The government has ordered suspending gas supply to the industrial factories for four hours daily from April 12 to 26 to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the holy month, which will be effective from today.
Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) issued a notice in this regard on Monday. However, industrialists said that the decision will disrupt production. They also urged the authorities concerned to consider their decision.
Earlier, last month, the government had decided to keep compressed natural gas (CNG) stations closed for six hours a day (from 5 pm to 11 pm) instead of the previous schedule of five hours.
Vigilance teams of the gas distribution company will monitor the enforcement of the four-hour suspension of gas usage from 5pm to 9pm daily, Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) said in a circular on Monday.
An official of Petrobangla said the gas crisis has hit power generation due to increasing demand for electricity during the Ramadan and irrigation season. It has been decided to ration the gas supply in the industrial factories to provide gas to the power plants for production as per the increased demand.
An acute gas crisis has affected household and industrial consumers in recent days. Lack of gas also caused load shedding during Ramadan, the fasting month.
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When asked, Asif Ashraf, Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told Bangladesh Post that ‘the government’s decision will disrupt the production of our factory. Especially in the dyeing factory, there will be more problems. For example, if the dyeing work of a floor is finished at 3 o'clock, then the next two hours before 5 pm, the production cannot be started. Because it takes time to finish a job. This means that the factory will be closed for a total of 6 hours. Similarly, if for some reason production cannot be completed within 5 Pm, then the whole production will be ruined.”
“As a result, traders will not be able to deliver goods within the stipulated time. There is a risk that the product order will be canceled. Overall, traders will suffer which will have a negative impact on the overall economy of the country,” he added.
The traders of the concerned sector think that it will have a negative impact on the garment industry as well as other factories.
On 16 September last year, the government directed the CNG pump owners to keep their stations closed for four hours from 6 pm to 10 pm every day until further order against the nagging gas crisis across the country.
In February, the closure was extended for five hours a day from 6 pm to 11 pm.
Energy industry insiders said the country has to import about 20 percent of its gas at a high cost to supply fuel to the local networks through two floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs). Two FSRUs have a capacity to supply 1,000 million cubic feet (mmcf) of gas per day.