The gas transmission and distribution company Titas will undertake a vast project to overhaul its old gas pipelines in the metropolitan city of Dhaka in order to smooth the flow and minimize the risk of accidents.
Official sources said the aging pipeline modification plan has become the main need amid a series of recent explosions and fires blamed on faulty and leaking pipes.
When a massive explosion killed at least six people and injured several others in Moghbazar last June, firefighters suspected a leak in the Titas gas line as the cause.
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A leak in the Titas pipeline at a mosque in Fatullah resulted in the explosion of six air conditioners, leaving at least 27 dead and more than a dozen injured during Friday prayers in 2020, in one of the worst gas blasts from the country.
Aside from these tragic incidents, the issue of pipeline leaks also caught the authorities’ attention when Titas Gas began installing prepaid meters in parts of the city.
Titas officials said their teams discovered huge leaks in pipelines, both on the customer side and on the utility side, when working for prepaid gas meters in recent years.
Admitting the problem, a senior Titas Gas official said they were now working on the ministry’s instructions to overhaul the pipelines.
According to official sources, a plan was initially submitted to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the Ministry of Electricity, Energy and Mineral Resources for approval.
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But it was returned to the authority of Titas Gas with some observations and suggestions to reflect those in the plan, said a senior official in the energy and mineral resources division.
“We returned the relevant file with some observations and suggestions to follow those in their plan to make it more effective,” he told UNB preferring anonymity as he was not authorized to speak on the matter. question.
The general manager of Titas Gas (planning and development) Shafiqul Islam, who is in charge of the plan, informed that the current plan of the organization is to carry out first a technical-economic feasibility study, then to prepare a design. based on its report to implement the proposed pipeline replacement. project.
“The preparation of a geographic information system (GIS) mapping is also part of the plan,” he added.
He said the Titas Gas authority is now in the process of appointing a consultant to conduct the study.
Official sources said that according to the plan, Titas Gas will replace the old pipeline in 60 administrative areas, out of a total of 139 areas in its command area.
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The proposed area is primarily located in the metropolitan city of Dhaka, although Titas has an extensive network elsewhere, including Narayanganj, Savar, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Mymensing and Norsingdi.
Officials said the pipeline replacement project will be implemented with Titas’ own funds.
However, the financial implication in the project remains to be determined as it will depend on the report of the technico-economic feasibility study and on the basis of the next design.
Shafiqul said pipelines that are too dilapidated for service and unable to meet the growing demand for gas supply will be altered.
“But those deemed to be in good condition will be kept,” he said, adding that this work will be a kind of BMRE (balancing, modernization, rehabilitation and expansion).
He also informed that one of the main objectives of the technico-economic study is to locate the leaks in the pipeline network. The huge network of Titas Gas includes pipelines of different diameters ranging from 3/4 to 16 diameters.
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, which has 2.874 million customers, is responsible for supplying gas to the greater Dhaka and Mymensingh region.
Being the largest and oldest gas distribution entity founded in 1964, Titas currently has an underground pipeline network of 13,197 km to distribute gas to customers.
“But most of its pipeline network is very old and in many areas it is marred by leaks,” Minister of State for Energy, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said at the meeting. a recent webinar.
He said some of the pipelines are between 40 and 50 years old and need to be replaced as they have lost capacity and leaks are occurring.
Titas Gas officials said they have implemented different projects to relocate and rehabilitate gas pipelines according to emergency needs to facilitate some large infrastructure projects such as metro, elevated highway and overflights. .
“But the new project will be a massive one that will cover from the small-scale pipeline to the large-scale pipeline across the city,” another Titas official said.