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Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

Industrial production bent due to lack of gas

Staff Correspondent: The ongoing gas crisis has become acute and theindustrial production has fallen by half. The factory owners have written letters to several government departments, but there is no solution. The crisis has worsened in the past few weeks with the damage to an LNG terminal at Remal.
Petrobangla says the gas supply has been reduced due to damage to one of Summit Group’s floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) in Cyclone Remal. However, due to connecting gas to multiple industries in a pipeline, the factories at the end of the line are getting less gas.
And Titus Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, the main gas supplier, says that their work is only to connect and supply gas. They are supplying the amount of gas that Petrobangla is supplying.
However, two government institutions are claiming that the crisis will be resolved by the middle of this month. The industry has been suffering from gas crisis for a long time as the supply is less than the demand. The government decided to import gas from this crisis. Liquefied natural gas or LNG import started in the country at the end of 2018.
Crisis may end in middle of July
According to sources, the country’s gas sector is highly dependent on foreign countries without increasing the production of gas locally. There are two floating terminals at Maheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar for importing LNG and converting it into gas for pipeline supply. A terminal was damaged by Cyclone Rimal on May 27. It was sent to Singapore for repair. The FSRU will leave Singapore for Bangladesh on July 6 or 7 for the summit. It will reach the country on July 12. It may take another three days to start the process after reaching the country. The ongoing gas crisis is not going away.
Letter to factory owners seeking solution
Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA) has written to various government departments last week seeking a solution to the gas crisis. In the letter, the president of the organization, Sirajul Islam Molla, mentioned that there should be 24-hour supply of gas to run the ceramic factory’s furnace. Without gas pressure of 15 psi it is not possible to continue the production process inside the furnace. When the gas pressure drops, all the products inside the furnace are destroyed. And once the furnace is shut down, it takes a minimum of 48 hours to restart.
The letter also warned that the institutions affected by the gas crisis will fail to repay the bank loans if they go bankrupt.
Textile mills have not been able to carry out normal production activities for more than three years due to severe gas and power shortage. The mills have been able to utilize an average of 40-50 percent of their production capacity for several months. As a result, the production of yarn and cloth decreased.
At the same time, along with the increase in production cost, the cost of fabric processing has also increased, which is seriously undermining the competitiveness of this sector.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) said this in a letter written to Petrobangla Chairman recently. The letter given on behalf of the organization was signed by President Mohammad Ali Khokon.
In the letter, it is requested to ensure uninterrupted gas supply on a priority basis to spinning, weaving and dyeing-printing-finishing mills located in other areas of the country including Narayanganj, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Savar, Ashulia, Mauna.
BTMA also said in the letter that the gas-power crisis has directly affected the export-oriented garment industry. If the BTMA mills are unable to supply yarn and fabric to the garment manufacturers on time due to lack of gas, timely shipment of goods will not be possible.
Price increased but supply not increased
In the month of January last year, gas tariff was increased from Tk 16 per cubic meter to Tk 31.50 gradually, i.e. 96.87 percent, and it was assured that since then uninterrupted gas will be supplied to the industries. But the gas supply has never reached the desired level even though the mills have been paying increased gas tariff for over a year. As a result, mills are unable to meet export orders as production is severely disrupted.
Statement by Petrobangla and Titas
When asked about this, Chairman of Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation (Petrobangla) Janendra Nath Sarkar told, “Mill owners are talking in general terms. Two or three plants can be connected from one pipeline. But they are taking 10 connections from Titus from same pipeline instead of separate pipeline. As 10 people are connected from a pipeline like this, the end customer is not getting enough gas even though there is gas.
However, President of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) Mohammad Ali Khokon told, “We are sending pictures of the meter to the Chairman of Petrobangla. Gas shortage in all places including Araihajar, Rupganj, Fatulla Gazipur Maona. Petrobangla has admitted to us that they are unable to provide gas.
In this regard, the managing director of Titus Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited, Engineer Md. Harunur Rashid Mollah told, “This line does not give titas or do anything. These are matters of the country, decisions are made in board meetings for the sake of industrialization in the country. It is not given to anyone willingly.’
He said, “We don’t bring gas, Petrobangla brings gas.” Our job is distribution. 500 million feet of gas cut due to one FSRU being damaged. That’s why you have to suffer. If it passes by the middle of this month, the crisis will be over.”
In general, Petrobangla Chairman Janendra Nath Sarkar told, “Before the cyclone, gas was supplied from 3100 to 3150 million cubic feet. There was no problem then. The crisis will end when FSRU comes to the country.
The chairman said, ‘scientific problems cannot be solved for now. No matter how much gas I give, the first companies in the pipeline will get the gas. Still, we will study case to case how to solve the problem.

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