DHAKA, Aug 8, 2022 (BSS) - The National Energy Security Day will be observed tomorrow with the theme "A Multipurpose Energy-Prosperous Future" commemorating the historic decision taken by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 9 in 1975.
After independence, Bangabandhu had undertaken various initiatives to develop the country's energy sector and bought five gas fields from the then Oil company 'Shell Oil' for the state at a nominal price. The government has been observing the day since 2010.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages on the eve of the day, wishing all the programs on the day a success.
In his message, President Abdul Hamid said the main driving force of a country's economy is energy and power.
"Realizing the importance of energy, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had taken the initiative to buy five gas fields from the then British Oil company 'Shell Oil' for the state on August 9 in 1975, which are still playing vital role in the economic development and energy security," he added.
Natural gas is one of the major the sources of energy in Bangladesh while most of the country's gas fields are located on landsides, the President said, adding in order to increase the reserves of natural gas, exploration activities should be strengthened in the vast sea area apart from in the land areas and the production, transmission and distribution activities of the gas should also be accelerated.
Hamid said effective initiatives should be taken to reduce sole dependence on natural gas by using fuel-mix and renewable energy and people should be encouraged in this regard.
"I think it is very important to emphasize on energy related basic research and innovation of useful and applicable technologies to continue the development and progress in the future," he added.
In the context of global reality, there is no alternative to make the people economical and aware of energy usage to keep the economic development trend stable, the President said, adding "Apart from ensure optimal and cost-effective utilization of electricity, fuel, oil and gas, I call upon all concerned to enhance gas and oil exploration activities to ensure uninterrupted supply of energy".
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recalled Bangabandhu's initiative of buying five gas fields from the then British Oil Company 'Shell Oil' for the state and said Farther of the Nation had taken an epoch making step for reserving, supplying and transmitting the fuel by nationalizing the ESSO Eastern Inc. of the USA located in Bangladesh.
Following Bangabandhu's energy policy, she said, the present government is implementing different initiatives attaching highest priority to the energy sector, considering it as the main element for economic growth to achieve the 'Vision-2041'.
"A total of five gas fields, including Sundalpur, Srikail, Rupganj, Bhola North and Jakiganj, were explored during our regimes. About 10,000 line kilometers of 2-D seismic survey and 1,536 square kilometers of 3-D seismic survey are currently underway to discover more new gas fields," the Premier added.
Noting that the gas production from domestic sources has been increased by about 1000 MMCFD between 2009 and 2022 due to the government pragmatic steps, she said, gas production in January 2009 was 1,744 million cubic feet per day, which now stands at 3,300 million cubic feet per day, including the imported LNG.
To ensure balanced development across the country, Sheikh Hasina said, the gas network has been extended to Rajshahi and construction of the Bogra-Rangpur-Syedpur pipeline is underway.
"As the next step after implementation of the Padma Bridge, We have taken an initiative to set up gas distribution lines and Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) at Payra Port to ensure gas supply to southwestern region of the country," she added.
Besieges, based on the gas demand till 2041, the process of setting up a land-based LNG terminal at Matarbari with a capacity of 1,000 cubic feet per day is underway, the Premier said.
"Our government has taken all-out measures to modernize and digitize the energy sector by introducing Enterprise Resource Planning and is implementing various developmental projects to increase production of gas and coal," Sheikh Hasina added.
Noting that the overall economic development of the country has been accelerated due to increased supply of gas to the different sectors, she said in order to prevent wastage of gas, the activities of bringing the customers at household level under pre-paid meters soon are under implementation.
About 4 lakh pre-paid meters have already been installed, the Premier said, adding, "I hope, this day will inspire us to ensure energy security by preventing wastage of energy and ensuring economical use".