Bangladesh to instal 1.2 million prepaid gas meters

Bangladesh to instal 1.2 million prepaid gas meters
Image: World Bank

Prepaid gas meters are among the initiatives to address gas losses and leakage in Bangladesh’s gas transmission and distribution networks.

The project, which has been awarded $300 million by the World Bank, will see the prepaid gas meters installed in the capital Dhaka and the Rajshahi Division in the west of the country.

Among these, 1.1 million prepaid meters will be deployed in Greater Dhaka covering just over half of the residential customers of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited.

The balance of 128,000 prepaid meters will be deployed in the Rajshahi division, covering the entire residential customer base of Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited (PGCL).

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In addition, a pilot with up to about 60 larger industrial users in the two companies’ service areas will be implemented to demonstrate the viability of smart meters to better monitor and manage gas use in the industrial sector.

A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Geographic Information System also will be installed on PGCL’s network to improve gas flow monitoring and help reduce methane leaks and ultimately contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

With all its customers having gas meters, the company will have better visibility on the flows of gas in its networks and report gas losses more accurately and thus be able to better target leakage reduction.

“Bangladesh’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emission comes from the oil and gas sector,” comments Sameh I. Mobarek, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist and Team Leader for the project.

“Prepaid gas meters and advanced monitoring systems will help optimise natural gas end-use, mitigate methane leakages and lead to lower gas bills for the households and industrial users.”

Natural gas accounted for two-thirds of primary energy consumption in Bangladesh in 2021 and over half of the power generation capacity.

Methane leakages in the oil and gas value chain amount to an estimated 257kt, which is roughly equivalent to 7.7Mt of CO2.

The decision to implement prepaid metering follows an earlier pilot of 200,000 prepaid meters conducted by Titas Gas, which was launched in 2015 and found that the system seemed to have successfully increased consumer awareness in combating waste of natural gas, thus creating the potential for savings in residential consumption.

The project will finance technical assistance to detect CO2 and methane emission sources along the natural gas value chain and identify and prioritise opportunities to abate emissions in existing facilities and infrastructure.

It will also help develop emissions monitoring, reporting and verification protocols and regulatory frameworks for sustained carbon abatement in the energy value chain that can then be implemented through investment with public and private climate financing.