The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help expand the natural gas infrastructure and delivery system in Bangladesh to support the country's economic growth through a 230-million-US-dollar loan package approved Thursday.
The project will build four gas transmission pipelines totaling 353 km to transport about 360 million cubic feet (10.8 million cubic meters) of natural gas a day to the less developed western region of the country, covering an area with a population of nearly 15 million, local daily The New Nation quoted an ADB press release as saying on Saturday.
According to the report, to remove supply bottlenecks throughout the network, the project will expand the country's north-south system by installing more compressors.
About 320 km of gas distribution pipelines will also be built to create a new distribution network in the Rajshahi area in Western Bangladesh.
In addition, the project will conduct a survey of five existing gas fields to provide updates on the estimated gas in place and to determine the exact location for drilling.
"Through this project, the western part of Bangladesh will have the opportunity for the first time to receive natural gas on a large scale, which will help boost its economic development and remove regional disparities in the long run," Piya Abeygunawardena, ADB Principal Project Economist was quoted as saying.
"By supporting the use of the much cleaner natural gas as a fuel for power generation and industry and transport, as well as for household use, the project will also contribute to improving air quality in urban centers and in households," he said.
Studies show that Bangladesh has adequate gas reserves to meet its requirements. The country's gas infrastructure, however, is in poor condition due to lack of commercial orientation and inadequate funding for maintenance and expansion.