The gas crisis is not leaving the industrialists behind. The government has taken new measures to meet the demand for gas in the power sector. Therefore, to increase the supply of gas to the power plant for 15 days from last Tuesday, the use of gas in the industry has been stopped for four hours every day from 5 pm to 9 pm. Due to this rule, the industrialists are facing new problems.
Entrepreneurs in the readymade garments, textiles and ceramics as well as steel and glass industries say that all industries will suffer more or less if they do not get gas for 4 hours in 24 hours a day. The cost of producing the product will increase. Exporters cannot send goods on time.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports have declined since the beginning of last December. Chevron, a US multinational company, began reforming the Bibiana gas field as gas pressure eased. For this reason, there was gas crisis in different areas of Gazipur including Maona, Konabari, Savar-Ashulia, Narayanganj and Manikganj for three months.
The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources decided to reduce the gas supply to the industry by holding an exchange meeting with traders on the power and energy situation on Monday. After that Bangladesh Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources Corporation (Petrobangla) issued a notification. In it, on the occasion of Holy Ramadan, customers of all industries are requested to stop using gas for a total of four hours every day.
The day after the notification was issued, Chittagong Chamber President Mahbubul Alam sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Tawfiq-e-Ilahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid. He wrote in the letter that the industries which have to be kept active all the time cannot be shut down suddenly. If you turn off the equipment is damaged. Gas rationing in industries will hamper the recovery of economic activity.
Meanwhile, the owners of the garment industry are worried about the decision to stop the use of gas for four hours. They say there is pressure to ship goods before Eid. If production is disrupted now, exports will also be disrupted.
Mohammad Hatem, executive president of BKMEA, an association of net garment industry owners, claimed that the new garment industry would cause more losses to the garment industry. He told Prothom Alo that the issue of stopping the use of gas would not be limited to four hours. That will be more. Because, it takes six to eight hours to dye (dye) clothes at a time.
BGMEA, an association of garment industry owners, said the new rules would also hamper garment exports. In a statement on Tuesday, Syed Nazrul Islam, the organisation’s first vice-president, said that if production was disrupted due to the gas crisis, it would not be possible to export goods on time.
In the glass industry, raw materials are melted in the furnace with the help of gas. After starting the furnace for glass production, production has to be kept running continuously for 12 to 15 years. If the reactor is shut down for any reason, it has to be broken down and re-invested.
Amir Hossain, managing director of PHP Float Glass Industries in Chittagong , told Prothom Alo : The reactor never had to shut down because of the cooperation. I hope I will get it again. ‘
Steel is one of the major sectors for construction. The sector has been in turmoil since last February. The price of scrap or old scrap metal has risen since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a result, the price of rod has also increased in the country’s market.
Tapan Sengupta, deputy managing director of BSRM Group, said the cost of production would increase if the steel plant was shut down for four hours. After four hours of shutdown every day, re-launching will increase gas consumption, which will also increase production costs.
Khandaker Golam Moazzem, director of research at CPD, a private research institute , told Prothom Alo that effective measures should be taken to explore and produce gas at sea and on land in the medium term to solve the gas crisis. It is necessary to take measures to extract gas from Magurchhara which was closed due to the accident. In addition, industries that run directly on gas will have to be converted to electricity. Before that, uninterrupted power supply must be ensured.