Vol. 4 Num 57 Wed. July 23, 2003  

10 more CNG stations by Aug

Existing crisis of compressed natural gas will ease when eight to ten more CNG refuelling stations start operation in Dhaka by the end of August, said State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources AKM Mosharraf Hossain yesterday.

He was speaking at a seminar on Techno Economic Aspect of CNG Refuelling Station at a city hotel.

"We hope all the vehicles in Bangladesh will be converted to CNG by the next two to three years," he told the seminar organised jointly by Navana Limited and Safe srl, a leading Italian CNG compressor manufacturing company.

The state minister mentioned that at present there are 20 CNG refuelling stations in Dhaka and one in Chittagong to feed more than 16,000 CNG-run vehicles.

He attributed the slow progress in setting up of CNG refuelling stations to unavailability of land. "This is a major problem we are facing," he added.

In view of the land problem, Navana has brought a new concept of 'rooftop CNG station' manufactured by Safe srl, as a solution to the problem. Italian company official Hemant Didwania made a presentation on this technology at the seminar.

The state minister said the government is currently implementing three major projects involving Tk 660 crore to promote CNG sector in Bangladesh, he added.

The projects have been undertaken to ensure gas supply to CNG-run vehicles, setting up more CNG refuelling stations and bring into service more four-stroke three wheelers.

Use of environment-friendly natural gas in running vehicles is not only reducing air pollution but also saving a huge amount of foreign exchange needed for import of petroleum products, the energy minister said.

He said Bangladesh currently imports 35 lakh metric tons of petroleum products at a cost of Tk 3,500 crore every year.

Mosharraf, however, appreciated the commercial banks and financial institutions for making investment in setting up of CNG stations.

About the new technology of CNG station, Navana Ltd Chairman Shafiul Islam said such a technology could be useful for Bangladesh where land is a major problem.

"So we thought how a refuelling station could be established by using minimum possible land," he said.

Navana Ltd, which set up the first CNG refueling station in Dhaka, has a plan to establish a few more stations, the company chairman said.

Safe srl official Didwania in his presentation focused on the technical aspects of the rooftop CNG station and its usefulness in a country like Bangladesh.

Didwania claimed that the oil consumption of compressor, the key component of a refuelling station, must be minimum. The oil consumption of compressor manufactured by Safe srl is not more than two litre per 100 hours, he added.

Charge d' Affaires of the Embassy of Italy Giovani Colella appreciated Bangladesh government to take the policy for a pollution free environment in Bangladesh.

Franco Zanarini, managing director of Safe srl was also present at the seminar.