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Titas for foreign fund to install 1.25m metres

27 September 2021

News Desk :
The country's largest state-run natural gas distributor is seeking funds from two major donor agencies to implement its plan to install 1.25 million more prepaid gas metres domestic customers in the capital city.
The financing is being sought from the Asian Development Bank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), official sources told UNB without specifying the amount as the proposals are still at a discussion stage.
If the move succeeds, more than half the total consumers of the state-run Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company will come under the prepaid gas metre coverage, the sources said.
This will also increase the number of Titas Gas prepaid metre customers to about 1.710 million from the existing 460,000, said the official sources speaking on condition of anonymity.
Titas Gas, the oldest and largest downstream gas distribution company, has been responsible for supply of natural gas to Dhaka and its adjoining districts including Mymensingh, Netrokona, Sherpur, Jamalpur, Narsingdi, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Gazipur, and Narayanganj since its founding in 1964.
"But currently the company has been focusing on just Dhaka city in installing the prepaid gas meters for household consumers where it has the largest network," said a top official of the company.  Over 70% of the total 2.874 million consumers live in the city, he added.
Official sources said that the government has been trying to obtain required funding from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)."We've been discussing with the ADB for long to secure  financing for a project to install 549,000 pre-paid meters while a similar move is in progress with JBIC to get the support for installing 700,000 prepaid metres," said a top official of Titas Gas, wishing anonymity. About the move, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said his ministry has forwarded its proposals on the issue to the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the finance ministry.
"If they clear our proposals, we'll move further to receive the financial support from ADB and JBIC to implement new projects for the prepaid gas metering," he told UNB.   
Official sources noted that so far Titas installed prepaid gas metres in phases.
They informed that initially, some 13,100 prepaid metres were installed in Dhanmondi-Mohammadpur in 2013-14 area, under a pilot project, and then 320,000 prepaid meters were set up under a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded project in Dhanmondi, Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Uttara, Mohammadpur, Badda, Tejgaon, Cantonment, Kafrul, Khilkhet, and Mirpur area during 2016-2019.  
Again the JICA-funded project was extended by another 120,000 metres which are now being installed in different areas in central city areas, including Paltan, Ramna, New Market, Khilgaon, and Shegunbagicha under the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
IICA provided funds worth Tk. 752 crore for implementing the project. Faizur Rahman, director of the prepaid metering project of Titas Gas, informed that the extended project will be completed by December this year.

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