Dhaka, Bangladesh --- (METERING.COM) --- August 23, 2010 - Bangladesh gas utility Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company has launched a project to introduce prepay gas meters in a bid to reduce gas wastage and ensure fair payment by consumers.

The first batch of meters is due to be installed in 5,000 homes in the Dhanmondi area of Dhaka by next May, with a target to introduce a total of 8,600 prepaid meters.

In addition the company is set to introduce up to 1,000 remote meter reading systems at top industries in the Tongi-Gazipur area by 2012 in order to combat gas pilferage through meter tampering.

The project follows a request to improve the supply efficiency in Titas Gas’s distribution system from the power and energy ministry earlier in the year. Currently users pay a fixed amount per month of Tk450 (approximately US$6.50) a month for a double burner stove, but are expected, if they do not waste gas, to use gas worth only Tk300 (US$4.33) a month.

While income from domestic customers may drop, the company expects to recover more income from the industrial customers, who consume at least half a million cubic feet of gas a day and some up to five million cubic feet of gas a day. If even one tampers their meter gas worth millions of taka can be stolen annually.

The total cost of the prepaid and remote meter reading project is estimated at around Tk555 million (US$8 million).

Titus Gas is Bangladesh’s largest gas distribution company, with almost 1.5 million customers, almost all domestic.