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Bangladesh - September 14, 2022

Industrialists turning to LPG as alternative fuel

Industry Desk: Gas supply from the national grid has decreased. The gas pressure in the factory has not been sufficient for a long time. In this situation, entrepreneurs are leaning towards LPG as an alternative to national grid gas. LPG supply infrastructure is being developed in all types of industries, big and small.
Industries usually generate electricity by burning gas, diesel and furnace oil under their own management. With this captive electricity, boilers and dyeing machines are kept running on a large scale in the garment industry. That is why the entrepreneurs depended most on the gas supplied from the national grid.
But the industrialists complained that the pressure of this gas was not available at sufficient level for a long time. In the meantime, the price of all energy products, including LNG, became unstable in the international market due to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war. Gas supply to the national grid is further disrupted as spot imports stop.
On the surface, many industries in Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Mymensingh and Chittagong have already started using LPG. Especially garment industry entrepreneurs in these areas are now opting for LPG as the primary fuel for running boilers and dryer machines.
According to an industry leader, technology to run generators on LPG instead of diesel or furnace oil is not yet readily available. However, this type of technology can bring good results in dealing with the lack of gas pressure. Industrial owners can also be spared from suffering from gas pressure in factory management.
Gas pipelines have been in disarray long before the energy crisis began, industrialists said. Allegedly, legitimate industrial consumers are not getting gas pressure in the pipeline due to illegal connections.
So far, entrepreneurs have shown reluctance to use LPG in the industrial sector.
They were hesitating to use the product mainly due to fear of price and uninterrupted supply. But in the last few years there has been a huge expansion of LPG business in the country. Operators are now competing to deliver products to customers.
According to private operators, popularity of LPG among entrepreneurs is increasing mainly due to its cost-effectiveness. It is less expensive to use than diesel. Again, though the cost is higher than pipeline gas, LPG is relatively more readily available.
Considering the overall situation, entrepreneurs are now investing in building LPG infrastructure in factories. Construction of such infrastructure in a large industrial establishment may cost 1.5 to 2.0 crore Tk. LPG operators are providing technical support to them in this regard.
According to industry leaders, this will increase the cost of production but entrepreneurs find it worthwhile as there are no other options available. They also fear LPG price hike when the industrial demand will increase.

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