Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD)
Energy is the key ingredient for socio-economic development of a country. Economic Development depends on reliable energy supply. To increase efficiency of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, it was divided into two divisions, vide Cabinet Division Notification No. CD-4/1/94-Rules/23(100), dated 25 March 1998, namely Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) and Power Division. Energy and Mineral Resources Division is entrusted to formulate all policies related to natural gas, liquid petroleum and mineral resources. EMRD is also entrusted to formulate policies and administrative control over Geological Survey of Bangladesh, Petrobangla, Bureau of Mineral Development and Department of Explosives. EMRD also supervises and monitors over Hydrocarbon Unit and Bangladesh Petroleum Institute.
To achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to alleviate poverty in line with vision 2021, Bangladesh has to meet increasing energy demand. In order to ensure energy security, the primary energy source of the country especially gas, coal and other mineral resources have been taken into consideration. Along with gas significant quantity of condensate is recovered. Oil was discovered in three locations but the quantity is not significant. The Division and its subordinate organizations/directorates/companies have been playing vital role to achieve the target of Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
To meet energy demand at desired level, initiative has been taken to increase gas supply and its optimum utilization. The demand of imported oil is also increasing. Part of it is met by condensate (by product of gas). Recent gas crisis led to the policy makers to import LNG within a short period of time. Realistic policies for development of coal fields in northern part of the country are under process for national interest. As a part of government's plan to expand gas supply network, a new distribution outlet, titled, Sundarban Gas Company Limited has been formed for the south-western region of the country. For efficient marketing of gas in Chittagong region, Karnafully Gas Company Limited has been created and it has started distribution of gas.
System loss in gas distribution, a major problem, has been tackled with notable success through management and monitoring. Initiative has also been taken to build up regional energy security based on mutual co-operation with the neighboring countries under SAARC umbrella.

Natural Gas

In Bangladesh, natural gas is most important indigenous source of energy that accounts for 75% of the commercial energy of the country. So far in Bangladesh 23 gas fields have been discovered with the rate of success ratio is 3.1:1 of which two of the gas fields are located in offshore area. Gas is produced from 17 gas fields (79 gas wells).Oil was tested in two of the gas fields (Sylhet and Kailashtila). To reduce the dependency on natural gas, alternative energy resource must be explored.
Average daily gas production capacity is about 2000 mmcfd of which International Oil Companies (IOC) produce 1040 mmcfd and State Owned Companies (SOC) produce 960 mmcfd. The gas production recorded on 24 February, 2010 was 1996.7 MMCFD. At present the daily approximate projected gas demand throughout the country is 2500 MMCFD. The demand is increasing day by day. Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) has already undertaken an array of short, medium, fast track and long term plans to increase gas production to overcome prevailing gas shortage. According to this plan 188 mmcfd, 290 mmcfd, 995 mmcfd (including 500 mmcfd LNG), 500 mmcfd and 380 mmcfd gas will be added to the national gas grid by the year 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 respectively. After completion of these plans production capacity is expected to increase to about 2353 mmcfd gas by December 2015. To increase the gas production more programs will be taken in near future.

Petroleum Product

To meet total demand of commercial energy, Bangladesh imports annually about 1.3 million metric Tons of crude oil. In addition to this, another 2.7 million metric Tons (approx) of refined petroleum products per annum is imported. Condensate is mixed with crude oil. Major consumer of liquid fuel is transport sector followed by agriculture, industry and commercial sector which is mostly met by imported liquid fuel. Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL), a subsidiary company of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), is capable of processing 1.3 million metric Tons of crude oil per year.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

To reduce the dependency on imported fuel significantly, to reduce environment pollution and to save foreign currency, the use of CNG vehicles was introduced in 1997. Number of CNG refueling Station is 565 and 162 conversion workshops have already been set-up in the country. Total number of CNG converted vehicles is 150249.In addition to that 42549 CNG vehicles was imported. Total number of CNG vehicles is 192798 as of May, 2010. Average CNG usage (approx.) is 102 MMCF per day.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

The area where access to gas pipeline is difficult and expensive but there is a demand of gas; in this case gas in the form of LPG can be used. To reduce the dependency on imported oil and thus to save foreign currency, the use of LPG has to be popularized. Currently the supply of LPG of the country is 95,500 Metric Ton of which production in Public Sector is 22,500 Metric Ton while Production in Private Sector is 73,000 Metric Ton. The Possible demand of LPG in the country is 2,00,000 M. Ton. To popularize the use of LPG the present government has reduced tax rate on some appliances such as Pressure Regulator/Valve, Safety/ Relief valve and Submerged Welding Flux including bottling of LPG.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

To reduce the dependency on imported oil as well as indigenous gas, import of LNG is under active consideration. Under mid term plan, LNG will be imported to supply at the rate of 500 mmcfd by 2012. The site for building necessary infrastructure for LNG has been located. Bangladesh has to set up necessary infrastructure such as LNG Receiving Station, LNG Storage Tank, Re-gasification process and 90 km long pipeline from Maheshkhali to Anwara in its own effort. A MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to be signed between Bangladesh and Qatar, which is under process.

