Supply increased in fertilizer factory
Mahfuz Emran: Gas prices were raised to record levels last February. While the price of gas supplied to power, industrial, captive and commercial sectors has been increased, residential, fertilizer, tea plantation and CNG sectors have been exempted. At that time, it was said that liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports would increase due to increased gas prices. The additional gas will be supplied to the power and industrial sectors. However, the opposite actually happened.
In the last financial year, LNG imports have not increased but instead decreased. This has also reduced the supply of LNG to the national grid. Besides, the country’s own gas production was the lowest in 11 years last financial year. All in all, gas supply to the national grid has decreased in the last financial year. Electricity, industry, captive and commercial sectors have got less gas despite the increased price.
According to Petrobangla data, LNG was imported at 4.084 million tonnes in the last financial year, compared to 5.062 million tonnes in 2021-22. And in the last financial year, 5,745.19 million cubic meters of LNG has been supplied to the national grid. The amount for the fiscal year 2021-22 was six thousand 809.97 million cubic meters. In other words, last fiscal year, LNG import decreased by 19.32 percent and supply decreased by 15.64 percent.
Meanwhile, in the fiscal year 2022-23, the amount of gas production in the country was 22,645,614 million cubic meters. In the previous fiscal year (2021-22), gas production was 23,783,104 million cubic meters. In other words, gas production decreased by 1,137.69 million cubic meters or 4.78 percent last financial year. As a result, overall gas supply has decreased.
In the last financial year, distribution companies in all sectors supplied gas to 26,402.59 million cubic meters. The amount of gas supply in the previous financial year was 28,354 million cubic meters. That is, gas supply has decreased by about seven percent, which has affected almost all sectors. Out of this, the largest gas supply cut is in the residential sector. Gas supply in this sector has been reduced by 21.32 percent in the last financial year. Although the price of gas has not been increased in this sector. However, the gas supply has been increased by 13.46 percent in the CNG sector.
Meanwhile, despite the increase in prices, the supply of gas to captives has been cut the most. In the fiscal year 2022-23, 4,975,506 million cubic meters of gas was supplied to this sector. The amount for the fiscal year 2021-22 was four thousand 652.284 million cubic meters. In other words, the supply of gas to captives has been reduced by 6.95 percent in the last financial year. But the price of gas was increased by 87.50 percent in Captive last February. In this sector, the price of gas per cubic meter has been increased to Tk 30, which was Tk 14 earlier.
Much the same picture is seen in gas supplied to the industrial sector. In the last financial year, 5,409.07 million cubic meters of gas was supplied to this sector. In the previous financial year, the amount of gas supply to the industrial sector was 561.77 million cubic meters. In other words, in the fiscal year 2022-23, gas supply in this sector has decreased by 6.86 percent. But the price of gas in the industrial sector has been increased by 150 to 178 percent. Among them, the price of gas was Tk 11.98 per cubic meter in large industries, Tk11.78 in small and medium industries and Tk 10.78 in cottage industries. However, in February, the price of gas for all types of industries is Tk 30 per cubic meter.
On the other hand, the price of electricity and gas has been increased by a maximum of 178.88 percent. Last February, the price of gas supplied to this sector was increased from Tk 5.02 to Tk14 per cubic meter. However, the gas supplied for power generation has been reduced by 3.22 percent. In the fiscal year 2022-23, 11,27.351 million cubic meters of gas was supplied to this sector. The amount for the fiscal year 2021-22 was 11,382.819 million cubic meters.
However, last February, gas prices were hiked the least in the commercial sector. At that time, gas prices were increased by 4.23 percent. Tk 26.64 per cubic meter of gas is increased by Tk 30.50 in this sector. However, in the last financial year, the supply of gas to the commercial sector has been reduced by 2.56 percent. Apart from this, gas supplied to tea plantations has been reduced by 3.54 percent in the last financial year.
Gas supply to fertilizer factories has also been reduced in the last financial year. 17 percent gas supply has been reduced in this sector. According to sources, currently the maximum demand for gas in fertilizer plants is 329 million cubic feet per day. But the supply is 135-140 million cubic feet. In this, old factories are often sitting due to gas shortage. However, South Asia’s largest fertilizer plant was inaugurated this week. However, due to the gas crisis, it cannot be run at full speed, the concerned people fear.
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