Study on methane gas availability in limbo

Kathmandu, October 5

The methane gas plant set up in Imadol by Department of Mines and Geology in October last year remains in a neglected state.

Then minister for industry Nabindra Raj Joshi had inaugurated the plant, which was set up at the cost of Rs 1.5 million. The government had then planned to seek investment for commercial extraction of gas.

However, DoMG said that no party showed interest as no study had been conducted to assess the volume of gas that could be extracted.

A joint survey by United Nations Development Programme and Japan International Corporation Agency had claimed that more than 300 million cubic metres of gas existed on the western part of Kathmandu, Imadol and surrounding villages in Lalitpur, in 1983.

Spokesperson for DoMG Krishna Dev Jha said that investors were unwilling to invest in gas extraction plant on the basis of the survey conducted in 1983.

“They need exact details of how much gas can be extracted from the ground. It is an expensive process. So no investor wants to take a risk without calculating the cost and return on investment,” Jha added.

DoMG was supposed to start research immediately after testing of the gas extraction plant in Imadol, but the department has instead started study at Teku from mid-August.

The DoMG spokesperson said the government lacked equipment to extract gas. “The drilling machine that the government has can drill only up to 350 metres below the surface,” said Jha.