“This project will check all the illegal gas connections and gas pilferage by illegal users,” he said, adding that they have come to know that 150 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) is being pilfered in Dhaka.
“This was discovered when the government imported 350 mmcfd of LNG and supplied it to the nation’s gas network. Various power plants in Chittagong city consumed 200 mmcfd of gas and the remaining 200 mmcfd of gas was injected into the network of Dhaka city. But it was impossible to trace where the huge amount of gas was going,” he said.
Nasrul Hamid said if the new gas pipelines are installed, they will easily be able to trace where the gas is being consumed.
He said the Energy Division also asked the Titas authorities to introduce smart prepaid gas metres whereby consumers can pay bills through a digital system—like bKash—from remote locations, without going to a vending station.
Titas Gas company officials said they have around 13,000km of gas transmission and distribution lines in and outside Dhaka city.
Of this, around 5,000km were installed about 25 to 40 years ago and most of those pipes have rusted and become risky for a reliable network, said a senior official of the leading gas distribution company with a market share of 60%.
The Titas Gas company distributes 17,000 million cubic metre (mmcm) for its registered 2.783 million users. It supplies: eight government power plants, 36 private power plants, 1,630 captive powers plants, three fertilizer factories, 5,128 industries, 382 CNG pumps, 11,688 commercial consumers and 2,764,247 household consumers.