Coal

Besides natural gas, Bangladesh has significant coal reserve. Coal reserves of about 3.3 billion tons comprising 5 deposits at depths of 118-1158 meters have been discovered so far in the north-western part of Bangladesh. The name of these deposits are-Barapukuria, Phulbari and Dighipara coal field in Dinajpur district, Khalashpir in Rangpur district and Jamalganj in Joypurhat district. Out of which 4 deposits (118-509 meters) are extractable at present. As an alternative fuel to natural gas, coal can be extensively used. The depth of Jamalganj coal deposit is 640-1158 meter with 1053 Million Tones in-situ coal reserve where production may not be viable by present day’s technology due to the depth of the deposits. Possibilities of extraction of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) need to be explored from this coal deposits. Government is actively reviewing law to be applicable for Exploration and Production of Coal Bed Methane. So far, only Barapukuria coal field is under production.

Other Mineral Resources available in Bangladesh

Besides indigenous energy resources, Bangladesh has other mineral resources. Various organizations under Energy and Mineral Resources Division are engaged to explore for mineral resources. In case of commercial discovery, foreign company can apply for production license.
White Clay occurs in Sherpur, Netrokona, Dinajpur and Chittagong district etc. White Clay is used to make crockery’s, sanitary materials, insulator and tiles .It is also used in Paper,cement and sugar industries.
Glass sand occurs in Sherpur, Habiganj, Comilla and Dinajpur district etc. Glass sand is used to make crockery’s, lenses, glass sheet of windows and doors. It is also used to make quartz clock, frame of boat and aero plane, foam glass and in various electronic equipments etc. Silicon chips are also made from silica, which is a main ingredient of glass.
Limestone occurs in Sunamgonj and Joypurhat district and St. Martin’s Islands. Limestone is used to make lime and cement and in paper, Ispat, sugar, glass industry. It is also used to decorate the building.
Ilmenite,Garnet,Zircon,Kyanite,Magnetite,Rutile,Leucoxine,Monazite,etc are found in Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf Beach, Kuakata Beach , Moheshkhali, Nijhum dwip, Kutubdia and Monpura Island. Ilmenite, Rutile and Leucoxine are used to make slag and in welding and in melting of metal. They are used as a dyeing subject and Refractory Brick. Ilmenite is used to make sand blasting and heavy mud as an alternative to Barite in drilling activities. Titanium metal, which is derived from this mineral, is used to make frame of aeroplane, missile, and in chemical reaction and salt removal process. Zircon is used to make foundry sand, Refractory brick and as a dyeing substance. Zirconium is used as a radioactive substance.Monazite is used to make catalyst, television tube, refractory substance, thermal insulator substance and in computer disk and line printer.
Peat occurs in Gopalganj, Madaripur, Khulna, Sylhet and Sunamganj district etc. It is used as an alternative fuel to household work, in brick and lime industries and in thermal power plant.
Hard Rock occurs at Maddyapara in Dinajpur district. It is used in regulator dam, river training, and river bank erosion. It is also used as construction material and as mosaic stone.
Gravel Deposit occurs in Lalmonirhat, Panchagar, Sylhet district, Greater Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts. It is used to construct buildings, road, railway, bridge and in river training and flood control.

Renewable Energy Sources in Bangladesh

Renewable Energy Sources may also be helpful in the achievement of the MDGs, as well as in tackling the challenges of energy security especially for developing countries and global climate changes. The renewable energy sources include biomass (combustible renewable and waste), hydropower, solar, wind, ocean, and geothermal energy. Biomass is currently the largest renewable energy source due to its extensive noncommercial use (mainly for cooking and heating) in developing countries like Bangladesh. The share of other forms of renewable sources is minimal. Possibility of installing mini and micro level hydro-electric power plant in the hilly areas of Bangladesh would be explored. Windmills are with capacity of 2 MW in operation in the costal area of Bangladesh.
Biogas
Biogas may be the most promising renewable energy resource. Presently there are about 50,000 households and village-level biogas plants in place throughout the country. There is a huge potential for expansion in rural areas.
Solar Energy
Potential of solar energy is good in Bangladesh. But due to its higher cost of equipment it has to go a long way to become commercially viable. However, in remote areas of Bangladesh it is gradually becoming popular and government has undertaken lot of scheme to subsidize on it. Presently there are about 2, 64,000 solar panels installed throughout the country.
Bio-diesel
Bio-diesel may also be one of the promising sources of energy. Though Bangladesh is a densely populated country with 150 million people just in 147,570 Sq. Km areas, except the hilly areas, most of the areas are covered with fertile land that producing high yielding crop. Diesel from Jatropha plant may be a source of renewable energy in our country. Jatropha trees can be planted in both the sides of rail way tracks & high ways, marshy land & costal belt of the country. These Jatropha plant can also be used for coastal protection.
Gasohol
Gasohol is being blended with octane/petrol in many countries. Project in private sector is being undertaken to produce Gasohol from molasses used to be blended with octane/petrol. The molasses is a by-product of sugar industries.